Monday, December 31, 2007 Angela Dorrer
Urban Pilgrims are travelling from city to city to find out what places and its people are really about. The project is an examination of urban spaces on various levels: an online questionnaire among inhabitants about legends, rumours and personal experiences in their city, continuously growing online archives and guided tours in public using collective performance with behavioural instructions.
Urban Pilgrimages are poetic urban extracts. They dig their way into the grain of cities to find out what places and its people are really about. Participants get involved in individually tailored, dramatized performances about their city, based on an online survey, a blog and continuously growing internet archives.
Urban Pilgrimages can take on various forms, such as behavioral instructions or procession-like journeys with collective movement, gesture, sound, props, food, music and personal encounters. The personalities and communities within the given place with their stories and emotions become the artistic material. Individual experience becomes a public field, which generates a new cartography of a place - the essential toolkit for the 21st century voyager.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"INTO GREAT SILENCE" by Philip Gröning

Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them.
Watch trailer


Beyond the Spectacle
Dubai’s insane rate of development is easy to misinterpret—even caricature—but the cliché obscures the city’s more serious ambitions.
By Stephen Zacks
Fear and Money in Dubai


Renowned German composer and electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away December 5 at his home in Kuerten, Germany, according to statement released today by Stockhausen-Verlag. He was 79.Born August 22, 1928 in a village near Cologne, Stockhausen rose to prominence in the 1950s with a number of pieces that broke decidedly with convention. Across a career that extended into this century, he invoked both awe and controversy with his unorthodox works, noted for their innovation and complexity. more...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hz#11 mag

Urban research on Film

[Nictoglobe] Drowning man with cell-phon

Creative insurgency opposes established cultural domination
Contrary to creative resistance, creative insurgency, aims to overthrown and re-establish a new kind of creative order, in which the might and prowess of the mainstream art world is definitively pushed aside to make place for a more profound and human based faculty of sharing and re-distributing objects of art and devotion.Creative insurgency re-claims art’s own, autonomous right to resist and subvert society’s (mis) use of its idiomatic resources. Claims currently made by designers, merchants, industrialists and the like.One of the key debates among art officials, (inter)national cultural experts and scholars concerns changes underway in the nature of insurgency. "Classic" insurgencies sought to seize power and evolved from underground and guerrilla forces. Contemporary insurgencies...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Phenomenology in computation (and visual art?)

Tesla Event:Phenomenology in computation (and visual art?)
Speaker: Prof. Igor Aleksander, Imperial College LondonUCL
Contact: Gordana Novakovic (Visitors from outside UCL please email in advance).
Date/Time: 22 Jan 08, 18:00 - 19:00Venue: Garwood LT
AbstractPhenomenology primarily relates to discussions of consciousness by philosophers of the 20th century: Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre and Heidegger. It is a philosophy of personal, individual reality rather than the absolute reality of ontologists and functionalists. I shall try to give thumbnail sketch views of these forbidding sounding concepts as they have affected me as a computer scientist who tries to understand whether machines may help us to understand consciousness. So I shall describe virtual machines in general as they offer an opportunity in information science to discuss consciousness without crashing into 'the hard problem' of links to a physical substrate. I shall explain what are functional virtual machines that are judged by their behaviour and then phenomenological virtual machines which are judged by their ability to create usable inner worlds. I shall suggest that visual artists are special as they make explicit some aspects of their phenomenal worlds. This type of communication is still an open question in computer science but one where interest in art may prove to be beneficial for both the artist and the scientist.

Kameron Steele's The South Wing

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Neue Slowenische Kunst, past, present, future

In the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s the avant-garde group OHO had a very important impact. When the group first began they were centred around the notion of Reism (from the Latin word 'es', ie. 'thing'). The members of OHO wanted to develop a radically different relationship towards the world: instead of a humanistic position...
PRESENT: NSKSTATE.COM, the web project about The State of NSK and the groups that comprise the NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst) art collective. NSKSTATE.COM is created and maintained by NSK citizens and friends. from Isaac Montoya presented by the gallery Espacio Mínimo.

Exploring shifts between virtual and physical space and human networks, Furtherfield events and projects incorporate a strong participatory element and break away from conventional approaches to contemporary art. The projects are often live, real-time, collaborative artworks, facilitating and documenting unrestrained interaction and communication between artists and audiences online. Success is measured by the technical and conceptual accessibility of projects to a wide audience who engage as individuals and groups, creatively on their own terms

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

FASCINUM by Christophe Bruno

An Internet installation that shows the news pictures that are the most viewed (ranked from 1 to 10) on different national Yahoo portals, in real time. A panoptic vision of the topics of fascination of mankind: the viewer surfs on the infotainment wave and experiences the paradoxes of global thinking in a blink.

Cultural versus National Borders[8]=i-8-ec9c07bea32face154302c45ac25e256
Within the framework of the 'Europe NOW/Europe NEXT' (a project conducted -- in cooperation -- by the Baltic Sea Culture Centre, the Danish Center for Culture and Development, the House of World Cultures, Intercult and Visiting Arts and developed with the support of the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union):Europe NOW/Europe NEXT aims to provide a space in which a multi-lateral intercultural dialogue can take place that transcends national boundaries and national debates, and examines, acknowledges as well as celebrates the contribution of all of the diverse communities of Europe to the cultural heritage of Europe NOW. Europe NEXT is concerned with how the shared European values of democracy, justice and human rights find expression in the practice of artists and the work of cultural institutions. It facilitates a dialogue between new EU states, prospective EU members, and the EU's neighbouring countries (such as Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia and the Middle East).

WIRED Science

Monday, December 17, 2007


NTUA - Multimedia Technology Laboratory


PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA - International Competition of Cyber Arts

The “Hybrid Art” category is dedicated specifically to today’s hybrid and transdisciplinary projects and approaches to media art. Primary emphasis is on the process of fusing different media and genres into new forms of artistic expression as well as the act of transcending the boundaries between art and research, art and social/political activism, art and pop culture. Jurors will be looking very closely at how dynamically the submitted work defies classification in a single one of the Prix categories of long standing.
This category is open to all types of current works in any form:
Autonomic Installations and Artworks
Autonomous Sculptures
Performance and Stageprojects
Media architectures
Media based Interventions in public spaces
Mechatronics / Kinetics / Robotics
Location based and geospatial storytelling
Multi user environments
Annotation software tools
Artificial Life
Transgenic Art
Software Art, Generative Art

