'second life'

MUMBLECORE by Tao Lin & Megan Boyle

21st July 2011 by Annie
arts | experimental | humor | literature | narrative | second life | video

MUMBLECORE [clip] (2011, 34MB, 1:56 min)

Tao Lin’s MUMBLECORE is his new video collaboration with his wife that he has deemed a film. MUMBLECORE isn’t a film, though. It’s a video. It’s captured entirely from a built in laptop camera. It has a time stamp of eighty two minutes, but it’s not a feature length film. It’s video art. One of his other latest projects SMALL CROWD GATHERS is a collaborative video with two Internet artists produced entirely in Second Life, using his writing as a script. Like MUMBLECORE, SMALL CROWD GATHERS is written in all caps and is a piece of video art. Many great experimental filmmakers have worked in video like Harmony Korine and Lars von Trier, but their finished products were good enough to transfer to film and project onto the big screen. No theater would screen MUMBLECORE because it wouldn’t sell enough tickets to make it worth their while.

I e-mailed him after reading a tweet he wrote about sending DVDs out to people who wanted to write a review. After he heard about a DVD freeze issue he offered that I watch it on Vimeo under password protection, which I did. Watching the work online was fitting for an artist whose career is based around the Internet. The DVD is unnecessary. It was more convenient to be at my computer. I couldn’t watch the whole thing in one sitting for a number of reasons. Much of the conversation is self involved or just uninteresting. There are too often inside jokes or references to things offscreen that make the time pass by slowly and the effort required to watch taxing. But watching it on my laptop, I could stop and research the books referenced, visit Twitter (including Lin’s feed), listen to music, eat a snack. I felt like I was in the movie because I was doing many of the same things I was watching on screen.

One problem with Lin making MUMBLECORE is the lack of command he has over the medium of video. The low quality of the images feels unintentional. While his use of the Macbook camera is experimental, it doesn’t arrive at any interesting effect or create any lasting impression. The memory of MUMBLECORE is like an ugly blur of mediocre digital camera images that I would wouldn’t bother sharing. He and his girlfriend rarely address the images they’re creating beyond one conversation in which they present a half idea about the images in the video being fleeting. Yes, the images are fleeting. So are words on a page and notes played by an instrument. So what? It’s a generalized surface truth and evidence that Lin doesn’t have the same command as a director that he does as a writer. For example, in one scene Lin walks down the street talking about his writing and he cites his influences with confidence. He talks to an audience about his work at a reading and it is transparent, relatable to anyone, not just writers. This is a mark of a great artist familiar with his craft.

More than any directorial vision, or lack thereof, what shines through in MUMBLECORE is Lin’s developed literary voice. The whole movie is subtitled and Lin talks the way that he writes. His girlfriend talks like him and uses the same expressions. She is a walking testament to his influential style. The two main characters are writers and they frequently talk about their work. They reference other authors like David Foster Wallace and Lorrie Moore. The nonlinear narrative, stream of consciousness, and free spirited travel recall Hopscotch by Julio Cort├ízar. The themes from Lin’s writing are all here: extremely dry humor, absurdity, aimlessness, and food. MUMBLECORE feels more literary than filmic.

In MUMBLECORE Lin continues to navigate life in the public eye. He turns the camera on himself in his most intimate moments, the start of his romantic relationship with his girlfriend. The couple’s conversations, one implied sex scene, and their marriage are all put on display. Lin constantly invites attention to his personal life while simultaneously resenting the responsibility of managing his audience’s perception of him. He seems to struggle to reconcile his desires to gain approval and an audience who will buy his books with his urge implied by the tone of his Twitter feed to tell us all to fuck off.

Alan Sondheim – Two Movies

6th May 2011 by michael
animation | arts | conceptual | experimental | landscape | performance | place | second life | video

after the fall
After the Fall (2011, 44 MB, 1:01 min)

Antenna (2011, 65 MB, 57 secs)

Two very different and very beautiful movies from Alan Sondheim.

8th July 2010 by doron
animation | arts | conceptual | documentary | film | mobile device | narrative | new media art | portraiture | satire | second life | tv


Gazira Babeli – Save Your Skin

23rd June 2010 by doron
activism | animation | arts | community | new media art | politics | second life | silent

Save Your Skin (2007, 4 MB, 1:03 min)

Save Your Skin – stolen skins, scripted environment,
where the skins of avatars are being put on display.
A Second Life performance by Gazira Babeli.

