Technology

Located on the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, Acoustic Ocean sets out to explore the sonic ecology of marine life. The scientist as an explorer and important mediator of the contemporary understanding of our planetary ecosystems is a central figure in this video. She makes her appearance in the person of a Sami (indigenous of northern Scandinavia) biologist-diver who is using all sorts of hydrophones, parabolic mics and recording devices. Her task is to sense the submarine space for acoustic and other biological forms of expression.

“Mining an ironic vein by turning technology against itself, AlienNATION undercuts the sociological ramifications of modern living. It is an astounding compendium of sci-fi images, textbook diagrams, special effects, and studio props, which together build multiple readings of the alien, the mysterious, and the obscure in American culture.

“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.”

— Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848

Babeldom, 2012

Babeldom is a city so massive and growing at such a speed that soon, it is said, light itself will not escape its gravitational pull. How can two lovers communicate, one from inside the city and one outside? This is an elegy to urban life, against the backdrop of a city of the future, a portrait assembled from film shot in modern cities all around the world and collected from the most recent research in science, technology and architecture.

"It’s a complex architectural vision equal parts awesome and terrifying… This is a film – and city – to get lost in."

In a city post-apocalypse, young men communicate only through smart devices. They make home out of urban debris. They can’t speak to each other, but are still able to dream.

Black Rain is sourced from images collected by the twin satellite, solar mission, STEREO. Here we see the HI (Heliospheric Imager) visual data as it tracks interplanetary space for solar wind and CME's (coronal mass ejections) heading towards Earth.

Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and filmmaker whose practice spans technical investigation, research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. Currently a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, Blas has exhibited internationally, including at the Walker Art Center, Gwangju Biennale, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Whitechapel Gallery.

In part a remake of Hollis Frampton’s Gloria! (1979), in part a repurposing of hacked, 16-bit video game technology, The Well of Representation asks us to reconsider our fear of the liminal. Following the convergent narratives of several voices, ranging from the linearly historical to the cybernetically personal, we come to understand the journey ahead: searching from interface to interface, knowing that whatever home we find will be a collaborative compromise. One where we might live beyond our representations and finally come to say what we mean.

Fashioned out of home movies recovered from failing hard drives, this glitch-art video makes comparisons between different forms of memory - suggesting that, while error and decay may keep us up at night, they might also be the way we put our ghosts to bed.

-- Evan Meaney

We have come to this place of meaning together, celebrating our un-remaindered completeness. Yet, in our wake endures a long procession of stowaways: misspoken sounds we unconsciously omit, the limitations of our alphabet, the ignored gaps of an imperfect analog, and most recently, these forgetful bits of the virtual. We celebrate the lineage of our information as we celebrate one another, not realizing that the loudest affirmations might come from these unacknowledged, unavoidable participants. With each generation, they say a little bit more, speaking a little bit louder.

Taiwanese artist Shu Lea Cheang (b. 1954) tackles conceptions of racial assimilation in American culture, examining the political underbelly of everyday situations that affect the relationship between individuals and society. Using video in formally innovative installations, her works include the Airwaves Project, which focused on the one-way flow of global information and industrial waste, and Those Fluttering Objects of Desire, an installation presenting the work of women artists negotiating interracial sexual politics.

Constituting an Outside (Utopian Plagiarism) is part one of Zach Blas's Contra-Internet Inversion Practice series. Contra-Internet Inversion Practice confronts the transformation of the internet into an instrument for state oppression and accelerated capitalism.

Social Media Exodus (Call and Response) is part two of Zach Blas's Contra-Internet Inversion Practice series. Contra-Internet Inversion Practice confronts the transformation of the internet into an instrument for state oppression and accelerated capitalism. Invoking a practice of utopian plagiarism, Contra-Internet Inversion Practice experiments with queer and feminist methods to speculate on internet futures and network alternatives.

Modeling Paranodal Space is part three of Zach Blas's Contra-Internet Inversion Practice series. Contra-Internet Inversion Practice confronts the transformation of the internet into an instrument for state oppression and accelerated capitalism. Invoking a practice of utopian plagiarism, Contra-Internet Inversion Practice experiments with queer and feminist methods to speculate on internet futures and network alternatives.