Thomas Paul - Boundaryless Nanomorphologies

This paper investigates question of nanotechnological spatial boundaries by presenting the research gathered at the point of transition where the first atoms of skin meet the first atoms of gold. Boundaryless in the nano context means the opposite of having borders/boundaries, that develop an objectification of space.
Kate Marshall states that “The construction site of nanotechnology begins at the smallest level of the body and extends globally”. (Marshall 2004 p.157) The statement seeks to question; at what point do our bodies begin and how at atomic level do we define their boundaries? The borderless concept of transference that occurs at the body’s boundaries are an extension of the contemporary post human body. The space the body occupies and its humanistic boundaries can also be seen as being under threat through nanotechnologies. My investigation explores the architecture of our physical space at a nano level and our ability to comprehend the effects on scale and perception. Alfred Nordmann suggest that “This scientific way of relating to the cosmological image of nanotechnology abandons the claim of a privileged position for human being in a divine and externally fixed order”. (Nordmann 2004 p.50) As our preconceptions of space are reconfigured through the confrontation o!f Old World orders of spatiality via nanotechnologies the awareness of durational spatial boundaries is one of the most challenging study areas.
I will reference my own spatial investigation through the Midas project, which explores the space between at a Nano level creating a sonic visualisation of the transference occurring when humans touch a material. This research is achieved through the analysis of data recorded with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM).
The research focuses on questions of what happens between the touch and touched? What is transferred between the two? How does one affect the other? At what point does one object end in space and the other begin? How do we conceive of this at a particle level?
How do we define the boundaries and who maintains these boundaries?
The Midas project research is based in collaboration with SymbioticA Lab, University of Western Australia and the Nanochemistry Research Institute, (NRI) Curtin University of Technology. The project investigates the trans-mediational space between skin and gold’s surface. The collaboration enabled me to gather data of the activity of a skin cell’s atoms when touched with gold. The recorded data gathered from the AFM force spectroscopy cantilever as it touches the cell is picking up the surface vibrations. (In a low-noise environment, the AFM has the sensitivity to measure local nanoscale motion of cells. Local Nanomechanical Motion of the Cell Wall of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Andrew E. Pelling, Sadaf Sehati, Edith B. Gralla, Joan S. Valentine, James K. Gimzewski * Science 20 August 2004: Vol. 305. no. 5687, pp. 1147 – 1150 DOI: 10.1126/science.1097640
These vibrations are then translated into sounds files to use as the main resource in the generation of a sonic installation. The Midas project makes the infinitely small, audible and palpable. The paper highlights the infinite smallness and the extent that our perception of scale is of major importance in defining humanity.
Marshall, K. (2004). Atomizing the Risk Technology. Nanoculture Implications to the New Technoscience. N. K. Hayles. Bristol, Intellect Books.
Nordmann, A. (2004) Nanotechnology's worldview: new space for old cosmologies. Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE Volume, 48 - 54 DOI:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Zelimir Zilnik Film’s

A NEWSREEL ON VILLAGE YOUTH IN WINTER (Zurnal o omladini na selu, zimi)
Yugoslavia, 1967, 15 min, 35 mm, black and white
written and directed by: Zelimir Zilnik
camera: Mihajlo Jovanovic - Cigasound: Dragan Stanojevic
edited by: Dragan Mitrovic, Slobodan Mladenovic
production: Neoplanta film, Novi Sad
Awards at the Short and documentary film festival in Belgrade, 1967: “Zaromet” of the film magazine Ekran and Award of youth jury

LITTLE PIONEERS (Pioniri maleni mi smo vojska prava, svakog dana nicemo ko zelena trava)Yugoslavia, 1968, 18 min, 35 mm, black and white
written and directed by: Zelimir Zilnik
camera: Miodrag Jaksic Fandjo
sound: Dragan Stanojevic
edited by: Dragan Mitrovic
production: Neoplanta film, Novi Sad
Award at the Short and documentary film festival in Belgrade, 1968: Silver Medal “Belgrade”

THE UNEMPLOYED (Nezaposleni ljudi)
Yugoslavia, 1968, 13 min, 35mm
written and directed by: Zelimir Zilnik
camera: Petar Latinovic
edited by: Milica Policevic
production: Neoplanta Film, Novi Sad
festivals and awards: Won an ex aequo Grand Prix of the city of Oberhausen 1968, and Silver Medal “Belgrade” at the Short and documentary film festival in Belgrade, 1968

JUNE TURMOIL (Lipanjska gibanja)
Yugoslavia, 1968, 10 min
directed by: Zelimir Zilnik
camera: Dusan Ninkov
sound: Bogdan Tirnanic, Branko Vucicevic
edited by: Miodrag Petrovic - Sarlo
production: Neoplanta film, Novi Sad
awards: Spezialdiplom der Festspielleitung der Wesdeutsche Kurzfilmtage fur den verkannten Film der XV. Wesdeutschen Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen, 1969.

BLACK FILM (Crni film)
Yugoslavia, 1971, 14 min, 35 mm, black and white
directed by: Zelimir Zilnik
camera: Karpo Acimovic Godina
sound: Dusan Ninkoveditor: Kaca Stefanovic
production: Neoplanta film, Novi SadAward: Award of the critique and award of the evangelistic jury, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 1971.

MARCH 31, 2007, Saturday, 20:00, Gallery of SKC Belgrade
Screening of the movie: SOAP IN DANUBE OPERA
2006, 70 min
authors: Ljilja Dinic, Sofija Petakovic, Zdravko Pranjic, Ljubisa Astepanovic, Muhamed Eljsani, Vitomir Pucar, Salji Hasani, Zoran Borovac, Fjurim Eljsani, Vladimir Savcic, Aljus Heljsani, Muhamed Maroti, Bojan Grcic, Senad Mutapi, Milan Janic
editing: Branislav Klasnja, Marin Malesevic
art director and mentor of video workshop: Zelimir Zilnik
production: Terra film, Novi Sad

As 10th December is Human Rights Day, the 49th anniversary of the U.N.'s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it's a good time to link to, the organization founded by musician Peter Gabriel that, as it explains on its home page, "uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. We empower people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change."Witness recently launched The Hub, which it calls "the first global platform dedicated to human rights media and action." This section of the Witness sites allows uploading and sharing of videos that document human rights abuses around the world. The current "editor's pick" are three videos about which The Hub writes:
"Wael Abbas and other bloggers have been campaigning for an end to police brutality in Egypt by releasing a disturbing series of videos online. Egyptian police officers filmed these three videos on their cellphones. They're so graphic that YouTube temporarily shut down Abbas' channel. It's now back up - but shows the importance of a place like the Hub to house this material in context."


Disappearing bees? A strange hexagonal shape on Saturn? The two may be connected. Bees famously do a 'waggle dance' to tell the rest of the hive where pollen is to be found. This dance has been often observed, but never explained. Barbara Shipman is a theoretical mathematician whose father is a bee scientist. She studied the 'dance' and found it similar to the behaviour of subatomic particles called quarks. It has been suggested that both behave as if they somehow exist in a six-dimensional universe.

Dear Teresa,
Hmmmm. And aren't honeycombs hexagonal, too?

NOEMALAB: Drama, Performance and Digital Multimedia

Here the panellists will talk about different topics: new dance and new media, the theatre and virtual reality, the simulation of space and time in virtual representation, the interactive stage and costumes. All of these are topics that deserve a full length discussion, and certainly this is just a start, and I invite whoever is interested to come and join us at tomorrow morning workshop, at 11 am, here at Supreme Council for Culture, for further details.
See also:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

House of the World Cultures

The House of World Cultures has set itself the task of presenting cultures from outside Europe through their fine arts, theatre, music, literature, film and the media and engaging them in a public discourse with European cultures. The House of World Cultures’ programme focuses on the contemporary arts and current developments in the cultures of Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as on the artistic and cultural consequences of globalisation. It gives priority to projects that explore the possibilities of both intercultural co-operation and its presentation.

