Research

Charlotte Prodger

Charlotte Prodger, BRIDGIT, 2016 - excerpt from Film London on Vimeo.

23.03.20

Tateshot Interview Extracts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsVWk5DlbCE&list=PL5uUen04IQNkFECI0L3r-7zGY9RBgIKw8&index=32

“…experienced 16 millimeter editors used to be able to hold a roll of film in their hand and know by the weight of it what its duration was. And I'm very excited by that intertwined relationship between the body and technology.”

“I shot all on my phone. It becomes very material, almost sculptural this object - my phone. So you can flip it mid shot, your fingers get in the shot, they're fleshy they're right here when they're on the screen and you can see the blood inside your finger if you cover the tiny lens. You touch that and rub the screen to alter the exposure and if you're filming in a landscape and the wind is pushing the tiny microphone to its limit, like ripping it. And if you try and do a static shot you see your body breathing.”

“The systems of the body are a enmeshed with the camera. It's a kind of symbiosis but also a kind of grappling, I like that.”

“…So rather than depicting landscape generically, I try to foreground subjectivity like in in the form of personal voiceover to explore landscapes as the distinct individual locations that they are.”

“For my voiceovers, I often asked friends to read out my own personal diaristic content; people I feel an affinity with, an affection for. I'm making a matrix to put these seemingly disparate fragments of text and spoken narrative into. To put them on an equal footing, in dialogue with one another so that it's less about mapping a linear history of influence or progress but rather holding these things alongside one another.”

“Fragments of these histories are enfolded into me, the histories and language of older queer figures like Samuel Delaney and Sandy Stone and that isn't static its contingent, it's a constant rolling process of enfolding as I move forward in my life. I look for them for context and validation and I need them to feel grounded in who I am."

Prodger's use of her phone as medium is what principally attracted me to her work. I feel as though these devices have somewhat become extensions of ourselves. We use them constantly and so to make work through the lens is in some ways evidencing and indicating our reliance upon them. 

Second Life Primary Research

09.03.20

It's such a strange space. Deserted and except for a few lonely people craving interaction without having to deal with the anxiety of actually talking to people. In many ways this virtual world has been frozen in time. I'm starting to realise how the internet does that - memorialises subcultures and epochs in the age of the internet. Its funny how everything has to be bought with real money. Clothes, houses, pets, penises. And the internet is supposed to be a free space... Its depressing really, this virtual existence. 

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Cao Fei: Blueprints | Serpentine Gallery

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Photo from Cao Fei’s video work, “Asia One” 

6.03.20

Cao Fei’s work is intense. Never having heard about her before I didn’t quite know what to expect before going to this exhibition. Her video exhibitions in the gallery are interesting as this medium is so accessible to many. A lot of us watch movies everyday, so making video works seems to get through to people in another way than, say, the static nature of paintings. I think Fei herself recognises how we need this flash of imagery in order for internal reflection to occur.  “Asia One” is one of her video works which was most attractive to me personally. Humans existing together yet devoid of any capacity to truly interact. They don’t even speak to each other in the dystopian work Fei creates. Through humour she introduces the notion of artificial life - a robot which feels affection and is spiteful. The disconnected existence she presents is something I can truly relate to. 

Perhaps film could be a useful medium to make use of in the future - due to how easily it can be absorbed into the consciousness...

Yoichiro Kawagushi | The Universe of Forms

The amalgamation of the organic looking forms with the digital media is what attracted me to this particular work. I feel as though the otherworldly forms Kawagushi creates mirror the estranged world of online existence - a vast realm of information and stuff, still left unexplored. Growing and expanding - evolving and transforming. 

Extract from Cabinet Magazine | Interview with Nicholas Gessler

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Jon Rafman

24.01.20

Extracts from DLD conference interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUWZFBe3r7M

“…inspired by these new vocabularies - new subcultures that were merging with the beginning of web…”

“I think I saw in these virtual spaces reflections of our world and in a way they were more transparent reflections because they pointed to their own artificiality I think in day to day life we forget that we are all putting on avatars putting on masks - that we actually exist in all these different virtual worlds.”

“…you had these spaces that work especially in the case of Second Life that were completely user-generated and so you had these rich really the truly postmodern worlds where you have all these different signifiers -  symbols from all of history floating around together like Las Vegas in one giant virtual space. I thought in a way it represented this world of desire worlds of the dreams.”