Gazira Babeli – iGods

16th June 2010 by doron
animation | arts | conceptual | exhibition | narrative | new media art | participatory | portraiture | second life | silent

iGods (2009, 34 MB, 8:20 min)

From doppelg

Gazira Babeli – Unbroken Eggs – Monument to Luciano Fabro

25th May 2010 by doron
animation | arts | community | conceptual | performance | second life

Unbroken Eggs – Monument to Luciano Fabro (2007, 13 MB, 3:30 min)

Physical scripted environment.
A Second Life performance by Gazira Babeli.

Sondheim – Watching Them

15th April 2010 by michael
animation | arts | audio | experimental | landscape | new media art | poetry | second life | strange | technology | video

Watching Them (2010, 14MB, 38 secs)


ALL-BEARING Omniparous
ALL-CHEERING That which gives gaiety to all.
ALL-CONQUERING That which subdues every thing.
ALL-DEVOURING That which eats up every thing.
ALL-FOURS A low game at cards, played by two.
ALL-HAIL All health.
ALL-HALLOWN The time about All-saints day.
ALL-HALLOWTIDE The term near All-saints, or the first of November.
ALL-HEAL A species of iron-wort.
ALL-JUDGING That which has the sovereign right of judgment.
ALL-KNOWING Omniscient, allwise.
ALL-SEEING That beholds every thing.
ALL-SOULS DAY The day on which supplications are made for all souls
by the church of Rome; the second of November.
ALL-SUFFICIENT Sufficient to any thing.
ALL-WISE Possessed of Infinite Wisdom

(From John Walker’s Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, 1825 ed.)

38 seconds of strange & aching beauty from Alan Sondheim.
The text above accompanied the original posting
of the vid on the Netbehaviour & Webartery lists.

House of Dreams

12th June 2009 by doron
animation | arts | conceptual | experimental | music video | new media art | remix/mashup | second life

House of Dreams (2009, 14MB, 2:57 min.)

A remix of Michael Szpakowski’s remix of Radiohead’s “House of Cards”.
Using images from Second Life and The Endless Forest, with some lyrics
which Edward Picot added in a whisper.

Sondheim in Second Life

22nd April 2009 by michael
animation | arts | conceptual | dance | exhibition | experimental | installation | performance | second life | video

Beam Me Up #1 (2009, 34.3MB, 1:50 min)

Beam Me Up #2 (2009, 9.5MB, 31 secs)

Beam Me Up #3 (2009, 12.4MB, 25secs)

unique blah blah blah genius blah blah blah nonpareil blah
inimitable blah matchless blah blah sui generis blah blah
nonesuch blah peerless blah blah blah sondheim


Sondheim – Swirl

15th October 2008 by michael
animation | arts | conceptual | dance | experimental | performance | second life

Swirl (2008, 21MB, 1:05 min)

Regular visitors will be aware of how little excuse we need
to post work from the formidable Alan Sondheim.
So…it’s Wednesday… – here’s one of his recent Second Life
His accompanying text appears below.

Jennifer and Julu: Clean yourselves, you dirty boys!
Jennifer and Julu: Clean yourselves, you dirty girls!
Julu: Hello Nikuko, you are looking wonderful this very morning.
Nikuko: Hello Julu, why you are looking odd I do think!
Julu: And my leg too hanging by a thread! Nikuko, where are you?
Nikuko: Oh dear you are half-blind Julu!
Julu: And you are All-Blind-Nikuko!
Julu: Can you see anything here? Can you see anything at all?
Nikuko: I hear your voice!
Nikuko: You do not, Julu, you do not have anything!
Julu: Maud, you must move slightly to your left, thank you.
Julu: Maud, you are not looking properly or you would move!
Nikuko: I am looking just fine, thank you!
Nikuko: I am so, I’m trying as hard as you are!
Julu: Adjust yourself!
Julu: You are adjusting yourself in a very wrong way!
Julu: It is 10:30 and you have just lost your head!
Nikuko: Ha ha ha I have lost my head over you!
Julu: And hello Nikuko, and how are you?
Nikuko: Now we will Swirl and Change.