This week’s reading: Round Table: The Projected Image in Contemporary Art
Malcolm Turvey, Hal Foster, Chrissie Iles, George Baker, Matthew Buckingham and Anthony McCall
October, Vol. 104 (Spring, 2003), pp. 71-96
The MIT Press – http://www.jstor.org/stable/3397582
Please read it prior to class and answer the following questions: 1) Which discussion theme/topic raised in the article is most relevant to the project you are working on? 2) The discussion occurred in 2002, what issues or questions would you add to a contemporary context?
Technology-based, reproducible, and variable, media art poses unique challenges for the exhibitor. Exhibition strategies and standards for media art are constantly in flux as artistic practices evolve, technology develops, and viewing contexts change. However, one can identify basic professional protocols, guidelines, and definitions that will assist in ensuring that video artworks are exhibited with respect for the artists and the integrity of the works, whether they are part of a major museum exhibition or a cinematic screening. Sometimes the most fundamental questions are the most important ones to ask. What kinds of playback and display equipment are recommended? What is the preferred format for exhibiting video in a gallery and why? What format is best for a theatrical screening? And what do you really mean when you say “single-channel video“? The answers to these and the other basic but crucial questions below might be seen as a starting point for demystifying the process.
Launched in 2018, the Balnaves Contemporary Intervention Series is a multi-year commissioning platform which provides leading artists with the opportunity to present innovative works not previously deemed possible. Delivered in partnership with The Balnaves Foundation, this ambitious program challenges artists to reinterpret familiar locations and reimagine the concept of what a gallery can be. A central aspect of the NGA’s renewed focus on contemporary art practice; these interventions will engage and excite as art experiences transform spaces throughout the gallery.
Sarah Contos transforms the NGA foyer into a cinematic experience in which film references are pulled apart and reinterpreted using an array of materials and mediums. Contos suggests her installation ‘has a 1980s nostalgic flavour and a 1920s fervour. The vibe is… an overfilled raspberry coke slushy… looking backwards at a projector in a movie theatre… heavily sequinned pyjamas… a crushed can in the gutter.’
Be bombarded by decadent mobiles dripping from the ceiling. Discover characters and props collaged with iridescent, suspended textiles and fleshy sculptural forms. Throw caution to the wind and lose yourself within Contos’ dramatic and provocative ‘motion picture’.
Log in to Jess Johnson and Simon Ward’s Terminus—an immersive ‘world within a world’ where dimensional realities exist in both physical and virtual space. In Terminus, Ward collaborates with Johnson to reimagine her densely layered 2D artworks as hypnotic animated video and unique virtual reality experiences.
Positioned within an elaborate floor map, five virtual reality stations act as portals into five different realms. Take a journey through a wormhole into worlds where the connections between language, science fiction, culture and technology are explored.
To make this film, Brussels director Fabrizio Terranova spent time with Donna Haraway – eminent feminist thinker and historian of science – at her home in Northern California, constructing a unique cinematographic portrait that troubles the borders between theory, science fiction and reality. A depiction of powerful thought in motion, Story Telling for Earthly Survival (2016) mixes storytelling, archival imagery and fabulation in the Californian forest. “A rare, candid, intellectual portrait of a highly original thinker; Haraway is a gifted storyteller who paints a rebellious and hopeful universe teeming with critters and trans species in an era of disasters.”—Concreta Journal
[Martin Molin’s detailed documentation of the making of his instrument: the music box here shows a demanding iterative process.]
Molin is the key member of the Swedish band Wintergarten. He is well known for inventing musical instruments that performs his compositions. The best known is probably the Marble Machine. He has also gained a following on the detailed video documentation of his making and tutorials on his working processes. The music box (above) uses ‘punch card’ music roll that can be ‘programmed’. At the end of his tutorial, he asks if anyone would be interested in mechanising the laborious hole-punching process and this is what happened…
In the second assignment, Critical Analysis, you are asked to:
choose one work that you feel strongly about
research the artist, his/her intention in creating the work, the central ideas he/ she is conveying in the work
critically analyse the work in terms of its craft
describe the physical presentation of the work in details
assess how well the artist achieves his/ her ideas or intention through the work’s material manifestation.
speculate on the reasons the artist may have made certain decisions (for example, the exhibition space, technical details in the install, the choice of materials used and so on).
The intention of this analysis to ‘reverse-engineer’ a work, to understand how ideas are transformed into physical, material forms through experimentation, production, presentation and/or exhibition.
How do we do that?
