Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Online debate on 'The Politics of Asthetics'

Elements from AIHPOF moderated two online debates at Post-Autonomous Art website.

These debates look at issues raised by Jacques Ranciere's text The Politics of Aesthetics.
The discussion on the 30th October was led by Magda and Ben
Here is the introductory text by Ben

Another discussion, on the 9th of November was led by Ana
Here is her introductory text to the discussion

The “new primitive” methods in the age of digital technologies – a review of Ana Carvalho’s VJing practice by Magda Tyzlik-Carver

At the first event, MOD Shed, organised by the collective Art in Hidden Places of Falmouth each member of the collective contributed a piece of work (link to MOD event).
Among them was a collaboration between Ben Carver and Ana Carvalho, which was a DJ/VJ live performance.

This, however, was not the kind of VJ performance that is ubiquitous to a nightclub setting. The event took place at Falmouth Wharves, a run down semi industrial space which has survived the redevelopment of the waterfront at Falmouth.
Neither was this the type of VJing which could fall into the traps of: macho battle, technology leading technique, the industrial branding of practice.

On the contrary Carvalho's VJ performance made full use of the industrial but intimate space. The half hour piece presented in this ideal setting created the atmosphere of the personal conversation. This was achieved through the music selected and played by the DJ and the real time drawings and paintings improvised by Carvalho. By making public this exchange between sound and image, the viewer was invited to join an intimate dialogue, which allowed her/him to connect individually with the ambience created by the work.

Carvalho uses technologies not normally associated with the practice of today’s VJ. So far she has not utilised the usual VJing tools: the pre-packaged software and hardware. In this performance she made use of Photoshop as a performance instrument bringing out the process of constructing images as a real time event. This in itself becomes an inversion of the intentionality behind the software, which seems to be subversive and perverse characteristic of Carvalho’s practice.

Her most recent work in the "VJ" arena uses even more primitive techniques. As large corporations produce more and more "off the shelf" real time products, Carvalho has adopted elements of early video art approaches, rejecting the use of video images in favour of mixing colour and form live.
The effect is very different to the usual fast-cutting, filtered graphic images which often can be seen in clubs.

Carvalho maintains in her VJing practice an intimacy using new/old video-art and performance methods.
The emotional impact of this on an audience, in its honesty and its determination to make visible its own means of production, brings life to the relationship between the viewer and the work. This can never be achieved by more commercial packages.

Carvalho, who is also an internet artist, investigates in her work the possibilities of bringing digital technology closer into the realm of an everyday viewer. She is able to achieve this aim through her decision to make her private explorations public and VJing is one means that searches the possible connections.

See also VJ Theory website for more information about VJ practice.

Relationships Between Audience and Artist

I am interested in the relationships between the audience and the artist through the art work/piece/project. I am also interested in the discussion of how the roles of both audience and artist(s) can be blurred and weave together.

Most of the projects I have been involved with for the last three years ask active participation of other people during the process of making work and sometimes asks for interaction and participation in the finished work.
Each new work arise questions about audience as collaborators, about the artist as rule maker and I have been learning how to make people interested in engaging with work by doing it.
Rule making
The artist(s) is the rule creator. To dismiss the role of the artist(s) has been an impossible task, although working as a group this role is shared with others, the (small group of) people working on a certain project.

Collaboration during the process of making
Inviting specific individuals (or groups) to participate on the ongoing process of making work seems to be a way of collaborating. The problem arises when anonymous general collaboration is requested.

Interaction with the final work
Either implicit or explicitly, telling the audience what to do (like, click here, move in front of the screen, clap your hands) seems to be the way for users to engage with the work. The reaction is controlled and calculated. Creative participation in unexpected ways is being difficult to achieve.

The artist as audience
Be able to create a distance from the work and engage with it as any other individual from the audience is an enjoyable experience not very often possible. For many reasons this becomes difficult; because the artist knows too well the rules, is concerned with maintenance, is being asked questions about the work or engaged themselves/himself/herself with reflection.
I would be very pleased if we could share ideas and our own experiences on these issues and if possible by using examples of work that deal in different ways, effectively or not.

Ana Carvalho

Discussions at Post Autonomy blog about Future of Art?

Art in Hidden Places of Falmouth (AIHPOF) took part in many discussions about Post Autonomous art. The discussions are part of the project "examining the space of PA" which has been started by bureau for research into PA in August 2006 and on which AIHPOF have been collaborating since.

Here is the link for PA blog http://www.postautonomy.co.uk/blog/ where you can see the discussions between members of AIHPOF and David Goldenberg and other people invited to participate.