Saturday, January 30, 2010

spam meeting room

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A New System of (AN)Aesthetics

the speed of social intercourse/ the debasement of image content

it is interesting to look at social networks and how they function not only as virtual meeting areas but also as the area in which images are used/translated into word units.
note: in these meeting areas, which are a public space, one is allowed(or even desired) to be the voyeur of personal dialogues and the exchange of language of emotional value(sometimes intense emotional value).

Sometimes, if not most of the time, this dialogue (especially on my space) is conducted through the exchange of images.In this case images become words but in becoming words they loose their original content. This could be seen in very specific materials. Materials that have their own historical value (either as in the history of the image or the actual image in the timeline that is history) are warped/transformed/altered to fit the communication desires of the senders and receivers.
For example one could see a dialogue in which sender A might send a hospital ward photo of a woman with a bruised body and the receiver of this photo might respond with a picture of holocaust victims in a mass grave. This dialogue could, and usually is a simple courting of two web personas. if it where a real time and real space dialogue it could be that the first image is that i would like to meet you and the reply could be that i would like to meet you but not in private yet (in which case the mass grave image would be, if translated into a sentence, that a public space with many people would be desired as a first meeting place).
The specific example deals with the speed of exchange (since a ready made or found image is much easier and faster than to actually use language and build with language, even in it's simplest forms) of images which is the word currency in social networks.
Obviously the first thing that is relevant is the debasement of images that are taken out of context or whose image content is discounted to such a degree where such harsh images could be used as infinitesimal and meaningless word units. Another problem is that we are on the verge (if not already there) of the aesthetics of an(aesthetics) where all images from all areas are mere fodder for non-written communication. This transliteration is a virus that reduces all image into non-image, mutes the specific emotional content of images, places the image(s) into a historical vacuum where history ceases to have meaning (becomes meaning-less) and creates a new image dictionary that paradoxically, although it is a dictionary, it multiplies and/or deletes meaning rather than composing/defining/grounding meaning as would be the function of any dictionary.
( Other side effects are the creation of a new functional illiteracy, the re-formatting of the act of viewing in desensitizing images and finally the creation of physical dependance on data and data production machines for communication rather than the opposite, which is supposedly the original purpose of these machines).


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

bend uber alles


Disintegration: from silent movies to political silence
All normal expectations went by the board and one's daily habits were disrupted by a sense of ever-spreading all-consuming chaos which rendered the future unpredictable, the past un-recallable and ordinary life so haphazard that people simply assumed that whatever could be imagined might come to pass, that if there were only one door in a building it would no longer open, that wheat would grow head downwards into the earth and not out of it, and that, since one could only note the symptoms of disintegration, the reasons for it remaining unfathomable and inconceivable, there was nothing anyone could do except to stand still, to look and to be looked at.

Tele Genesis (the birth of Social Cinema)

1.1 THE PUBLIC GAZE/external: the panopticon was the ultimate realization of a modern disciplinary institution. It allowed for constant observation characterized bu an «unequal» gaze. Perhaps the most important feature of the panopticon was that it was specifically designed so that the prisoner could never be sure whether s/he was being observed. The unequal gaze caused the internalization of disiplinary individuality and the docile body. This means one is not likely to break rules if they believe they are being watched, even if they are not. Thus prison, and specifically those that follow the model of the panopticon, provide the ideal form of modern punishment.

Fact: The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens AG at Test Stand VII in Peenemunde, Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets.

1.2 THE PRIVATE GAZE/internal: the emergence of a new kind of (tele)-vision, a (tele)vision which no longer has the task of informing or entertaining the mass of viewers, but of exposing and invading individuals' domestic space, like a new form of lighting, which is capable of revolutionizing the notion of the neighbourhood unit, or of a building/district/community.

Fact: In October 2009, an «Internet Eyes» website was announced which would pay members of the public to view CCTV camera images from thier homes and report any crimes they witnessed.

