Thursday, January 11, 2007

Trendy Hybrid Talking Mantra

Continuing with the release of notes from the seminars as part of an open source gesture thrown out for the autopoietic world of the artificial intelligentsia to do with it what it will (that's you I'm speaking of, WWW-androids), here is an overview of what I see as some basic trends in contemporary media art:

  • an explosion of hybridized art forms emerging out of interdisciplinary media arts practices (iMAP)

  • more contemporary artists using new media technologies to both compose their art work as well as display it

  • lively remix culture reassessing what is and is not potential "source material" and chops-driven coopetive environment spurring on debate on how to manipulate said "source material" (and possibly repurpose or "version" it) for a wide array of media genres and platforms

  • the emergence of digitally constructed identities, fictional personas, meta-histories, narrative mythologies, and collaborative networks (both anonymous and pseudonymous) as strategic aspects of naming / performing the Artist-Medium-Instrument-Body

  • openmindedness to alternative distribution schemes to locate audiences (festivals, Internet, club spaces, indie DVD labels, etc. in relation to and combination with traditional venues such as museums, galleries, print publications, and recital/dance halls) and art-research investigations into future models of "audience reception"

  • exploring the connections between an iMAP and the "pure research" methods associated with cutting edge scientific research with particular emphasis placed on investigating the potential overlapping research agendas with these sciences (experimental neuroscience, medical imaging, biology, behavioral/brain studies, computer science, engineering, nanotechnology, telecommunications [digital rights management], wearable computing as fashion, metadesign, bioluminescence, etc.) but also taking into account research subjects usually outside the parameters of traditional academic contexts (paranormality, psychogeography, hallucination, pataphysics, etc.) while still maintaining a thematic focus on issues of potent value that have concerned artists throughout history (life/death, self-portrait, sexuality, landscape/nature, beauty, the body, religion/spirituality, aesthetics, pop or consumer culture, interpersonal relationships/love, gender, identity, the creative process itself, politics, collective and individual memory, dreamwork, etc.)
These are off-the-cuff and open up linkages to many potential threads of discussion. For instance, what is an iPhone except a new media art display device / performance prop / writing instrument / social networking tool? And why do we have to wait six months?

Metadata: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 08, 2007


This is my 200th blog post since starting the Professor VJ blog in late January 2006.

It started off as a way to intersubjectively jam with the students in my Not-Photography Graduate Seminar. It then began meandering into the interrelationship between fiction, memoir, and "truthiness" which then became more source material for the seminar itself as a space to remix the metadata of our collective experience in the TECHNE lab at CU.

I was surprised to see that it took me no time at all to adopt the Sternian (as in Laurence Sterne) method to teaching, and use my blog as a kind of metafictional device, writing digressions within digressions within digressions, and then using those writerly drifts as stimulants to hallucinate new intersubjective activity in the classroom. Which is not to say that we did not have an itinerary to follow, but it was more open than I originally planned when I first conceived the course. In fact, my classes have now become abstract spaces for all of the participants to collectively navigate and, while navigating, to "hack reality" as a methodological approach toward improvising new thoughts out of that abstract space and, in improvising, create new works of art and theory (or both, together, something in my book I call experiential metadata). For 2006, the key concept for all of my work, no matter where I operated, was improvisation (see also hyperimprovisation -- can you tell I'm still indexing my Meta/Data book?).

Meanwhile, as the blog took control of the seminar, I lost control of the blog itself as it responded to the political scene in the US. This winter, I have been having discussions with the hot net artists here on the Windward coast of Oahu where I have been composing most of my digital poetics over the last seven years, and we have been talking about how in November some kind of lid was taken off the pressure cooker of America's supersuppressed "melting pot," you know, the one being stirred up by the far-rightie nutcases whose gross intimidation tactics made it impossible not to process their effect on our lives. It was like even when you wanted to escape their warped vision of a world gone mad with its desire for collective self-implosion, you had no choice, you had to face it all head on, taking hold of their fucked-up filters and then scratching / marking them with your own signature style effects as a way to deal. For the most part, the work that came out of this surf-sample-manipulate process was still interesting when it wanted to be, but still, you had to really fuck-up their fucked-up filters to get any traction. And as I have been saying, how do you fuck-up something that is already so royally screwed that it becomes an even greater farce than any satirist is capable of inventing? The challenge is to actually locate the untapped caverns of Power's viral, festering sickness and to further excavate whatever black humor is ready to be mined therein. It's not easy. It requires the sensitivity of a Jonathan Swift, say, or a Rabelais. Consequently, the success of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report among others. This was what my blog partly played with on and off throughout 2006.

I won't rehash everything else that materialized in 2006 (you can find a short summarization here). But I do find it interesting that I ended sort of where I started, using my last posts in 2006 to write about the ideas generated in the Integrated Arts Graduate Seminar that I taught toward the end of the year. Seminal seminars. Seeds of thought / spring forth effusively! / A waterfall / full of potential bliss.

So I guess I'll pick up where I left off (see next post).

UPDATE: it's hard to say for sure, but this year's key concept could very well be intuition.

Note to self: play with intuition and see how it relates to (hyper)improvisation.

Metadata: , , , , , , , , ,