Archive for July, 2011
Fi (2011, 51MB, 9:57 min)
Joan Brossa, the Catalan poet, artist, performer and polymath,
who died in 1998, deserves to be more widely
known in the rest of the world.
I’ve often thought his work, in particular the visual
poems, prefigured much of the art of the early days
of the net (but mostly better: terser, wittier, riskier -
I think Brossa would have loved the net).
This elegant & delightful performance ( ‘Fi’ is Catalan
for ‘End’, in this context The End) was recorded
in Barcelona eight months before his death.
It requires a little patience; the reward being that
it can be viewed many more than one time, so it
seems like an appropriate thing to leave you with
over the summer.
Remember we’re always delighted to look at new work,
so if you’re making moving image yourself,
or you happen across great stuff don’t hesitate
to send us links.
We’re back on Monday, September the 26th – in
the meantime we wish you all a happy and relaxing summer.
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 Cortázar. 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.
Boxing Rants (2011, 28 MB, 3:11 min)
Documentation of an interactive video performance by
G.H. Hovagimyan that took place at Postmasters Gallery in NY,
from a series of performances titled ‘Being and Event’.
A Walk with Jane Austen (1999, 144MB, 12:20 min)
‘the work is about exploring the veracity of history and of time,
and its constructs (in this case especially the notion of
“bodice-ripping” romance genres).
Playing with text and in-authenticity, the intention was to engage
an audience with notions of historical construction of women;
their facts and fictions, and the possibility of re-visioning histories.
– Delpha Hudson
Engaging hybrid of site specific performance and movie making,
the somewhat improvisatory quality lending it all a pleasantly
languid & unhurried air.
At the very end the sun joins in to striking effect & I love the rogue
arm at our right as the spectators leave.
Hudson is a charismatic & commanding performer -
we’ll have another of her performance pieces here in the Autumn.
Arms Race (2007, 1.85MB, 1:02 min)
Handbag Surveillance (2007, 4.18MB, 2:05 min)
Anyone lucky enough to have already encountered Jess Loseby’s artwork
online or in a gallery will have realised immediately what a thoughtful,
courageous & dextrous artist she is. She hasn’t been so active of late &
her excellent site is offline now due to her continuing ill health
(although it is possible to explore it somewhat using the wayback machine).
This is a real loss: there is a warmth & humanity to her work
- an ability to find beauty in the ordinary, the overlooked
( & in our still sexist society, these categories often overlapping
with the domestic, the feminine) – which one often looks for in vain elsewhere.
Her work doesn’t strut, it enchants, (& then maybe sticks a
big fuck-off hatpin into you).
Video making isn’t central to what she does, but when she does it
she does it with all the qualities noted above.
Enjoy & learn.
Music for Handbag Surveillance by Clive Loseby.
We at DVblog join with many of her friends in wishing Jess well
and look forward to her return to active art making.
Native Dancer (2011, 92MB, 2:08 min)
Genbush (2006, 17MB, 6:03 min)
Two pieces from Alan Sondheim -one we originally posted in 2006
and one very recent. The new piece -Native Dancer -
is a particularly affecting example of recent motion capture/avatar work.
It properly forms part of a triptych but I think it is the outstanding of the
three and I’m going to exercise curatorial perogative & post it singly.
It enchants me -I don’t know exactly why, I think the reasons could be
quite banal -there’s something of the children’s TV sci-fi epic about it perhaps…
Don’t know, just love it.
And here’s what we originally said about the other piece, which I see no reason to change:
Humor is perhaps not a quality that springs immediately
to mind when discussing the work of Alan Sondheim.
Wrong! His work is saturated in it, often a species of
graveyard or gallows wit.
Here, though, he just lets loose, plays.
But the man is incapable of doing anything that doesn’t
resonate with layer upon layer of meaning too!
I Want To See How You See (2003, 55.2MB, 4:48 min)
Hallucinatory, luscious, with a hint of darkness: approaching the
formulaic but, if so, certainly a winning formula for Rist & as
always undoubtedly beautifully & imaginatively wrought,
a video portrait of the writer & curator Cornelia Providoli,
found on the consistently excellent Lumen Eclipse site.
Band-Aid (2007, 54.4MB, 21:53 min)
Temple To Aeolos (2003, 1.52MB, 43 sec)
Well executed & not a little disturbing work from Charlie Roberts,
a man whose CV features the interesting combination of
performance video & ..er.. inflatable sculpture.
Bit of both here, both a compelling watch…
Buffies – First Season (2002, 5.4MB, 1 min.)
Winsome bit of conceptual candyfloss from Chuck Jones in 2002.
One of his isolation studies, this piece comprises
‘Every utterance of the word ‘Buffy’ made during
the first season of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’,
totaling nearly one minute.’
Big Moth (2011, 9MB, 3:05 min)
“Experimental film and sound collage with a spoken poem
about embodying a moth”
As you do, as you do…
Another piece of strange & haunting loveliness from Simon Mclennan*.
*I completely screwed up posting this last week – I prepared the post &
went on vacation for a few days forgetting to actually upload the only
copy of the movie we had, on my home machine, to the server. Arrgh!
Big apologies to Simon & here it is all working properly now.