Europe NowEurope Next

NAEEM MOHAIEMEN "Fear of a Muslim Planet:The Islamic roots of hip-hop"
"Immigrants should understand from Black people what Islam means in America, because African-Americans have been doing it for 400 years."-- Sohail Daulatzai

[I] work in Dhaka/New York as a visual artist, using video, photography, archive and text. Areas of investigation include national security panic, failed revolutionary movements, and the slippage between utopia and dystopia. I also intervened as part of Visible Collective, doing a multiyear investigation of hysterical conditions.

Break through the Internet Censorship

Amazon Noir - The Big Book Crime

UBERMORGEN.COM and Paolo Cirio/Alessandro Ludovico (at/it) - Amazon Noir- The Big Book Crime (Web project, 2006)
Thieves of the invisible tricked's 'Search Inside the Book'function ... getting away with the complete volumes of copyrightprotected books.

Friday, December 14, 2007

dNA - double Negatives Architecture

smooth compound-eyes -> super-eye
type: research & theory
time: 1995~
location: Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music
sota: direction, programming, drawing
Mitsumasa Yuki: modeling
Utchy: drawing
Ryu1 Nogami: CG
Miki Miyatake: english translation
The notation of "space" has a crucial role in production of new concept of "space". It is the starting point of this project and also a premise which is a core of the concept. It does not mean that a new type of "space" will emerge. The "space" is invariable, but our view point on space changes. Such thought occurs only in our mind, so I decided to focus on how to express the new concept, how to visualize what is actually invisible. For example, in the course of history, "when we acquire a vision for infinity, a map can be produced, or we will be able to understand what 'to reign a territory' means." Or, "in a drawing or a painting rendered in perspective, the perception of an individual is based on the ideal position of the landscape." In other words, the invention or alteration of notation not only expands the concept of space but even causes the shift in social paradigm, although this may sound a little exaggerating. Actually, we use a method to give "space" a notation, and through that methodology we share the understanding of space with others. Although it is a method which we have acquired through education and training, it is merely one of many methods. My expectation is that if I search for different notations for space and use them, I will be able to reach different standpoints.

Global Corruption Barometer

The Global Corruption Barometer is a survey that assesses general public attitudes toward and experience of corruption in dozens of countries around the world.

Video Threats and Official Headscarves in Austria: Islam Createsonly Moderate Concern

Was it a real threat from the Al Qaeda network or was it just emptyboasting? Ever since the emergence of a video with threats againstthe government, Austria has had to recognise that it knows littleabout the Muslims who live in the country. By Paul Jandl

Transborder Immigrant Tool

Transborder Immigrant Tool: A Mexico/U.S. Border Disturbance Art Project by Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cárdenas and Jason Najarro.
The border between the U.S. and Mexico has moved between the virtual and the all too real since before the birth of the two nation-states. This has allowed a deep archive of suspect movement across this border to be traced and tagged - specifically anchored to immigrants bodies moving north, while immigrant bodies moving south much less so. The danger of....
A resource for activists using mobile technology worldwide.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Gate - Part 1

The Gate (or Hole in Space , Reloaded ) is an installation realized for the opening exhibition of the iMAL Center for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels (4 th -10 th October).

Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon.

Part 1/4

Part 2/4

Part 3/4

Part 4/4

Ways of Seeing (digital space)

by serial consign:
...The drawing to the left is by Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena and is entitled Scena Per Angola. It was published in his 1711 text L'Architettura civile and proposed a new two-point perspective system for backdrops in stage design. The drawing communicates the connection between stage (foreground) and setting (background) and ironically it skews and distorts the architecture it schematizes so that the backdrop will read as a more believable perspectival projection from the vantage point of the audience. As the product of a multi-generational family of architects and stage designers, Galli-Bibiena was well aware of the potential for...



Monday, December 10, 2007

Hypermedia Studio

The HyperMedia Studio is a unique research unit within the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television devoted to the collaboration of media, the performing arts and cutting-edge engineering technology in pursuit of new genres of creative expression.
Please also visit the website of the new UCLA Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP), created in 2005, which is an evolution of the work done at the HyperMedia Studio.


DIGIMAG Interview:
If Shakespeare considered the world a theatre, Florian Thalhofer believes the world is a hyperlink system. That is how he represents it, film after film, shooting landscapes, stories and revelations which are “assembled” with his original software, the Korsakow System .
The result is a non-linear and interactive film, where the audience can decide the plot by selecting a series of links which are generated by a key word. The system was created in 2000 to make the film [korsakow syndrom] , dedicated to a degenerative pathology of the brain of alcohol addicts which destroys their short term memory and make them unable to find space-time directions. The stories are fragmented and not necessarily coherent and are the basic model for Florian's not linear narrative.
Think about a theatre plot with audience to pick up the narration and the different stories. A non-linear narration

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Recently these issues has been handled by a US group, The Builders Association. Its manager Marianne Weems specializes in theatre stage design richly equipped with digital technology and wide screens. It is the producer which at the RomaEuropa Festival in 2003 showed the multi-prize-winning movie Alladeen, the non-fairy-tale of call centre operators in Bangalore , India , also winner of an Obie Award.

Locative Media & Instantiations Of Theatrical Boundaries

by Sally Jane Norman
Throughout history, theater has constantly remapped its temporal and spatial boundaries, sometimes reviving old models that resurge with acuity in this reshaping process. Performance rituals underpinned by chronological and topological signifiers offer a valuable framework for studying social and aesthetic implications of locative media art, and for conjecture on the specific communion of perception afforded by its fused time zones and deployable topographies.
New kinds of synchronization of interactive participants may emerge as today’s answer to the dynamics of bygone theatrical celebrations. Conversely, strategies used to instantiate boundaries of theatrical art may inspire new forms of locative media...


Cansei De Ser Sexy (Portugese for "tired of being sexy")

"Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above,"


Brazil's wonderful party dance explosion CSS have a new video for the song Alcohol off of their debut album Cansei De Ser Sexy. The video was directed by contsest winner/awesome director Jared Eberhardt. Watch some bunnies get drunk .

