Thursday, May 17, 2007


The Paikamerika postproduction artworks mentioned in the last post, as with all of the other artists whose work I playfully render into vision (digitally capture) with my mobile phone for my exhibition in London this summer, are meant to be experienced as intuitive postproductions that reconfigure the artist as medium. The artist/medium connection is significant especially when one approaches their open source lifestyle as gameplay. Paik did this "mo' better" than anyone, perhaps helping turn it into a kind of fluxus protocol, and as long as I am actively mythologizing my connection to him, I may as well take it as far as it will go.

For example, the new series of Paikamerika postproduction artworks that are part video art, part mobile phone art, and part mythological narrative in public space, will take yet another turn later in the year when, come this Fall, I will introduce the artworks as part of a keynote I will be giving at a conference on "Buddhism and New Media" at the Research Institute on Buddhist Culture located at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. The conference organizers have invited me to discuss the interrelationships between Buddhist thought, Paik, Amerika, and new media art. I see it as an opportunity to remix Paik's writings and recorded statements with What The Buddha Taught (and a few of my own VJ Persona metafictions as well).

The first thing both Paik and the Buddha have taught me is to get rid of the Me (per se) altogether. This artist/medium that postproduces the past in a future-perfect tense still not quantifiable in human terms, is nothing if not-me. Although I do not mention Buddhism at all in my new book, I do riff on the not-me throughout the first third, and when I read excerpts at various events, people do come up afterwards and ask me if I am a Buddhist. To answer in the affirmative would be less than candid, since I have never really studied religion seriously. But to deny my accidental Buddhist tendencies would itself be anti-Buddhist in spirit, which I choose not to do either, and besides, who is to say what it means to be Buddhist or even Jewish for that matter?

Maybe I'm Jedi taking the Red Eye to post-contemporary artist/medium space. Medium is, after all, technological and, as such, about the use of force ("May the Force be with you").

Was Judah a Buddha? Probably not. But the Long Dude is somewhere inside all of us, even as he/she morphs their bi-gender at will.

From What The Buddha Taught:
"To be attached to one thing (to a certain view) and to look down upon other things (views) as inferior -- this the wise men call a fetter."

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Monday, May 14, 2007


Postproduction artists wed themselves to the past while operating in a future-perfect context. That's the You-topian game spin, anyway. Whether you are Douglas Gordon merging with Alfred Hitchcock in 24 Hour Psycho or DJ Spooky expelling the demons by taking on the imagery of D. W. Griffith in Rebirth of A Nation, without the past, you "ain't got nuthin'" and that's a fact.

My new mobile phone video works are also wedding themselves to the past while staying one avant step ahead of the game (notice the word "game" keeps coming up? what does that say about the postproduction playah and their natural tendency toward spin doctoring / DJ Ph.Ding? I try to answer this question in the first two sections of META/DATA).

The mobile works are captured "phone recordings" of moving and still imagery which are then integrated into readyMade and reMixed postproduction art. It must be said that some of the images were not that easy to readyMake because of the environments in which they were shot. In the complementary text piece that will appear as part of my "Mobile Phone Video Art Classics" exhibition in London this summer, I will touch on a number of issues that inform the development of this new series of works, including how contemporary PP artists play with the idea of "appearance" as an "image coming" and investigate how images that come, can also be captured and then manipulated into a storyworld that plays with the creative unconscious.

What does it mean for the artist-medium-instrument to suddenly make a "guest appearance" in another artist's work? Making an appearance does not necessarily mean that the artist's image can literally be seen in another artist's work, although that's not out of the question either. For example, this digital pic of me in a Nam June Paik work is one of a kind. It's part of a new series I call Paikamerika:


Some of the text that will be in the London exhibition this summer will playfully narrativize the Paikamerika series. This text will be partly generated from this blog entry and this one too, no doubt.

Along with "guest appearances" we might also consider "ghost appearances" or the idea of artist-mediums becoming hauntological actors who "play themselves" as is, although as Ursula Frohne suggests in a different context, since we are only able to "experience ourselves as real when we are able to make an 'appearance'," what happens when PP artists manipulate the data of their everyday life to create an apparitional blend of reality and fiction thus calling their "appearance" into question, even as they unconsciously improvise their "live" performance as the person they are playing?

This is where the role of the VJ as experiential alchemist meets the alterverse of magic realism cum Youtopian narrative.

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