・Intericonicity and Post-Medium Image Practices: On the Self-Invention of Online Video Art / Nina Gerlach (University of Basel)
・Pre-Recorded Conversations with the Earth / James Jack (Tokyo University of the Arts)
・Moving Portraits / Adam Wiseman
Chair and discussant: Morihiro Satow (Kyoto Seika University)
Intericonicity and Post-Medium Image Practices: On the Self-Invention of Online Video Art / Nina Gerlach (University of Basel)
My talk deals with the theoretical basis of a currently exhibited and discussed online video art. Against the backdrop of an aesthetic discourse theory (Rosen, Krüger, Preimesberger 2003), which assumes that, alongside texts on the theory of art, the images themselves also create their theory, the presentation asks for the visual discursively generated art theory of online videos.
The increased accumulation of inter-iconic references within the exhibited and discussed videos turns this phenomenon into the central focus of the visual discourse analysis. From this perspective, the online video proves to be characterized by a post-medium self-image. In order to gain knowledge of the character of the new media condition, online videos compare their own media imagery with other media imagery (e.g. film, graphical user interface) within the online video itself. In this case, intermedial image references are clearly not intended to be understood in line with Greenberg's view as an aesthetic opponent to modernism (1981), but rather as a necessary visual instrument of its production.
Additionally, intra-iconicity, which is here the reference created between one online video and other online videos, serves as an aid for visualizing critical cultural positions aimed at the medium in its mass media usage. Through the invariable presentation of self-promoting amateur videos, intra-iconic practices prove simultaneously to be a means for generating a mass-media stereotype. The creation of art is therefore not only bound up with Krauss' notion of the "reinvention of the medium" (1999), but also with the "reinvention of its mass media usage".
Pre-Recorded Conversations with the Earth / James Jack (Tokyo University of the Arts)
What happens to millions of pre-recorded analog moments that made moving images in the past? Artist Maika‘i Tubbs transforms these videotapes into a jungle of organic growth where whirling rings of videocassette tape become dandelions. One black stem pokes out of a melted VHS cassette case and mutates into a brown flower of stretched tape. This weed and the digital photographs of it have grown out of the ironic blackness surrounding analog and digital spaces. What if those surrounding spaces are the gaps that compose our environment, the web that connects moving images and sounds without immediate functionality?
Literary scholar Timothy Morton has discussed nature as that which cannot be seen directly, that which can only be glimpsed anamorphically. If nature is an angle, or a distortion, then the trees in our mind may be impeding our view. In my own video work, a participant stoops down to the ground softly speaking; then waits for a response from the earth. After ten seconds of silence, the interlocutor continues. Reflective questions are posed by these conversations with the earth: What does the earth think of our attempt to understand it?
This paper addresses issues provoked by looping analog video into new cycles of growth and holding conversations with the impossible subject. From videocassette garbage and radiated soil a rethinking of artistic practice in the post-medium condition may be possible. I suggest these artists encapsulate post-analog and seemingly digital “waste” as their medium for both playing with and being played by nature.
Moving Portraits / Adam Wiseman
Interested in how modern technology can change the vocabulary of traditional documentary photography, Wiseman uses a combination of documentary portraiture techniques and available technological advances in high quality video to take “filmed portraits” of his subjects.
Paradoxically, in the interest of capturing an honest moment, Wiseman lets the subject believe that he or she is having their picture taken when in-fact they are being filmed. The portraits are then edited and only include sections from a one-minute period where the photographer leaves and the subject is alone. Once the filmed part is completed Wiseman tells the subject what he has done and proceeds to create a traditional portrait where subject and photographer collaborate.
The result is a series of subtle yet intense moments, the viewer is immediately engaged. Appealing to the voyeur in all of us we stare but also feel uncomfortable when we realize we are there, with the subject, within their intimate space.