Online Presentation On Nanotechnology


VIDEO: bombs, canons, explosions
click TV-LAB

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jozef Robakowski

Bug Art - Steven R. Kutcher

A Californian entomologist uses insects as living paintbrushes to create abstract art. After loading water-based, non-toxic paints on to the tarsi and abdomens of insects, Steven Kutcher directs his bugs to create their 'masterpieces'.

more dance:

Bodies in Syberspace

DARC – General Direction for Contemporary Architecture and Art MAXXI - National Museum of the XXI Century Arts present NetSpace: Journey into Net Art: Bodies in Cyberspace :: December 4, 2007 - March 2, 2008 :: Opening: December 3, 2007; 12:00 pm MAXXI, via Guido Reni 2f, Rome.
Bodies in Cyberspace is the latest exhibition in the Netspace: Journey into Net Art, a series curated by Elena Giulia Rossi. The project was initiated by the Educational Service and set up with its support. Its aim is to offer the necessary tools to get acquainted with net art, the contemporary artistic art practice that uses the internet as its only creative tool.
Bodies in Cyberspace highlights the body and its dematerialisation in cyberspace. The creation of avatars, out-and-out virtual alter egos, allows for the shaping of new physiognomic characteristics and social identities specifically created for the net community. The six selected works investigate bodily metamorphosis in cyberspace and how “physicality” is moved beyond the screen, the birth of new identities, and the perception of the physical body as transformed through the ease with which technology can affect natural biological systems.
The selected works:
Scalpel (2003) by the French artist Nicolas Clauss is a multi-dimensional interactive painting. Loaded with pictorial references, this project is a reflection on mankind, on the human body, and on the self-awareness.
Big (2001) by the British artists Simon Fields and Katrina McPherson belongs to the “hyper-choreography” genre, an alternative approach to traditional choreography that employs digital technology and the internet to create interactive projects.
Portal (2003) by Yael Kanarek is a work of that combines the traditional techniques of screen design with digital interactivity. The project is the result of the collaboration of the artist with the choreographer Evann Siebens and the composer Yoav Gal. Portal is part of the larger project World of Awe. Commissioned by
Bodydrome (2001) by the Italian artist Marcello Mazzella is an interactive body in the semblance of an imaginary airport that uses the metaphor of travelling to explore the connections between life, art, technology and science.
Elastic Body (2002) by the Japanese artist Yugo Nakamura is a graphic simulation of a flexible body obtained through the translation of the physical laws of the body’s flexibility into computer code.
Eisenstein’s Monster (2007) by the British artist Chris Joseph is an interactive video that recalls Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Sergei Eisenstein’s editing theories. It makes an ironic comment on the effects biotechnology has on mankind. You can create your own digital creature by building a mosaic of the various parts of the facial elements, thereby transforming biological elements into bio-digital ones.
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Chris Joseph » Eisenstein’s Monster in Rome:
[…] Eisenstein’s Monster piece was mentioned on the Turbulence Networked_Performance research blog yesterday (though the author has unfortunately reproduced the curator’s […]

Molleindustria - "Don't hate the media, become the media"

"Don't hate the media, become the media," Molleindustria is an italian team of artists, designers and programmers that aims at starting a serious discussion about social and political implications of videogames. This will involve media activists, net-artists, habitual players and critics and detractors of videogames.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Conceptual neo-dadaistic artistic couple which haunts for grotesque aspects of both institutionalized art world and the very phenomena of art production itself. Their strategy is obvious and almost embarrassing in its literacy and straightforwardness but apparently that is their strongest aspect. Their issues and targets are elemental as well: everyday ethics, not to say moral code booklets, become their source of subject-matterlike vocabulary. The investigation is always and first of all in regards to the psychology of behavior as influenced or provoked by the external aspects of life and politics. Oscillating between use and abuse, advanced manipulation and cold untouchable registration of absurd reality, their work is truly critical and sincere in its desire to uncover the pathologies and hidden normalcies of inter-human relations. Their actions are always well structured and the dramaturgy is almost perfect, precise and calculated, cold and emotionally disturbing, bold and vicious, thoroughly penetrating. It perhaps only needs to be more carefully balanced: the desired scandal properly used as a tool to emphasize a decay of certain values and their sudden corruption.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

7 Ways For Saying Internet NetArt

Juliet Davies
Santiago Ortiz
Lorenzo Pizzanelli
Free Soil
Reinald Druhin


Since about ten years Theo Jansen is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.

Situated Technologies

15. Path taken by a woman in a shopping mall whilst talking on her mobile phone. Courtesy of Horst Kiechle. 14. Section through Logplug, David Greene ©1969 Archigram. Image scan ©2007 Archigram Archives.

Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series

ADAM GREENFIELD ...If you pay careful attention to the way in which people physically address space now, you’ll notice that there have been some significant changes under the condition of am­bient informatics. Some things persist, of course: as long as there are vertical gravity loads, anyway, people will occasionally need places to sit and rest their weary bones, and so forth. But have a look at this rather telling mosaic [15].
This is the drunken-seeming meander of a woman speaking on a mobile phone. I think we all recognize this behavior. I do it myself. It’s a dead giveaway that the person is immersed in a condition of, at best, ambivalent adjacency. You can’t tell me that the woman in this photo is responding to the spatial circumstances around her, except as boundary constraints of the crudest order. She’s surely making space, but her choices in doing so are guided by other logics than those that have governed urban form throughout history, the conditions that undergird our understanding of walls, doors, thoroughfares, intersec­tions, and such. To me, if anything can rightly be called “schizo­geography,” it’s this.

Truth/False=Documentary/Fiction Film?

Shock of the New: Fresh Directions in Documentary

The final discussion panel at True/False held Sunday afternoon was, "The Shock of the New." It was the most passionate documentary panel I've attended in a while—notwithstanding the provocative "21st Century Documentary: Notes on the Evolving Doc Form" panel I attended at Sundance (the official Sundance podcasts are here.)

Toronto Film Festival programmer Thom Powers moderated a panel of four directors whose new documentaries push the boundaries of the doc genre: Arturo Perez Torres (Super Amigos), Fergus O'Brien (The Armstrongs), Brett Morgen (Chicago 10) and Jason Kohn (Manda Bala).

Here are a few highlights of the discussion:

Brett Morgen: "There's a great book on non-fiction film by Karl Heider called Ethnographic Film which refers to a higher truth in non-fiction. And if you know Flaherty's Nanook of the North, what it refers to is the fact that basically Nanook was all staged, but it's capturing what the life is like in way that probably couldn't be done as well in traditional vérité…I think what I'm trying to achieve in my work is achieving a higher—a heightened truth."


Thom Powers: "I feel profoundly nervous when we separate the word documentary from a search for the truth. It concerns me when people use Michael Moore and his blurred tactics to kind of cast dispersions on documentary as a form— 'Well, you can't trust documentary makers, they aren't applying the same type kind of rigor that say Frontline is.'"

Brett Morgen: "It's so archaic…Look, there's truth in fiction and there's truth in non-fiction. When you see a fiction film and there's a moment that works for you, it's because it's communicating a universal truth. And all fiction film is encoded with ethnographic DNA, so to speak. So, I think this notion that fiction is false and non-fiction is real is totally archaic…In the realm of non-fiction, we need to communicate that it is all about truth, and we need people to loosen up…We as documentarians sculpt performances from our characters from vérité in the same way we do in fiction…It is important to know that there's certain media whose sole objective is to expose a "truth." I think that it's important that there's a difference between reading the New York Times (or New York Post, if you're so inclined) or going to a movie theater. And a movie theater is about dreams and about mythology and about shared experiences. And if you want history, read a book."