Paul Carter writes:
Materials are actively forming and informing, patterning and re-patterning themselves and their surroundings… their activity can reasonably be described as discursive. To say this means, thought re-materialisng discourse. When this occurs something else emerges. The image/ text, or non-discursive/ discursive opposition tends to melt away, and a third, material discourse emerges. (180)
So we may analyse and critique in words:
Analysis and critique are two key steps in creative practice education (critique sessions are the mainstay of disciplines such as art, design, architecture, and filmmaking).
This trains practitioners to speak the language of Carter’s “third, material discourse”.
Practitioners need to be informed about all the contexts that may influence their works from economic pressure of the marketplace, the political situation of funding, sourcing materials, to modifying or inventing new methods/ processes .
Creative works cannot be separated from the material cultures within which they emerge from.
Practitioners/ makers need to understand how materials play a part in realising their ideas.
By materials, I don’t mean just physical material; digital media has its own materiality
Analysis: Biennale of Sydney 2018
Start with analysis of the work/ objects you have chosen from this exhibition. ‘Reverse engineer’ or work backwards to find out:
how was the work made?
What materials was used?
What kinds of processes were used?
Was there much experimentation involved? What purpose did these experimentation serve?
What decisions were made?
Now here is the hard questions:
Why were these decision made?
Why these materials?
Why these processes?
How did these ‘serve’ the ideas explored?
And what are these ideas explored?
From ideas to making
This is a short feature on Limor Fried (aka Ladyada), founder of Adafruit Industries. Identify the ideas she talks about in terms of making.
Michel Gondry is a innovative and extremely creative maker. He has made many well-known music videos (e.g. for the Chemical Brothers and the White Stripes). He is probably best known for his animation works. Animation is an old technique that is continuously being transformed through ideas and new technologies. Gondry is excellent at problem-solving using this form of expression. Have a look at the following video where Gondry talks about his work Is the Man who is Tall Happy? based on his interview with Noam Chomsky. Write down the different ideas he is exploring, at the same time, write down what animation techniques he is using to explore these ideas.
In week 6, you formed groups based on your interests in a number of areas identified as follows (please let me know if I have left you out):
Eliza Appel, Blake Foggo, Liam Walker, Toby Wilkinson, Chris Boyd, Saverio Pirrottina
Christina Donoghue, Emily Duncan, Jessica Dryburgh, David Guveski, Mia McRobert, Chantelle Hyde
Angus Rigby-Wild, Geoff Lee, Angela Cullen, Ryan Catbagan, Daniel Lavin, Mark Johnson
EXPANDED CINEMA (AARON)
April Misiluti, Brittany Spencer, Rebecca Neilson, Hayden Starr, Andrew Hodsden, Jei Strolin
Blake Sykes, Lee Butler, Alex Mead, Alex Pham, Dylan Le, Adam Weir
Zoe Majstorovic, Ceren Tabak, Noelle Jackson, Olivia French, Carah Fiseris, Matthew Lawrence
1.On the sheet of paper provided write down:
Working title of project (no longer refer to the project as ‘yours’, give it a life of its own and be prepared to kill it if you have to)
A key material the project might consist of
A significant idea or theory the project relates to
Identify a tradition or genre the project responds to
An aim or goal of the project
The personal motivation or personal relevance behind the project
2. Circle or underline the two most important aspects of the project OR two areas you are having trouble with
3. Outline a single experiment / model to undertake today that will develop the project – detail on sheet of paper
4. Spend 10 minutes on each group member discussing projects by way of the two significant features identified in step 2 and the activity of step 3. Suggest alternative research and development activities for each project and suggest ways in which you might help other projects.
5. Discuss how you each want to spend the next two hours (and next few weeks) and if you require assistance or wish to the share in any of the other project’s development/experimentation. Some of the projects might benefit from similar experimentation.
6. Let your tutor know your plans and any assistance required.
7. Scan/photograph sheet of paper for blog. Document discussions and work-in-progress for blog.
Simon Denny went to Shenzhen, where there’s been a boom of “mass entrepreneurship.” Self-identified makers are moving to this high-tech pioneer village, the “Silicon Valley of hardware,” to make it—believing the only limitations for creative people are imagination and effort.
Cinema Reborn 3-7 May 2018 Australian Film Television & Radio School, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park in Sydney, Australia
Cinema Reborn’s focus is on screen heritage and preservation. Cinema Reborn presents twelve programs of either recently restored films shown using digital copies or, rarer, film archived-sourced 35mm film prints. All will be presented following best practice in the presentation of archival or screen heritage titles, and will reflect the originally intended experience of their creators.
Cinema Reborn is intended to shine a light on the long history of the art of the cinema, the world-wide activity of film restoration and the treasures that exist in the world’s film archives.
Cinema Reborn will be offering subscription tickets to the entire program from 20th March 2018 via Eventbrite. Please note also that seating at the AFTRS Theatre is only for 140 people.