Contra-Internet: Jubilee 2033 is a re-imagining of scenes from filmmaker Derek Jarman’s 1978 queer punk film Jubilee, starring Susanne Sachsse and Cassils. Contra-Internet: Jubilee 2033 follows author Ayn Rand (Susanne Sachsse) and members of her Collective, including economist Alan Greenspan, on an acid trip in 1955. Guided by an artificial intelligence named Azuma, they are transported to a dystopian future Silicon Valley.

County Down is a cross-platform, episodic, digital video, exploring an epidemic of psychosis among the adults in a gated community, coinciding with a teenage girl’s invention of a designer drug. A rave-culture period-piece that harnesses the unwarranted optimism of the 1990s, County Down presents a society so obsessed with novelty and consumerism that it euphorically sews the seeds of its own destruction. Tracking the genesis of our current political climate, the ensemble cast banks on cultural appropriation and a constant din of micro-aggressions.

Earthglow, 1983

Earthglow is a poem written for the character generator and switcher that conveys a writer's internal dialogue through both subtle and dramatic color changes and through movement, size, and placement of words. The ambient soundtrack evokes the confluence of past and present perceptions.

Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face protests against biometric facial recognition — and the inequalities these technologies propagate — by proposing the creation of “collective masks” that are modeled from the aggregated facial data of many faces, resulting in amorphous masks that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition technologies.

"i am very grateful that my 鬼鎮 (Ghosttown) series has shown internationally over the last couple years and is recognized by viewers, reviewers, critics, and curators as doing decolonizing work as a feminist project that queers and glitches the Western genre. 鬼鎮 (Ghosttown) questions the quintessentially American Western in the forms of experimental films and games that are made from glitches and noise, pushing boundaries of legibility and tipping over threshold states of stability.

Heliocentric uses timelapse photography and astronomical tracking to plot the sun's trajectory across a series of landscapes. The entire environment seems to pan past the camera whilst the sun stays in the center of each frame, enabling us to gauge the earth's rotation and orbit around the sun. As the sun's light becomes disrupted by passing weather conditions and the environment through which we encounter it, it audibly plays them as if it were a stylus.

In this interview, Brian Holmes, an influential art critic, activist and translator, discusses social forms of alienation, human ecologies of power, and the impact of technology on geopolitical social networks. Holmes reflects on his ongoing study of the ways in which the rhetoric of revolution has been institutionalized, as well as artists’ resistance to such cooption. For him, artists working in collectives have the potential to create a new artistic milieu that is not aligned with the dominant model of production. This argument is born out in his published collection of essays, Hieroglyphics of the Future (2003).

The interstice of art and technology has proved to one of the most generative locations in contemporary transdisciplinarity. As media of all kinds become more electronically integrated and digitized across multiple platforms, current technologies approach a condition of complete imbrication with art practices, and vice versa. Ben Knapp and Andy Diaz Hope have been at the forefront of these techno-aesthetic interactions, and their career experience as hard-science engineers brings a level of practical competence to this interview that is truly enlightening.

Eerily drifting through soft fades, superimposed images, close-ups, and visual feedback, this tape follows less a narrative structure and more a stringing together of seemingly random activities, set against two very different soundtracks. The video opens with David Cort reclining on the ground as psychedelic rock plays in the background. Two shots alternate between frontal and profile as he lazily plays with his beard and face – the streams of footage melding together with the use of live editing.

This tape includes footage of one of the first broadcasts of Lanesville TV, as it appears on the television set of Lanesville local, Todd Benjamin, and a television set installed in a public bar. Interwoven with shots recording the program’s reception, are segments recorded for Lanesville TV itself: Bart (playing the part of “Russell”) approaches Parry, dressed as a hillbilly car mechanic “fixing” the VW Van; nearby, Nancy opens the door to a cabin, wearing a bonnet, while Carol and Chuck, crowding behind her, play the part of other Lanesville TV protagonists.

In Laser Games with Shirley Clarke, the Videofreex visit the apartment of independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Someone brings out a laser pointer, which they then use from the top of their building to shine on the sidewalks below in an attempt to distract the passersby. After returning indoors, they experiment with optical distortion by shooting the laser directly into the camera lens while listening to psychedelic raga music.