Arturo Perez Torres: "You go through sometimes a hundred hours and the movie is actually made in the cutting room. When you're shooting you don't really sometimes know what you're going to get. So you are telling a story in a way that's already told in your head. So you're making the story. So I totally agree with Brett. it's totally subjective, I mean that the notion that a documentary represents some truth—the only truth that it represents is that it happened there, but when it's put together it's your own truth in a way. So it's not 'documentary' as we call it truth in that way…With Super Amigos, what we ran into—the subject is so fantastic that we [needed] to treat it in the truest way. So we [shot] fly-on-the-wall style full vérité—no one looks at the camera, the camera doesn't exist. And we would prepare our subjects: 'Please ignore the camera, we're not here.' What it ended up being was the opposite, ironically. [Audiences] would see it as 'that's totally staged' and we were like 'Wow, If they would have looked at the camera once'… So in a way, vérité almost has the opposite effect as what we wanted…"


Joel Heller (asking Thom Powers from the audience): "As a festival programmer…have you given some thought to how to describe the different sub-genres [of documentary films] in ways that help audiences make sense of this huge tent called "documentary"?

Thom Powers: "I should say that despite my role in kind of challenging [the panelists] with my questions up here, I am interested in the genre of documentary as being as wide as possible. I think it's important for us as filmmakers and programmers and journalists to communicate to audiences that a documentary can be different things and it's limiting when people only think of documentary as say a Frontline show. But I think it's incumbent upon the filmmaker, the programmer, other people involved in the film—to communicate what the level of expectation should be when you're coming to this film. As a programmer, that starts with the program notes that we write in the festival guide that express what the style of the film is that you can expect and it's in talking about the films. And I think that there are things that are maybe pushing the hybrid so far that I wouldn't necessarily program them under documentary section, but somewhere else in the festival."

These are not the only docmakers who have been thinking about the evolving genre. While I was chatting with Director Randy Olson (Flock of Dodos) last month, he said he has been wondering why documentaries are not more clearly subgrouped as fact-based documents or opinion pieces. He cites the usefulness of the way newspapers separate their news coverage from the editorial and opinion pages.

As theatrical documentaries continue to grow in visibility, I expect that this conversation is just getting started.

For me, it's refreshing that in contrast to Albert Maysles' insistence that documentary film can and should capture an "objective truth," a new generation of doc makers are exploring how to make the most of the fact that all documentary sub-genres (even vérité) are still ultimately constructions that reflect the filmmakers' perceptions.

As the doc form evolves, the challenge will be how to successfully represent individual documentary films (and set expectations) in an open and accurate way that supports audiences in appreciating each film on its own terms.

Big Screens

ITP Big Screens Testing Round 2 from shiffman on Vimeo.

The Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) is a two-year graduate program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU that explores the creative use of technology. Student creations aim to augment, improve, delight and beautify people's lives. ITP doesn't invent technologies -- we add imagination and invent new uses for existing systems. Areas of focus change as technology, and the interests of students and faculty evolve.


See also:

Passing By

Passing By presents two films that piece together brief segments from many different journeys into ever growing sequences of sights-seen-along-the-way, while looking out of the window of a car, a train, a plane or even just pushing a shopping trolley around the local super market.People from all over the world continue to contribute short clips of their journeys to the Passing By films by uploading their clips to youtube. The journey depicted in each of the films already criss-crosses the globe from Australia to Mongolia, Tokyo to Lake Titicaca, Canada to the Netherlands. Find out more and learn how to add your own clips at

The Other Docs
Opinion: The Other Docs
Does the recently announced shortlist for Best Documentary Oscar nominations really include the best titles of the last year? Documentary director AJ Schnack says no, and calls for a new engagement with the art of nonfiction filmmaking. By AJ Schnack
When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its shortlist for Best Documentary Feature Oscar on November 19th, many in the documentary community were shocked. Despite a year of debate over new eligibility rules which were supposed to ensure that Oscar nominees were theatrical documentaries, and not television docs in disguise, the Academy's screening committee nonetheless selected just six films which had pursued a true national theatrical release (complete with advertising, screenings for critics, and reporting of box office figures). Some were clearly never more than television pieces and were rushed through their required theatrical release in order to get to their scheduled date with cable TV. At least three of the films have already aired on television in the US.
But it was much more than the TV-versus-theatrical issue which prompted emails and text messages and phone conversations containing words like "sad," "disgusted," "appalled," and "abomination." It was the films themselves—both the ones named, and the ones overlooked. This year, the feeling of anger and despair wasn't prompted by a single missing film—like Hoop Dreams or Crumb in years past—but by the exclusion of a whole group of films, many of which pushed creative and stylistic boundaries or marked the arrival of a major new talent.
Instead of recognizing even a few of these films, the Academy—following the lead of the International Documentary Association, which had announced its finalists just days before—ignored them all, including such widely acclaimed films as Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Billy the Kid, Protagonist, Manufactured Landscapes, In the Shadow of the Moon, The Devil Came on Horseback, We Are Together, Deep Water, and My Kid Could Paint That, among others.
That's not to say that every film on the shortlist is an outrage. At least a handful are completely deserving, led by Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side, which won Best Documentary at Tribeca this year and is the only one of the year's major festival juried winners to appear on the shortlist. But none of the dozen or so documentaries I personally believe are truly the cream of 2007 made it to the shortlist. Not one. Full disclosure: My own film, Kurt Cobain About a Son, qualified this year under the Academy's rules. We were not shortlisted. You’d be excused for viewing this commentary as a reaction to personal rejection, though I will say that I always thought the odds ran against us, considering the Academy's historical reluctance to recognize documentaries about popular music figures—or biographical films in general. But if you still think this is a case of sour grapes, I can accept that.
However, my reaction to the Academy's choices stemmed not from my feelings about my own film, but from what the list revealed about how the Academy sees this particular moment in documentary history. We find ourselves at a crossroads, in the midst of a new wave of nonfiction filmmaking in which filmmakers are utilizing craft and filmmaking tools in new, exciting, and sometimes experimental ways. The old rulebook, which treats nonfiction as some specialized offshoot of journalism, has been thrown out. It's an incredibly exciting time to be working within the genre.
Yet, here in this remarkably fertile period in nonfiction filmmaking, these are the choices the Academy and the IDA have made on the two important questions currently facing the documentary community at large: Should we prefer a competent, conventionally styled film to one that swings for the fences, one whose highs hit us in unexpected ways, even if it occasionally falters in its risk-taking? The Academy and the IDA have chosen to stand on the side of conventional and competent. Even more importantly, should we favor a film's message over its craft? Here again, both the Academy and the IDA have answered resoundingly. Craft always comes in last. And this is perhaps the key to what's wrong with documentary filmmaking today. Topic trumps filmmaking. That's why there isn’t a single craft award at the decade-old Full Frame Film Festival. Nor is there a single craft award given annually by the IDA. Nothing for editing, cinematography, composing, or direction. Yet Full Frame does offer an award to the film "that best portrays women in leadership," and another to the film "that best exemplifies the values and relevance of world religions and spirituality," and still another honoring filmmakers who "lay bare the seeds and mechanisms that create war." On Friday, the IDA will present its annual award for "best use of television news footage." No award for creating your own, however.
Why worry, you might ask. Indeed, why should any serious artist be concerned with the whims of organizations which have proven over time to be more interested in recognizing the best cause than the best filmmaking? An email I received recently from a top commissioning editor offers an answer: "The Academy provides about the only benchmark by which the public can judge documentary film." The editor went on to note how difficult it is to explain to non-documentary friends that the genre encompasses more than just the "cut-and-paste archive film"—that it can also mean stories told in creative, inventive ways.
And high-profile organizations like the Academy and the IDA aren’t the only ones taking such a narrow view of nonfiction filmmaking. At a seminar on criticism of nonfiction films last week at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam, longtime critic John Anderson asked, "If there were a documentary that cured cancer, would you as a critic turn round and say, 'Well, it may cure cancer, but I don't like the cinematography, it's too long, and it has no theatrical potential?' Are you then doing a good job?" Leaving aside the improbability of such a scenario, what resulted was a group of international film critics all pondering whether one should criticize filmmaking skill if it meant the risk of "damaging the worthy message you agree with." Once again, topic trumps filmmaking. We need critics to dig deep within themselves and write about films from the perspective of their filmmaking, without such singleminded focus on the worthiness of their subjects. We need critics who can describe the art of creating nonfiction instead of just writing summaries of the events that transpire in the documentaries they review. We need a movement of filmmakers, producers, commissioners, and others from within the documentary community to take a stand for craft, to launch a campaign for craft, to set aside tired notions of righteous causes. While the social justice tradition always has, always will, and always should exist in documentary, many of us view nonfiction filmmaking as more than a teaching tool—we see it as something that can be entertaining, something that can be artistic, something that can push stylistic boundaries, something that can reveal the human condition in unexpected ways, and something that can rival narrative as a filmgoing experience. The future of nonfiction is to stand on the side of artists. And that future is now.
AJ Schnack is a filmmaker and writer living in Los Angeles. His nonfiction work includes Kurt Cobain About A Son and Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns), and he writes All These Wonderful Things, a blog primarily devoted to news and issues in the nonfiction community.


