Sunday, 28 April 2013

Future World Machines

I can never place why dystopian space-age imagery is seemingly so important to 80's and 90's British youth culture. The gritty reflections on emerging computer technology, the artists looked forward and saw a sinister side to technology; technology which is now so embedded in our daily lives we cannot see beyond it. A reaction to the failure of the utopian visions spun off from the moon landings and the promise of the space race. An uneasiness between the interaction of the biological and the technological. The presence of lurking monolithic threats of the cold war powers and the imagined potential for complete destruction followed by the soviet collapse and the potential for complete restructuring. The assertion of the power of personal fantasy anchoring the artists, the creation of a tactile world on and beneath the surface of an irrelevant suburbia. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

From boredom to crisis

The easy life, plentiful money and an obscure but un-obscured view to the future. The feeling of more of the same, just integrate ones-self into the smooth functioning system to find ones own path, the aim, to eclipse the opportunities and achievements of the generation before. This all felt possible and achievable, or the environment made it seem so.

Someone's business fails and you can’t get a job and you cant afford to pay your bills and your food seems to get more expensive every week. The official statistics back up your feeling that things have become harder and more expensive, the tone of the politicians and the texture of the mediated slogans imbue the world with a pessimistic hue. A helplessness in the face of larger uncontrollable technological / cultural / social forces.

The power of data, the unstoppable growth of computer memory capacity and of processing speeds. The shrinking of device-size. The move to ‘THE [heavenly] CLOUD’ the virtual-virtual astral plane. We have no need to physically retain our own data anymore, in true capitalist fashion this job is outsourced to lower cost locations, in data centres on business parks in Slough or Palo Alto or Mumbai or wherever.   

Since 2007 all we’ve heard is that there is a crisis. There is a crisis happening now, in our world all around us, although we can’t always see it or feel it, it is there in the images and the articles and replays and the data. A financial crisis in the world economy. A crisis in the world. A world crisis. What more do we need to see to make it real. How many more government budgets need to be slashed and taxes increased before we see the enormity of the problems. How many sick and unemployed and disabled and marginalized people must we force to straighten up and fly right before we FEEL the crisis. We are either in a period of latency or complacency. The system is broken and no one knows how to fix it, or whether we should bother to fix it because you know it kinda works right? You have a job and a roof over your head and internet and a twitter account and you can follow whoever you want and you can share and swap and swirl and whirl the infinity of data and electronic and physical commodities of our age around you in a blanket of comfort and a sly wink to your buddy and the irony, the marginalized who cant keep up who aren’t aware who don’t / want / can't occupy this space and don’t know how to use it. As we disappear into this black hole the REAL WORLD carries on with its building sites turning into factories producing goods shipped and packaged and barcoded and delivered by a man in a brown van wearing an overall designed by someone to your home where you live and there you go you have what you want / need now.

The numbing synthesis. The white horse in the corner of your burger. The dislocation and the cleanliness of your hands.  

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Seeing Things

Land of silence and darkness werner herzog 1971
"Photography cannot record abstract ideas" Encyclopedia Britannica 
"I would like to see photography make people despise painting until something else will make photography unbearable" Marcel Duchamp

The impossibility of a human deaf and blind since birth to understand abstract ideas. The inability of photographs to communicate abstract ideas to the viewer. The replacement of one medium for another. Painting is replaced by photography; the photograph is replaced by a moving image;  the conversion to digital media allows all communication (past and present) to be infinitely manipulated, combined and filtered.

Werner Herzog - Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Mel Bochner - Misunderstandings: A Theory of Photography (1967-70)
Richard Hamilton - Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu (2010)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Huie's Sermon - Werner Herzog (1980) History Repeats

 the very crisis in which we are stuck now!
In Iran we tried diplomatically, we attempted
militarily, we tried to be patient 
acted wild and been threatening, but the situation remained the same.
Look to Afghanistan and the rest of the World!
It looks as if the World would become crazy.