1.3 THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE GAZE/biological: the overexposure of our «selves» to the image and at the same time our necessity to saturate our «selves» with the image, has created a new optic virus: the collective Stokholm Syndrome. This virus is characterized by the fact that the hostage has become one and the same with the hostage taker. The evolution of this strain has already led to a voluntary servitude and an evolved form of master-slave relation.
Fact: 2010 UK statistics: 1 camera for every 14 people.

1.4: THE HAGIOGRAPHY OF THE MUNDANE/ or taking James Bulger by the hand

In this state of affairs, the iris is enticed by it’s being programmed by the largest image (and not only) propaganda machine in history: web 2.0. All users optic horizon has been modified by (for example) You Tube in that low quality images uploaded and watched seem to provide the user/viewer with a sense of security in that these images are designed to function under a certain aesthetic code that make them home-movie like, and therefore more user friendly and personal. As such, they seem to offer no threat to the user. The syllogism in this case is that the less identifiable the image material is, the more real it becomes, the more real it becomes the more secure and reliable it is for consumption.
The propaganda machine has taken Chris Markers quest for the mundane, the simple, the ordinary (as can be seen in his cinematographic essay: “Sans Soleil”) and they have devised a new “Concentration Camp”. The axiom for this “Concentration Camp” is based on the murderous violence of banality, in which a very subtle form of extermination has been designed using indifference, monotony and the mundane as its raw (basic) materials.
Future Films (the birth of the involuntary cinema of control)
_1: empty film cans
Zanzibar: Coleridge and Citizen Kane
An infinite set of surveillance films stored and never seen.
Never seen film # 6,206
A man walks down the street holding the child’s hand. The man stops at the candy store and buys the child some sweets for school. He then waits with the child until the school bus arrives. The man departs after he has put the child into the bus.
Everyday. Winter, spring, summer, fall.
The child grows, the man slouches.
The child, now grown, walks down the street holding the man’s hand. The child stops at the pharmacy store and buys the man his medication. The child then waits with the man until the retirement home bus arrives. The child departs after he has put the man into the bus.
Everyday. Winter, spring, summer,fall.
Everyday, eternally.

Future Films
_2: internal control/auto surveillance
p.k.dick and jeremy bentham
Perhaps our eyes are merely a blank film which is taken from us after our deaths to be developed elsewhere and screened as our life story in some infernal cinema or dispatched as microfilm into the sidereal void.

Developed eye film # 11900
I do not know if it was under the influence or of a change that was already under way, as yet unnoticed, in my outlook, but i was increasingly possessed from day to day by a passionate, nagging desire for the ordinary life of an ordinary person.
 To transform to such a degree that i might loose myself in this all too ordinary otherness that looses itself in the grand scale of the ordinary nothingness that is the day to day.

To fade out.
To be passed by.
To be hidden in plain view.

Fact: Not a single word of this text is original. It is composed of appropriated fragments just as CCTV absorbs our image and re-composes us of our own fragments.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Still frame from shot 23
interior/ chair placed in security room
on the character of the viewer
the viewer watches, the viewer dreams of inertia

interior monologue:
Dreams are uncontrollable.Their secret is that their secret can not be discovered. i want to direct my dreams according to the desire of the other. I want to never wake up.

Still frame from shot 48
interior/storage room
on the character of the viewed
the watched view the viewer, the watched dream of emotions

interior monologue:
Χωρίς έντονα συναισθήματα θα γινετε σκέτα αντικείμενα ή ακόμα και νεκροί, κάτι που έτσι και αλλιώς δε θα αργήσει να συμβεί

Monday, January 04, 2010

the civil servant underground



24 lies per second: the simulacrum that attempts to reveal the truth


1_The limits of my image construction/consumption mean the limits of my world

Tractatus logico-philosphicus 5.6 (re-mix)

2_The Uncanny (Ger. Das Unheimliche -- literally, "un-home-ly") is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange

Because the uncanny is familiar, yet strange, it often creates cognitive dissonance within the experiencing subject due to the paradoxical nature of being attracted to, yet repulsed by an object at the same time. This cognitive dissonance often leads to an outright rejection of the object, as one would rather reject than rationalize.