As a filmmaker, Oscar winner Jessica Yu is smart, adventurous, and utterly fearless. You'd have to be to make a talking-head documentary inspired by the 5th century B.C. playwright Euripides (an idea proposed by the Carr Foundation) and then decide to outfit key scenes with wooden rod puppets speaking ancient Greek. But her new film, Protagonist, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and gets a theatrical release November 30 from IFC Films, is not high-concept marionette theater, it's a fascinating investigation of what drives passionate people to acts of radical self-negation—and of the dangerous certainty that fuels fanatical belief.Narrated by a bank robber, a Baader-Meinhof terrorist, a martial-arts zealot, and an evangelical missionary "cured" of his homosexuality, the film is structured like a modern Attic tragedy, with puppets created by Janie Geiser acting out dialogue from The Bacchae as these four men recount their agonized and ultimately cathartic life experiences. What's surprising in the candid, cross-cut interviews is how similar the dramatic arc of their stories are, and how often their accounts overlap and resonate in unexpected ways. New Jersey native Mark Pierpont, for instance, recounts his struggle to reconcile his queer sexuality with an all-loving but authoritarian Christian God, while political idealist Hans-Joachim Klein describes how his seditious activities in the'70s grew largely out of disdain for his own almighty father, a German police officer sympathetic to Nazi ideology.In one sense, Protagonist is a film about extremes, and about how far one can go in singleminded pursuit of a goal or a fixed idea before disaster forces an attitude of clarity. One of the four participants is Yu's own husband, Iron & Silk author Mark Salzman, who as a much-bullied Connecticut youth became wildly obsessed with the art of self-defense after glimpsing the TV show Kung Fu. And then there's Joe Loya, a victim of horrific abuse who grew up to become a Nietzsche-quoting stickup artist and all-around badass. (Now he's a journalist for Pacific News Service.) Yu interleaves these tales of to-the-brink-and-back obsession to ingenious effect, pairing her subjects' soul-baring with chapter headings like "Threshold" and "Resolution," while teasing out the connection between trauma and terror, male identity and the ascetic mastery of the body.Of course, Yu is no stranger to the varied ways that torment and anguish drive creative enterprise and self-reflection. In 1997, she won an Academy Award for Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien, her intimate portrait of the polio-stricken Berkeley poet who was confined to an iron lung. Two years later, she made the HBO documentary The Living Museum, about an arts community based at a psychiatric hospital in Queens. And in 2004 came In the Realms of the Unreal, a lyrical postmortem on self-taught artist Henry Darger, a reclusive Chicago janitor whose enormous cut-out-doll tableaux and mythic urtexts have become iconic examples of outsider art. Filmmaker spoke with Yu about Greek tragedy, human nature, and the creative challenges she faced making Protagonist.
Yu is the Academy Award-winning director of the short Breathing Lessons as well as the director of In the Realms of the Unreal and The Living Museum, and is a member of the new generation of doc-makers expanding the genre with animation, puppets and non-linear storytelling. I was curious to find out how Yu responded to the question posed by her funders: "Would you like to direct a documentary about Euripides?" I also took this opportunity to ask Yu, "When does a documentary cease to be a documentary?"
See also:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"BREATHING LESSONS:The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien" A film by Jessica Yu

BREATHING LESSONS, a documentary by award-winning film maker Jessica Yu, explores the unique world of Mark O'Brien, the poet-journalist who has lived for four decades paralyzed in an iron lung. Incorporating the vivid imagery of O'Brien's poetry and his candid, wry, and often profound reflections on work, sex, death and God, this provocative documentary asks: What is a life worth living? By presenting O'Brien's life from his point of view, the film provides an intimate window into the reality of a life of severe disability, as well as an illuminating portrait of a remarkable artist.

The distributor of the Video Tape of BREATHING LESSONS is Fanlight Productions in Boston.