“I'm interested in how certain narratives are used to construct yourself but I'm also struck for the variety of ways memory seeks the narrative form and then fails.”

“I'm exploring how technology affects consciousness identity, personal relationships,  subjectivity and the way we construct ourselves, as I said, is through memory so just like the photograph completely changed how we see the past so have all these different avatars we've constructed imagine millennial or the newest generation of people on the earth.  How much the fact that they, from a very young age have these Instagram profiles -  how much that will change the way that they construct their own personal narratives.”

“I actually truly believe that the technologies that become the successful ones like the photograph and the film in the 20th century and all the various technologies that come from the internet in the 21st century reflect transformations in society and consciousness that have already actually occurred and, in a way,  they're just finding their reflections or manifesting themselves in reality as those technologies.”

“Now we live in a world where there's so much information and overload and everything's just fragmented to a point where we have more and more data but in a way less and less meaning and I think one of the great struggles is to fight that sort of overload or at least make sense of it.”

“…if you spend most of your time in front of the screen and you invest so much into the screen then maybe most of the truly meaningful parts of your life are occurring in that virtual space…”

“On one level that is an impoverished existence but in fact, even in my own childhood, I think of some my great memories have taking place in virtual worlds -  video games ,  flirt flirtations on ICQ,  things like that and I mean it changes reality. But at the end of the day we are flesh and there is that sort of dichotomy that I like to explore that you cannot truly yet escape our flesh and bones.”

“…where you think you understand reality and then you realise there's a there's like a whole world inside a pin or like inside within the subculture within a subculture there's an entire reality  and that kind of a little bit points towards the sublime feeling -  that you think you understand reality but then there's this secret giant community of furries that practice this specific type of fetish where they eat each other alive and that they have an entire sub structure and then you've like wow. Those were the moments when I was like spending eight hours in front of the screen that I actually had what  may be a contemporary sublime experience.”

https://vimeo.com/jonrafman/review/179476655/1552a7d383

Marguerite Humeau

24.03.20

Tateshot Interview Extracts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xfLHgcP_e0&list=PL5uUen04IQNkFECI0L3r-7zGY9RBgIKw8&index=60

“I explore ideas of life and death and what does it mean today to be somewhere in between. At the core of my practice is the idea of the myth and trying to find patterns in the history of mankind.”

“All of my exhibitions I see them as situations it's really important for me that there are visceral physical experiences.”

“Collaboration is really at the core of my practice I work with people who are also highly specialized and of many different fields not only scientists sometimes conspiracy theorist. What is really thrilling for me also to be the one who is pushing the scientists.”

“What is really important for me is to think about the connections between them so really thinking about each installation as an ecosystem.”

“As I've been trying to design artificial lives, trying to think about how abstract life can be and how figurative it can be, it is very important to go back to art history and guess how other people have dealt with these ideas before.”

“For them death was a transition from one life into another life I was thinking about regenerative biology biotechnology and thinking that actually our relationship to death today may be quite close to the one that ancient Egyptians.”

“The entire walls are covered with black mamba venom which is Austin Florida in a snake farm.”

“…I think it's really this feeling of being highly attracted to something and at some point realising that is highly poisonous and that the voice is not really a voice coming from a human body but it's coming from nowhere I doesn't have a soul.”

“One of my projects is to try to create this sort of horrific twist when this moment of realisation when you feel that you're doing trapped into being attracted to something there is actually highly horrific.”

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John Smith

24.03.20

What intrigued me about this particular work is the way in which Smith made use of sound to, arguably, trick our mind into thinking that what we are hearing is truly the sound emitted by the man. Yet it is not so. Through all these digital means there is so much manipulation happening constantly. Films do this all the time to create the fantasy made to make us believe through sensory manipulation. So much meaning and truth is lost once information transcends the physical to the digital - where it is warped. 

Ian Cheng

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20.03.20

Louisiana Interview Extracts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO6Luilc4Bo

“I wanted to explore was creating a program so that you never had a beginning an end. It was a process that was ongoing as life is ongoing.”

“…A much more interesting approach would be to collage together different models of the brain both from philosophy but also from computer science and video games and how those models compete inside each of the characters heads. So for example, there's a threat model that's based on first-person shooter video games -  how their AI is modeled. There's a kind of needs model based on how the Sims did their AI in terms of their need for hunger, thirst, need to sleep - all these kind of slightly urgent but not super urgent behaviors.