A_Notes on the frame (the border zone, the homeland, the alien)

When we look at the borders of a shot (the frame), as Haneke structures it, we look simultaneously at a fact but also at the possibility of a” fact(s)”. The fact is that of the familiarity of an object or a person and the possibility is that of the unfamiliar, the un-nameable, that which cannot be defined, that which is alien.

Haneke sets up a territory while at the same time setting up the negation of this territory. Within the frame we are shown the possibility of “safety”, while outside of the frame we have the sense of an ever-present danger.

This ever-present danger is that of an abstract force that seems to be encroaching the territory of the frame and therefore creating an emotional response of a “homeland” that seems to be constantly on the verge of being evaded/invaded. Inside the frame we see (are given to see) the trappings of the first world, while outside of the frame (and it’s borders), we feel the heat of the desert of the real: that of the third world.

Outside of the frame we can hear the approaching of the planes towards the towers, we can hear the flooding of the cabins of the titanic, we can hear small hands putting cartridges in semi automatic weapons in Sierra Leone. Outside the frame chaos realms, as does our fantasy of the im-possible (adianoito). When the im-possible comes (is brought) in to our sight line (into the frame) then we, as viewers/witnesses receive what we desire. This is a point that is very relevant to the core of violence in the cinematography of Haneke: violence is when Haneke gives us that which we expect, that which we wish for. In short violence is in the expected and not in the un-expected.

B_Notes on form and content (social dialogue/emotional engineering)

The most potent, important and turbulent moments in the works of Haneke are to be found exactly at the moments where form/structure meets (and come into conflict) with structure. Haneke works with form/structure and content and how it’s placed on celluloid, both as a scientist and as an alchemist. As a scientist we are witness to a very refined structure being constructed: machinery. This machinery is functional, complete, it justifies itself within its own logic and for these reasons it is a form that is complete. Before us we have the beauty of pure form that can be admired for its craftsmanship. This is the work of the scientist.

The work of the alchemist is to be found in the construction and handling of the content. Here we see shades, half-truths, unanswerable questions, unreasonable passions, hidden stories, irrational gestures, shifting motives, absurd sentiments. The alchemist creates a dark matter, a heartbeat, and a blood flow.

Ultimately the scientist and the alchemist merge into one, and this one, can be seen as the engineer for the provocation of social dialogue thru the politics of emotion.

At this point it should be stressed that Haneke creates a synthetic composition and an organic decomposition, which has a result a static moment that balances between implosion and explosion, between a revealing and a concealing, between identification and alienation. The result is that the most violent moments in the cinematic mythology of Haneke are the ones where “nothing” happens.

C_Notes on the camera eye (The organic machine)

When form meets content, when the white and sterile surgical glove holds the beating and warm heart then we have the construction of what Deleuze hints at: cinema as the organ for perfecting the new reality.

Be it that the above mentioned methodology (as dissected in the form and content notes) is a classical formula (the boiling point which is achieved when form is on an equal level with content) and although it covers many forms of art it should not distract us from looking at the ingenious way that Haneke uses this formula. The resulting method(s) of this formula is the we, as viewers, become part of the work. That is to say that when form over-rides content the viewer is turned into a “witness” of events. Almost as if the zoom out of the camera eye is also the zoom out for the viewers eye. In opposition to this (or complimentary to this) the zoom in of the camera is a call for the viewer (formerly as witness) to transgress his position and to pass judgment.

If as Deleuze suggests, that cinema in it’s development can become a biological organ for the perception of reality then in the case of Haneke we have a sensory organ with a double function: the recording, documenting and viewing of the interior landscape, of individual ethics, of desires and fantasies, of personal politics, agendas and conflicts and on the opposite (or supplementary) function: the recording, documenting and viewing of the exterior landscape, the social structures, political conflicts, and desires formed by the “universal” libido.

Open Epilogue: The Seventh Continent, the state of provocation

"One day humanity will play with law just as children play with disused objects, not in order to restore them to their canonical use but to free them from it for good."
Giorgio Agamben (State of Exception)



time to function