It is with great pleasure that I introduce this month’s subject of “Glitched, Cracked, and Dirty Media”, featuring a list of wonderful scholars and practitioners in the degradation of the signal/datastream as artform. There are many perspectives on this set of practices, so I will only say that my initial remarks are a loose framing on a diverse set of practices.
For the past five years, I have lived in Chicago, one of the homes of “glitch” media, which involves artful manipulations of the datastream to create artfully degraded media, which one of our participants, Caleb Kelly, has written on extensively in his book “Cracked Media”. This differentiates itself from “dirtstyle” New Media, popularized by artists like Cory Arcangel, Michael Mandiberg, and Marisa Olson (who also participates in “glitch” media), which utilizes lo-fi, often kitschy tropes, but still use uncorrupted media.
In regards to Chicago, there are pioneers in the area of degrading the video signal such as Dan Sandin and Phil Morton, who used analog video synthesizers to create groundbreaking works, and these are a specialty or one of our guests, Jon Cates. I also remember a recent talk at the Art Institute of Chicago by legendary video artist Steina Vasulka that was facilitated by Cates where she remarked upon the magic of the manipulation of the signal. It seems that, in light of the digitization of the signal through the elimination of analogue television in North America in 2009 , the signal has become the datastream, and noise has become fetishized as it has become obsolescent.
For this month, I have invited a number of different groups to remark upon the art of degraded media, all of whom I will list at the end of this introduction. I have also asked them to represent a number of different practices, which I will cover briefly.
Rosa Menkman, Jon Satrom, Theo Darst, and Nick Briz are all participants of the GLI.TC/H conference, which expanded this year from Chicago to include Amsterdam and Birmingham, UK. This annual gathering celebrates glitching, noise, circuit bending, and injection of noise into the data stream by any means. Rosa Menkman is internationally renowned for her glitch video work with a recent solo show at Fabio Paris Gallery, Brescia, Italy, and Jon Satrom’s I <3 Presets and “Dinos and Rainbows” performances have been performed widely.
Caleb Kelly, Marisa Olson, and Curt Cloninger are all long-standing names in the area of New Media, wigh Kelly’s “Cracked Media” from MIT Press being a definitive text on the genre of degraded media. Marisa Olson a scion of the New media community, having organized events for the Guggenheim, Getty, written for WIRED, Flash Art, and far more, and has explored analogue and digital signal manipulation as an artist-in-residence at the Experimental Television Center and as part of the dirtstyle blogroll Nastynets. Curt Cloninger is a longtime participant of many listservs, including Rhizome, is progenitor of lab404 and playdamage, has written extensively on New Media, and is an Assistant Professor of New Media at University of North Carolina Asheville.
Lastly, Jon Cates is another long-time figure of the New Media scene, and is an Associate Professor of Film, Video and New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a graduate of the Media Art Histories program, has done extensive work on the oeuvre of Phil Morton, and was, along with Nick Briz, part of criticalartware.net, which has done extensive explorations in the genre of glitch.
I am very pleased to have this fantastic array of friends and colleagues as part of our dialogue.
While I am very eager to begin the discussion, glitch is an unruly genre, and it seems the signup portal for Empyre has appropriately glitched for the opening of this discussion. Due to this, we may have a couple days while we finish signing up our participants for the discussion. In the meantime, I offer these links for your consideration:
Technology has traditionally been used to make what functions function faster, easier and more efficiently. We expect computers, robots and machines to continue to take over the performance of chores and ramp up the production of goods. But what happens when technology is used for the non-functional, to make what is functional less functional? What happens when technology, especially high technology, is used for art or for play?
In organizing an exhibition based on technology, we’re looking for artists who subvert the functional or fabricate the handmade. We’re particularly interested in work that expands upon or pushes against traditional definitions of art, and investigates the relationship between technology and play.
Installation, screen based and/or digital projection projects, music/sound devices, and other media will be considered. Any robots out there?
A BARcamp is a participation oriented event focusing on some of the best parts of conferences: between session discussions, knowledge sharing and socializing. All the talks are given by attendees and the schedule is decided the day of the event. The event is FREE and open to the public.
What none of them could figure out was how he had gotten into the apartment. Even he was vague on the details, insisting that he had come in through a locked window a good eight feet above the ground. Still, the fact remained that sometime in the wee hours of the morning, he had appeared in the wrong bed, sending its rightful occupant shuffling through the hallway and out to the refuge of the couch.
His phone had vanished at some point in the evening’s revelry, the only clue to its whereabouts a series of charges for calls made to Paraguay near dawn on a Sunday. The Polaroids, however, were intact, a linear series of snapshots that gave structure and meaning to the blurred thread of a memory that formed the foundation of his tale of mirth and woe: himself, the quixotic hero adventuring on the high seas of Wicker Park, consorting with the locals and ultimately triumphing over a misdirected cabby and a slumbering, fastened garden apartment.
At last, a full length book on these challenging shit-starters…
Founded in New York City in the mid-1960s by self-educated ghetto kid and painter Ben Morea, the Black Mask group melded the ideas and inspiration of Dada and the Surrealists, with the anarchism of the Durruti Column from the Spanish Revolution. With a theory and practice that had much in common with their contemporaries the San Francisco Diggers, Dutch Provos, and the French Situationists—who famously excommunicated 3 of the 4 members of the British section of the Situationist International for associating too closely with Black Mask—the group intervened spectacularly in the art, politics and culture of their times. From shutting down the Museum of Modern Art to protesting Wall Street’s bankrolling of war, from battling with Maoists at SDS conferences to defending the Valerie Solanas shooting of Andy Warhol, Black Mask successfully straddled the counterculture and politics of the 60s, and remained the Joker in the pack of both sides of “The Movement.”
By 1968 Black Mask dissolved into “The Family” (popularly known as Up Against The Wall Motherfucker—the name to which they signed their first leaflet), which combined the confrontational theater and tactics of Black Mask with a much more aggressively “street” approach in dealing with the police, and authorities. Dubbed a “street gang with analysis” they were reputedly the only white grouping taken seriously by the Black Panther Party, and influenced everyone from the Weathermen to the “hippy” communal movements.
This volume collects the complete ten issues of the paper Black Mask (produced from 1966-1967 by Ben Morea and Ron Hahne), together with a generous collection of the leaflets, articles, and flyers generated by Black Mask, and UATW/MF, the UATW/MF Magazine, and both the Free Press and Rolling Stone reports on UATW/MF. A lengthy interview with founder Ben Morea provides context and color to this fascinating documentary legacy of NYC’s now legendary provocateurs.
Starting Thursday June 9th the city of Chicago will hold a week long bicycle event to promote bicycling as a alternative source of transportation. The event will last from June 9th to June 17th ending with a bike to work rally. Bike Chicago 2011 will feature Bike Chic …