A 1943 “camouflage class” at NYU – students prepare for jobs in the Army or in industry by making models from aerial photographs. The models are themselves photographed and used to develop camouflage schemes; simulacrum of a landscape, encrypted with the fantasies of war.
A lot of artists have grappled with the effects of facsimile in this context – from Don Delillo’s most photographedbarn in America, to the photography of Oliver Boeburg and Thomas Demand. In each case, with the continued replication of a scene comes a peeling-away of its original signification; uncanny and auratic, it becomes a place of unbridled potential, unsettled and pushed into a realm of the fictive and imaginary, hitherto camouflaged in geometries and landscapes of the everyday.
“The sharp upswing in all of this record-keeping – both active and passive – are redefining one of the core elements of what it means to be human, namely to remember. We are moving towards a culture that has outsourced this essential quality of existence to machines, to a vast and distributed prosthesis. This infrastructure exists right now, but very soon we’ll be living with the first adult generation whose entire lives are embedded in it…For the next generation, it will be impossible to forget it, and harder to remember.”
a quick reminder – if you’ve yet to read Matt Jones’ presentation on new media, you can find it below. On a less related note, a post on sdmybt distilling urbanism from films like Aliens and Gremlins 2 is worth a look as well.
Hey everyone, thought this event might interest some of you. I’ll definitely be going.
Here’s the official invite for the March 14th eatART event at the Great Northern Way Campus.
We’ll be showing off all of our large-scale New Media sculptures including The Mondo Spider,Daisy the Solar Powered Tricycle, the containR and the Heliomatrix. From 7pm-9pm is family time and we’re encouraging people to bring their kids, parents and grandparents. I’ve attached the poster and the press release. Please forward this invite to all those who you think may be interested. I promise it will be an exhilarating new media experience.
Hi everyone: My name is Gisele Baxter; some of you already know me from other classes. I’m the Faculty Sponsor for this course and so am responsible for grading your term papers/projects. I’ve been at UBC since the dawn of time 1997, teaching sessionally in the English Department; my teaching/research interests include 20th/21st century literary and cultural studies, pop culture, near-future dystopias, children’s literature, the Gothic inheritance, gender studies, and composition (academic and technical writing).
I want to establish some basic guidelines for the term paper/project, so that it can be evaluated fairly and so that it will enable the course to meet the standards of an honours-level seminar. I’d like some feedback, and any questions or suggestions you might have, so I’m posting the material below, and am happy to field questions either online or perhaps via a visit to class (that was supposed to happen much earlier in term but various elements of the unforeseen intervened).
The topic of your paper will be up to you to develop, with the broad guideline that it should engage with issues/texts relevant to the concerns/approach of the course. Beyond that, there are some considerations given that this is a senior seminar: all papers should be 8-12 double-spaced pages in length, should employ at least four secondary sources (in other words, should have a strong research component and go beyond just close textual reading), should employ some recognizable and relevant critical/theoretical framework (i.e. should go beyond “different but similar” comparisons or subjective responses) should use MLA documentation/citation, and should be technically proficient (i.e. should be revised and proofread thoroughly before submission). That still leaves a lot of flexibility: you might choose to pursue cross-disciplinary/multi-disciplinary approaches, incorporation of visual/multimedia material, some subjective situation as the writer (of the sort normally discouraged in academic writing), etc. I’m happy with collaborative projects so long as the collaborators are happy with getting each the same grade; in such cases the paper would be 12-16 pages long and would require at least six secondary sources.
Any questions/suggestions? Post them here as comments (I am very comfortable with online discussion), or email me at email@example.com; my office is Buchanan Tower 427 (poster for this course and Darth Vader postcard on the door), and my office hours are MWF 10-10:50 a.m. and by appointment.
“Just as the exponential prolifreation of mechanical and electric inventions is predicated on the development of certain few fundemental technologies, the elaboration of a toolkit of parts which might then be recombined ad infinitum, so is the mass importing and uploading of data onto the intertubes the preliminary step towards future recombinative capacities we can only begin to imagine at this point.”
Jonathan’s post on sampling and the new forms of expression it enables immediately brought to mind another music video – Chairlift’s ‘evident utensil’. In this case though, the act of sampling is more intrinsic and self-referential, denoted by a glitched and pixelated lag-time between established frames; instead of being constructed from external aggregations, the work, in a sense, generates elements of itself through sampling its past incarnations.
Perhaps it was merely the coincidence of my receiving this link right as I was attempting to chug the rich phillosophical soup of Me++, but this music/video, aside from being the best thing I’ve ever seen on the internet (I’m really into sampling), I thought was a beautiful instantiation of the consequences of total networking and the pseudo-eternal retention of past virtual selves we’ve been discussing in seminar. Just as the exponential prolifreation of mechanical and electric inventions is predicated on the development of certain few fundemental technologies, the elaboration of a toolkit of parts which might then be recombined ad infinitum, so is the mass importing and uploading of data onto the intertubes the preliminary step towards future recombinative capacities we can only begin to imagine at this point. What the artist, Kutiman, is doing here is the logical extension of Grandmaster Flash’s hiphop methodology, but something about his sensitivity to video and the lives he is remixing makes this, in my eyes, something wholly new.
I guess I can’t embed this so the link is here then: Thru-You.com.
The first game of manhunt in the newyear will be tomorrow (Wednesday) after class at 6:30. If you want to play, try and make it down to the front of Burrard Skytrain Station at 6:10.
Also, I wanted to bring up the classic 1993 Super-nintendo game “Shadowrun” as its gameplay is very similar to Neuromancer. In the game you play as Jake Armitage, a mecernary who uses a Cyberdeck to hack into the matrices of corporations. You can hire other shadowrunners or henchmen to back you up as explore a decrepit Seattle filled with armed cyberpunk gangs. Similar to the “Necromancer” in Neuromancer, Shadowrun is filled with mystical/magical elements as the plot details a future where magic has returned to the world, and the opening scene in the game is your character being assasinated in the street then revieved from the dead by a shapeshifting lupine figure. Anyway, now that I think about it, I can’t believe I spent a portion of my childhood playing this wacked out game! Its seriously awesome…
Oh, and heres that youtube video “They’re made out of meat” (an adapatation of the Terry Bisson shortstory) that was brought up when we were discussing the notion of post-humanism and the name “Case” in Neuromancer.
Vasco Mourão’s intricate line drawings suspend architecture in the dream-static of the blank page. Lines accrete in labyrinthine structures of rooftop landscapes and cathedral towers – an infrastructure tangled in infinite regress: