Sunday, December 19, 2010

More Youtube Works

I've uploaded two more videos made exclusively for Youtube viewing. Approach and Somewhere It Is Snowing can both be seen at:

Like the recent Presence 1-20, these are essentially conceptual works born of ruminating on the whole business of consuming images through the internet and broader concerns about the curious public/private interface of online communication of all sorts.

There are three main ideas at play in these works. To summarise them briefly and, no doubt, quite crudely:

First, 'presence', self-representation, the illusion of a virtual existence rendering oneself illusory. Of course, this is mainly dealt with in Presence.

Then the fate of the image, the online degradation of which is now universally accepted. The image as unit of information rather than aesthetic entity. Yet it is a decay not entirely without its own beauty. This is what Approach is about, which is only an image, a still image animated by the visual noise which compression and streaming bring to it. Of course, this way of seeing is still always referring back to the idea of the 'pristine' image of cinema history. Unlike, for example, in glitch art (which I appreciate), that umbilical cord remains firmly attached for me. The fact that so much cinema is dragged through the internet reinforces the connection. The latest in a technological chain of ghosts of cinema (TV, video, DVD...), the internet is replacing cinema with a strange memory of its history...

Finally, and perhaps most stimulatingly, there is the open-endedness of putting video on Youtube, its capacity for incompleteness, its provisional, disposable nature. And the correspondingly casual nature of its viewing. Hence the bloated running times and repetition of Approach and Somewhere It Is Snowing (and even the 10 Pieces of Video for Internet), which define a temporality for themselves that no viewer would probably care to sit through. The fleeting quality of the Presence episodes inverts this process, but to similar ends.

I'll be pursuing this strand of work with further online videos in the near future...


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