Mark O'Brien, poet, journalist and inspirational voice in the movement of disabled people to lead independent lives, died early Sunday morning, July 3, in his home in Berkeley, Calif. Mr. O'Brien was 49 years old.
Born in Boston and raised in Sacramento, Calif., O'Brien was six years old when he contracted polio which left him paralyzed from the neck down. At the time of his death, he was one of some 100 polio survivors in the United States who still used an iron lung to breathe.
The 1997 Academy Award-winning documentary, "Breathing Lessons," directed by Jessica Yu, described O'Brien's long struggle to escape hospitalization and his often comic determination to live on his own and work as a writer.
In 1978 O'Brien moved from Fairmont State Hospital to Berkeley, after being accepted as a freshman at the University of California. He became a familiar figure on the streets of Berkeley, navigating his motorized guerney between the campus and his tiny apartment which housed his iron lung.
O'Brien received his BA in English literature in 1982 with the support of note takers, home health-care attendants and the then-fledgling Center for Independent Living.
After repeated efforts, O'Brien gained admission to UC's Graduate School of Journalism, helping to set a precedent for severely disabled applicants to state universities. Although a serious health setback prevented him from pursuing his graduate degree, O'Brien began his career as a journalist with the publication of an essay on what leading an independent life means in Co-Evolution Quarterly in 1979.
Initially, he composed his pieces by dictation, then he learned how to type with a mouth stick, first on an electric typewriter, later on a word processor.
His first collection of poems, "Breathing", was published by Little Dog Press in 1990. O'Brien considered it one of his proudest accomplishments. He completed two later volumes of poetry -- "The Man in the Iron Lung" (1997) and "Love and Baseball" (1998), both published by Lemonade Factory, an independent small press he co-founded in Berkeley with Susan Fernbach.
At the time of his death, O'Brien was completing an autobiography.
A long-time editor of Pacific News Service, O'Brien published essays, book reviews, news stories for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Examiner, and the National Catholic Reporter. He wrote about sports, religion (he was an ardent opponent of euthanasia), his life-changing two hour session with a sex therapist, his experience with Steven Hawking, and the culture and politics of being disabled. (In one piece he writes about coping with the fleas from an alley cat that shared his one-room apartment for many years.)
His twin passions, according to film-maker Jessica Yu, were baseball (specifically the San Francisco Giants), which gave him entree to the sports culture of his peers, and Shakespeare. O'Brien delivered the 1998 commencement address to graduates of Berkeley's English Department.
As an advocate of the "independent living" movement, O'Brien emphasized the universal need for human beings to have a measure of control over their own lives. "I want people to think of disability as a social problem...Everyone becomes disabled unless they die first."
O'Brien spoke candidly on film of his struggle to overcome loneliness. "You can't make someone love you -- you have to be lovable yourself," he said, adding that he wasn't convinced he knew how to do that.
By the late 1990's, O'Brien's failing health restricted him to the iron lung for all but a few hours of the week. But he continued a correspondence through Email and regular postings on The Well with a world-wide circle of friends and admirers.
It was his sense of longing that connected him so powerfully with others, said PNS executive editor Sandy Close. "He demanded and expected very little, and maintained a sense of wonder about everything good that came to him."
In "Breathing Lessons," O'Brien acknowledged his gratitude to his parents, Helen and Walter O'Brien, for the care and love they gave him. He remained at home until he was 27.
"His Catholic faith -- a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe hung always within sight -- sharpened his humor and left visitors wondering who was crippled, Mark or themselves," said Close.
"Disability causes me to believe more strongly in a duality between body and spirit," he said in "Breathing Lessons," "...cause if I'm a soul, I'm just as good as you. And if I'm a body, then I'm up shit creek, ain't I?"
In addition to his father, Mark O'Brien is survived by a brother, Ken, a sister-in-law, Karen, of Granite Bay; a sister and niece Rachel and Alicia Jordan of Colfax, Ca.; and his collaborator Susan Fernbach and his attendant Bruce Ward.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, July 10, at 2 pm at Newman Hall, 2700 Dwight Way, Berkeley, Ca. O'Brien's family and friends have established a scholarship fund at UC Berkeley's English Department for disabled students of literature.


It is Fine (co-directed by David Brothers) is Glover's second trip behind the camera since 2005, when his debut What is It? confronted viewers with radically cryptic narrative and a range of disabled actors. His follow-up pushes the envelope even further, consisting primarily of the horrendous psycho-sexual fantasies of its late star and writer Steven C. Stewart -- a man severely afflicted by cerebral palsy.
The film was written by Utah writer-actor Steven C. Stewart, who also appears in What Is It?. He died of complications from cerebral palsy in 2001, only one month after principal filming wrapped. Glover said in an online chat that "it's an autobiographical, psycho-sexual, fantastical retelling of [Stewart's] point-of-view of life."
"It is the second part of a Glover-directed trilogy about the physically handicapped. Glover's aim is to show that people with less-than-perfect bodies are as human as anyone else. It's a worthy and so-far successful crusade." V.A. Musetto New York Post
“Glover and Brothers force you to see this crippled person as a suave leading man. To say the film is weird would be cliché, it's way beyond that the film drew laughs and gasps from the audience. The odd thing about it all - it works. It's actually refreshing to see someone who actually has cerebral palsy in a film rather than some actor playing someone with cerebral palsy…" Chris GoreFilm Threat
What Is It?
What Is It? is the first in a planned trilogy, to be followed by It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine! and It Is Mine. A film whose title is unlikely to be answered for most viewers by the time it's over. The plot sounds like what you'd expect from Glover -- a cast composed largely of people with Down's Syndrome, a large helping of explicit sex, a man in blackface protesting that he's Michael Jackson and the frequent and surprisingly upsetting destroyal of snails with salt...


A 16-billion-pixel image of Leonardo's _Last Supper_ has been posted to the web. The site allows unbelievable zooming in.View the painting:<>

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


“The Moment of Terror is the Beginning of Life” Front 242
“Only Anthropophagy unites us. Socially. Economically.Philosophically.” Anthropophagite Manifesto 1928"

Imagine you wake up one morning and your country has dissapeared. Your bed and house are the same and your neighborhood is almost the same, but your neighbors seem to have changed and the city is changing even as you get out of bed. On the news a man that you do not recognize is making an inaugural presidential speech, introducing a flag and national anthem you do not recognize and he is speaking about a country, yours, that you do not know. Very soon you will begin to change as well, for with this shift everything from your religion to your education, your understanding of your family and basically your entire value system will be influenced by the changes outside and effect you in ways you could not even begin to imagine last night. In less than a decade you will notice yourself speaking in a different accent and addressing the world in a different manner than your mother taught you and soon you will not even recognise yourself and the transformation will be complete.This is not the scenario of a B-Grade science fiction film or some bad pulp fiction novel but the reality of so many countries in the world following the end of the cold war. The citizens of countries like South Africa, East Germany, USSR, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and so forth have all experienced, within living memory these very extreme changes and in many instances even the borders of their countries have been redesigned."This is an excerpt from the original text. For the full text go to
photo: Corner Piece, 1994 / Security signs, tape / 200 x 200 x 200 cm / Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery London. Photo: Stephen White