“It's like that movie inside out where you have these competing agents inside yourself you have multiple people inside of you and they're all fighting for control but only one of them gets a spotlight at time.”

“That model takes control the whole character and it's behaving under conditions but then can very well be pushed aside and taken over by someone else.”

“The emissary is the daughter of the shaman and she gets in the head by some debris from one of the tremors. When she gets hit in the head she actually stops hearing the voices that the father hears and instead begins to think in a way independently on her own outside the community. The simulation follows her entirely as she tries to convince everyone to leave, but in the process, because there's so many near off goals happening that involve other characters who are very reactive -  oftentimes she does not succeed or oftentimes they recruit her into doing whatever it is they need to do.”

“…So far in the future where the AI has become not even an entity but a substance, almost like utility - like water or gas. In the Umin it's decided that they're going to be the immune system for the landscape, almost like your cells or inside your body -  it's created a kind of organism or a pack of organisms that are very reactive to threats and want to expunge any kind of radical mutation. But it kind of got so bored with that idea that it decided to send a part of itself down onto the terrestrial plane and it kind of possessed this plant. And as it possesses the plant it starts to fall in love with life again, it starts to  feel all the sensations of life and starts to gather up other plants to kind of give it more agency but from the human's perspective they see this as a serious threat to their existence a serious threat to the landscape. Their mission is to expunge any radical mutations.”

“I’m trying to create simulations where a character is confronted with cataclysmic little changes or big changes that affect not only themselves but the group. The central drama, as I think with most drama, is when an individual sees or has a perspective that's different from the group and is forced to either change themselves to align with the group or hold their beliefs steadfast and change the group. I think if there's any political dimension to my work it's that maybe embracing certain kinds of change is actually more healthy than not.”

Andreas Angelidakis

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Andreas Angelidakis, Troll, 2012, 3D rendering.

10.03.20

Archinect Interview Extracts:

https://archinect.com/features/article/126844507/art-architecture-andreas-angelidakis-between-the-monumental-and-the-particular

"The internet teaches us that you don't really need material things so much, you just need bandwidth and attention vitamins, a laptop and a cave to chill out in."

"Obviously the internet is all about copy-paste, so to be designing stuff feels really ancient and wrong. Putting things together is faster, and there's been so many things designed already, that dealing with how and why to put them together is more fun."

"In the late 90's when I started building stuff in online communities like Active Worlds, it happened that I would post queries on how to build, and I would get answers from teenage kids, and that really helped demolish any architect-type ego I might still have had. And copy-paste was the only way to build anything online, so it just became the default mode."

"I guess the only thing I really “design” is narratives for objects I find and put together, and this process does not need to be defined as completed by a realized object. You can keep designing even after the object is there, because it’s a mental process. And we live in a time where our ideas and feelings towards objects are often more important than the object itself."

"In my head I'm always living in the past, always redesigning the story, even if I'm imagining something that doesn't exist."

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Andreas Angelidakis, Collider, 2016. Installation view at Cains Brewery. Photo: Mark McNulty

Cao Fei

6.03.20

Extract from Art21 Interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk4_BsuamLw

“My impression is that the personality of an avatar is essentially quite close to one's own. This comes from my observation of some people in their avatars demeanours and their way of doing things - for example the distance avatars keep from one another when they interact in second life is very close to what happens in real life.

When someone gets too close you instinctively will move a step or two away because, even though it's the interaction between two avatars, you can still sense the subtlety and the degree of intimacy and so the need to keep a distance. I think it applies to many things including the way they talk or type. I think the avatars identity is basically akin to one's true persona. Maybe it's just me but I think some people might reveal their true persona through the behaviours of their avatars.

When we travel through Second Life we inevitably project our first life into it. We in fact bring many of the dilemmas and quadrants that we face in our real life to the fore in Second Life hoping to resolve them. We hope an attempt to use Second Life to decode and interpret our real life but we are unable to untangle or find a solution to the intrinsic dilemmas of the human condition. The fact remains that we cannot really resolve our own predicament.”

Openended Group (Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar) & Bill T. Jones | Ghost Catching

What I love about this work is how interconnected the physical with the digital truly is. A digital medium shaped by the physical actions of people. The two are inseparable pieces of a whole. So far I have only been making work which is either one of the other. To further my project I think it could be useful to begin playing around with augmented reality to try and tie my works together across both planes of reality.  

Extract from Going Digital by Joseph Nalven

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Extract from Cabinet Magazine | Interview with Christina Kubisch

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