Edward Picot – Job’s Comforters

28th October 2013 by michael
adaptation | arts | conceptual | experimental | literature | poetry | silent | strange | text | video

Job’s Comforters (2013, 3MB, 7:00 min)

Those who associate Edward Picot solely with his marvellous Dr Hairy series,
wickedly funny and pointed satire in the kind of lo-fi/hand made tradition
that comes down from Postgate and Firmin might be quite taken
aback by this. You have to watch the whole thing. Until shortly before the
end you seem to be simply watching a poetic & minimal retelling of a bible
story, then the whole thing suddenly lurches several gears into the kind of
territory that one associates more with Tarr and Kasznahorkai at their most
bleak and disturbing (and somehow their most bracing and exhilarating too).
It’s a punch to the solar plexus of a piece and simply magnificent.
I don’t know where its bleakness comes from or takes us but what it does
en route burns into you.

Steven Ball – Boundary Cyclone Transaction

22nd October 2013 by michael
arts | conceptual | experimental | formalism | network | new media art | process/systems | text | video

Boundary Cyclone Transaction (2013, 233 MB, 6:46 min)

There’s an odd mixture, in varying quantities, of bone dry wit and
a strain of almost ecstatic lyricism in the work of Steven Ball.
This is combined with an interest in formal governing devices
(how much they actually govern and how much it is part of the
expressive character of the works that they should appear
to so do I don’t know)
Steven, I’m delighted to say, made this piece especially to
be unveiled here on DVblog and it was something worth waiting for.
I append some of his notes to the piece.


“Lists remind us that no matter how fluidly a system may operate,
its members nevertheless remain utterly isolated, mutual aliens.
Ontographical cataloging hones a virtue: the abandonment of
anthropocentric narrative coherence in favor of worldly detail.”

“…ontography is a practice of increasing the number and density
[of things], one that sometimes opposes the minimalism of contemporary
art. Instead of removing elements to achieve the elegance of simplicity,
ontography adds (or simply leaves) elements to accomplish the realism
of multitude. It is a practice of exploding the innards of things.”
- Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomonology

Imagine this as a premiss:

the world as it appears is only as it appears to you
and perhaps
the world
appears in arbitrary order

Boundary Cyclone Transaction takes Ian Bogost’s characterisation
of the ontographic list and uses it as a process by which to
auto-construct a picture of a non-human, which is perhaps to
say alien, world, or at least one such as can be constructured
using material found on or through the internet. As such it
also presents a fragment of what might be considered as th
e consciousness of the internet as manifested in image, sound and text.

The video consists of collections of image sequences, written words,
spoken words and sounds. The order in which each of those elements
presents themselves to the viewer has been determined randomly,
therefore any juxtaposition of the elements is entirely arbitrary.
The words used are nouns, i.e. they are things, objects, they
were selected using a random word generator. The sounds consist
mostly of recording of environmental phenomena, such as weather
or recordings of cosmic energies, generally speaking non-human
sounds. The image sequences are all found online and consist of
landscapes, insects, animals, images of microscopic organisms
and viruses, astronomical image, in other words also largely
non-human. Both sounds and images were found through using
keyword searches. It was important in the making of the work
for the elements to be as removed from what I might customarily
intentionally select, for them to be as far away from the
familiarity of the (my) everyday, as possible.

Alienation is a state arising from objects in the world, as they
present themselves inevitably arbitrarily and without a coherent
narrative. In this video the use of random processes aims to
make coherence impossible, or as difficult as possible, while
still, due to the linear and temporal nature of its reception,
will still self-organise into a kind of self-coherent ecosystem.
The longer term aim is for this video to be realised in performance,
to perform itself, using software to randomly order the playback
sequence of the discrete elements and media objects (images,
words, sounds) for every iteration.

Netbehaviour Mailing List Fractal Excerpt

10th July 2012 by michael
animation | arts | conceptual | experimental | math | new media art | process/systems | remix/mashup | silent | strange | text | video

Netbehaviour Mailing List Fractal [Excerpt] (2012, 5MB, 59 secs)

From Claude Heiland-Allen:
Seven years of archives for this mailing list filtered down
to the most often occurring 1000 words of 4 letters or more,
in an infinite fractal zoom – each word is made up of the
words that most likely follow it.

We love the Netbehaviour list & this, splendid & bonkers both, does just
what it says on the tin with that excellent institution – we’ve posted
the minute long version here but if that whets your appetite for more
there’s an hour long version at archive.org.

Peter Scott - Death was the West

11th April 2012 by michael
arts | conceptual | drawing | experimental | fiction | landscape | movie making | narrative | new media art | text | video

Death was the West
Death was the West (2012, 221MB, 5:19 min)

A restrained, austere, smart and at the same time gripping piece from
Essex, UK, film-maker Peter Scott, still in his final months at art school.
I understand it to be a by product of a work in progress but it
has an integrity and presence entirely of its own.
I look forward to more.

George Spencer films Robert Roth

2nd March 2011 by michael
arts | collaboration | community | documentary arts | literature | observational | performance | portraiture | text | video

Robert Roth Reads from ‘Health Proxy’ (2011, 76 MB, 6:30min)

I can’t be objective about Robert Roth -he’s a dear friend and his
tremendous & utterly singular book Health Proxy ( Buy it here)
would most definitely be my choice for that desert island.
In this little movie, odd and charming both, by fellow writer
George Spencer, he reads an extract from it, twice.

Chris Caines – Mathematics

14th January 2011 by michael
arts | conceptual | experimental | math | narrative | text

Mathematics (2010, 163MB, 10:40 min)

There’s a wonderful deadpan quality to this piece from Chris Caines,
which captures dream logic perfectly (and satisfyingly -
I was worried about bathos and I needn’t have.)
It looks and sounds rather sumptuous too.
I do wonder if it couldn’t have moved just a tad quicker…