For five years, Andrew McAllister has trailed the words of a man he'll never meet.
By Denise Grollmus Published: November 14, 2007
Photos by AndreW McAllister
"I found myself as much in awe of the landscapes he chose as the words he wrote," says McAllister.
For most people who drove by, it was nothing more than another abandoned Akron building with a bit of misspelled graffiti scrawled across the side. "Go Vegitarian. The Better Way, Truly!" announced the bright red letters.
But to Andrew McAllister, it was something special. This wasn't just another tagger. Despite the misspelling, the message — juxtaposed with a McDonald's billboard — had been carefully written, as though the author were a second-grader practicing his best penmanship. "The language was so playful and poetic," McAllister says. "And the simple handwriting and choice of color made it so generic, which is the opposite of what most graffiti artists try to achieve."
McAllister knew it wasn't just some dumb kid with a penchant for mischief. This person was trying to say something about himself and the world around him. If graffiti ever had its own version of an outside artist, this was it. And McAllister wanted to know who he was.
A professional photographer, McAllister had always appreciated Akron's crumbling landscape. He'd lug his camera around town, shooting his subjects, from rock bands to artists, against the city's grittier backgrounds, often just out of view of the main drags.
That's how he came to see the pattern of cryptic messages, always written in the same hand and sometimes scrawled in the playful stanzas of an e.e. cummings poem.
"Untended Wild — Natural = Unreal Waste," shouted a building adjacent to the Akron Art Museum.
"Hypocrits Hell" was accompanied by an arrow pointing at St. Vincent's Church.
"Taskmaster (so called) Police/Mankind does not like/Any of you! Hates you/All that goes with you," angrily announced a concrete wall lining a once-overgrown field that had been recently trimmed.
"After I found four, I thought, 'What the hell,'" McAllister says. "I started photographing every one I could find."
For the next five years, he spent weekends in search of the graffiti by the man McAllister would come to regard only as "the unknown writer." He eventually uncovered more than 40 pieces.
But they weren't easy to find. McAllister had to think like his phantasmal friend. "I created a mental map of the places I'd found his stuff in," McAllister says. "It was weird too, because they were always just off of main roads or intersections, just slightly hidden from plain sight, and they were always on buildings in questionable shape. I just developed an eye and a sense for this stuff."
McAllister's scavenger hunt took him to places few in Akron had ever seen — beneath bridges, along railways, into dumps obscured by woods, down narrow alleyways. It was always an eerie feeling to stand alone in these desolate spots, trailing this ghost. "I found myself as much in awe of the landscapes he chose as the words he wrote," McAllister says. "He has a real knack for picking places where his stuff will never be painted over, like train cars just sitting in the middle of the woods."
Most of the messages were poetic ponderings about nature and the human spirit, from "Beasts Don't Have Ponder! Word(s) They Are The Truly Innocent" to "Persons are not God." But some took a disturbingly misogynistic turn, referring to women as witches, bitches, or "WBitches." "Witches Are/Witches there/All the Same,/Bitches," the artist wrote.
"It kind of started to freak me out," McAllister says. "At first, I thought this must be some sort of literate anarchist type. Then I thought maybe it's just some madman off his meds."
Soon, McAllister found himself obsessing over the unknown writer's identity. Everyone in Akron became a suspect — from the dishwasher at his favorite diner to the loner at the bar just before happy hour. "I figured it had to be a man, he had to be literate, and he had to hate women," McAllister says. "I had a few hunches, but none of them ever came to fruition."
He decided to hold an art show, hoping to draw out his subject. He displayed around 20 of his best photos — a sojourn into the heart of darkness, not only of the unknown writer, but of Akron. Still, no one came forth to take credit for the massive body of work. "I was hoping that maybe it would encourage him to write a message just for me," McAllister says.
After a while, the unknown writer's productivity began to slow. McAllister suspects he moved to another city. "There were always periods when he'd just disappear," McAllister says.
But he did inspire a slew of copycats. "I found one in downtown that says, 'Industry is a weapon in many ways,'" McAllister says. "It's just stupid. I know that he'd never write something that juvenile and in such plain sight."
On a windy November day, McAllister climbs beneath a bridge near the Towpath Trail. Along the walls, the unknown writer has left three messages. McAllister reads them aloud as if he's reciting Robert Frost.
As he begins to snap pictures, you get a creepy sense of the unknown writer's presence. You try to create an image of a real man in your mind, but it's fuzzy and intangible. "I'd be disappointed to find out who he is now," McAllister says. "It's more fun not to know."

"Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film" By Erik Barnouw


Animated Painting
(1904) American
B&W : Short film
Directed by Edwin S. Porter
Cast: (unknown)
Edison Manufacturing Company production; distributed by Edison Manufacturing Company. / Cinematography by Edwin S. Porter. / © 16 February 1904 by [?] Thomas A. Edison or Edison Manufacturing Company? [H42209]. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. / The production was shot on 12 February 1904. 30 (16mm) feet.
Trick film.
Survival Status: Print exists in the Library of Congress film archive (paper print collection) [35mm paper positive].
An artist is painting a sunrise at sea. After a few finishing touches he stands back and admires the painting. The sun immediately commences to rise. From all appearances it becomes very warm as the sun rises, and the artist is seen to throw open the window and fan himself furiously. The climax is reached when the artist rushes from the room and returns with a large tub of water and a pair of tongs. Seizing the sun as it soars in the air he plunges it into the tub, causing a great cloud of steam to rise.


Selected Artworks.
-Listen to the radio station
-Martin Takken makes use of the do-it-yourself principle that is increasingly popular, both on the internet and in exhibitions. His Es Ist Ein Gesamtkunstwerk concept is a collective, constantly changing artwork that is made by international artists. Every day a different selection of colors is available, the kind of brush changes every hour, and various rules imposing limits or creating new possibilities are introduced and modified at random moments. Each day's results are stored in the archive and can be purchased for 25 euro, but you can also make a print for yourself.
-The work MythEngine by Nancy Mauro-Flude is a good example of this. MythEngine is a webcast that transmits live video and stills. Referring to our compulsion to tell stories, MythEngine shows how over time, with the rise of digital photography and video, our collective memory is increasingly becoming a database.

Monday, December 3, 2007

at Novi Sad, 11th international video festival videomedeja, The Museum of Vojvodina,

borderXing exercise.
The Status Project
"The Status Project is an expert system for identity mutation," says net art pioneer, Heath Bunting. Presently available as an online database, it forces the user to describe themselves through a set of multiple choice questions. While the Status Project currently maps the systems that control our documented identities, Heath is developing software which guides us through the process of building and modifying these official documents. With effects in the real world- ranging from getting a Tesco club card to appearing on the electoral register, the artists' ultimate aim is to apply for a passport with his new identity.
In this exhibition, the artist will present 5 maps of the system, one of which will be custom made for the Nottingham psychogeographic walk. His newly authored Status Manual, containing diagrams of the system, will also be on display during the exhibiton.
The opening will take place on Wednesday 28th Nov at 6pm in Room 1 at Broadway.

"Aquabatics" literally translates ‘walking with water’.
In 2002, I set out to critique the evolutionary technicity of human beings by developing the practice of Aquabatics underwater. Aquabatics is the term I use to describe the research between contemporary performance praxis, commercial diving operation and life support protocol. Aquabatics explores the psychological states, physical conditions and ideas that have grown out of an experimental process of inhabiting an aqueous environment – literally and metaphorically. Such a practice enables discussions of being, life and the critical climate in the way that it inspires correlations between/across various systems of our Universe. Aquabatics research is a unique, unconventional and innovative practice that draws on many histories and newly combined disciplines to propose a new aqueous philosophy. Development of the practice included trans-disciplinary documentation on the changes of my cognitive awareness, the aesthetics of care surrounding the practice, the spiritual journey and proprioceptive responses of the body underwater as a live(d) practice-as-research challenge. Commitment to this strategy enabled me to psychometrically profile and map new territories in human performance behaviours and limits in extreme environments as new works of live art. Inadvertently, Aquabatics proposed new aqueous philosophy to situate the human body in/of/as a body of water. (Pell, 2005)

NEW NEW! 2007

New New! 2007 International Festival of Unusal Music amd Film
Watch This!


JezusMaria! (PL)
Visual Artists/Performers

Teatr Usta Usta (Mouth to Mouth Theatre)
2xu/Usta Usta