Category: Key Concepts of Documentary Making

Key concepts about new form of documentary making.

Why Media Archeology matters?

“Things matter in terms of their politics and how they participate in the construction of our world.” (Parrika, Jussi. What is Media Archeology. Polity Press, 2012.)

Media devices are a proof of the concept of a discrete spatiotemporal dimension which has shaken the claim that man cannot be in two different places at the same time. Holding discreet interaction levels independent from the conventional notion of time-space and carrying hybridity unlike any other place before; the complexity of euclidian space was presented to the perception of ordinary people by the mediation of electrically charged devices. These devices are the invention of the people interested in the field of physics or electronics. Edison’s experiments in recording audio (tinfoil phonograph) and visual data (kinescope) from the early 20th century might be shown as an example and the milestone although the experiments of creating visuals with music or experiments on moving image much more earlier. Presented to the market in ways that transcended the direct intention of their inventors, these devices captured a key human phenomena: need to satisfy the desire of “the other”s world/story/reality. Media archaeology excavates the media right from its materiality with the question of “what is used and what is at hand”. (Parrika, 2012) This new dimension conveys the hybridity of many realms, being a combination of organic and synthetic materials, it embraces scientific and artistic fields together too. Such that digital space is not only scientifically defined. Like all other spheres; it is also a result of practices and interaction. While chemistry presents synthetic materials, engineering provides practical solution to scientific problems by new transmission protocols. While engineers have been working on different transmission models since the twentieth century, not surprisingly, with a parallel line, in the art scene, there has been a questioning of the traditional forms. In terms of interaction, placement of art, and artists and audience boundaries. It may not be wrong to claim that the early roots of bidirectional artistic interaction in the contemporary world by the means of participation can be found in Brecht theatre. Artists as precursors of the upcoming imagery of the connected world, stressing creativity and freedom as fundamental values, have acted in a marginal way to shake the strict forms. While Beuys was seeking a mean a new society in which “every man is an artist”, Hugo Ball read out the dada manifesto on the stage, to declare the will for a new society and 2 a new art. Influenced art fields from dance to music, it was about the limitless potential. This can be considered as revealing its limitless potential going beyond the defined bodies. At the time Merce Cunningham (1964) as a choreographer believed in the limitless possibility for body movement, and John Cage (1960) for music. The essence of the tendency were the same across many. In 1959, when George Maciounus as one the pioneers of the Fluxus presented the motto art by anyway, anyhow, anyone, fluxus artists, poets, and musicians likewise challenged viewers by presenting the most mundane events brushing teeth, making a salad, and exiting the theater as forms of art. With a well-known example of “Cut Piece”, (1965) Yoko Ono invited the audience to cut a pice of her clothes to encourage them to participate. Later, in the same movement Fluxus, by emphasising impact of computer and internet technologies Nam June Paik introduced the term that will later be the name of the exhibition “Electronic super highway”(1995). With the help of mediation devices, performance, interaction and participation have gone beyond previous experienced limits regarding time and space. As a results, new interactivity set its rules as bidirectional interaction, eliminating the problem of distance in convenient (coded) space, which is electronically and digitally engaged. Within the digital realm new art forms were introduced. Scholars like Roy Ascott, pioneer of telematic art also made the clear connection between the pre and post digital art when claimed that “The merging of cybernetics and art must be understood in the context of ongoing aesthetic experiments with duration, movement, and process, although the roots of this tendency go back further” (Telematic Embrace, 2003) Afterwards, he continued exemplifying historical and conceptual connections with French impressionist tendency of exploration of durational and spatial limits. He added some credible artists from early twenty century who experimented with putting the visual form into actual motion, such as Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel (1913) and Precision Optics (1920), Naum Gabo’s Kinetic Construction (1920), and László Moholy-Nagy’s Light-Space Modulator (1923–30). Telematic art example is not totally independent from the Raoul Hausmann’s poster or 3d printed objects, considering the changing understanding by the minimalism of the sculpture from static to temporal and mundane (Rosalind Krauss) When the art object leaves the function of the mere art object and takes place in the ordinary objects, the audience were lead to go beyond the distinctive aura of the art 3 platforms and lead to now and here. According to Hal Foster, Minimalism brings place into a layered situation by the changeability of perception. For him, art is a loop of future’s hunch and reconstructed past. Perhaps, Aleksander Rodçenko’s (1921) divided panels of painting is a similar example of the first multi-channel video art, using several monitors or screens, Wipe Cycle by Ira Schneider and Frank Gillette is. However, devices are not only capable of producing cultural artefacts, they are also capable of recording cultural actions. What is more interesting with the media devices is not their capacity for performance, interaction and participation by people faculty but their capacity to perform the algorithmic applications, their immense ability to store, calculate and interpret the data in different ways. By this features of devices, a performance that is about being present, not like in the way of repeated act in the theatre, lost its pure temporality. The archival function of the media has drastically changed the way of writing history by changing the way of keeping the records. By Ernst Wolfgang’s words who deals with material ontologies of the media and their potential impacts, including how these new materials change the storage of the data, dissemination of knowledge and processing of interaction “the old opponents past and present archive and immediate event become submerged in time shifting, which is the temporal essence of electronic digital operations.” (Ernst, pg 99) Today, with our perception and extended memory, a phone in the middle of the room can be seen relational with the Richard Serra’s sculpture called House of Cards (1969). In a way, claiming that changing archiving techniques means changing memory, freeing the knowledge from the symbolic by audiovisual representation, is proof of going beyond the limited interaction by means of audience, participation and accessibility. At this point, video comes to the front by including the motion and sonic transference from moment to another moment. Video is able to “replicate human thinking in its manner of operation” in Ina Bloom’s words (in her review of Radical Software that was published between 1970 and 1974. )In her emphasis, “One conclusion that may be drawn from the pages of Radical Software is that video challenges not just the standard conception of (representational) images, but, even more pertinently, the representation of the social that informs standard sociology from Durkheim to Bourdieu. The notion of the social link often hinges on the related notion of social or collective memory – usually defined in terms of the very stability of institutions, customs, languages and 4 behavioural patterns that are observed as if from the outside. In contrast, video – a force that, like human memory, records or preserves the past only through a constantly differing “signaletic” present.” Again in another scholar’s words, Andreas Treske, video, especially combining with the network system, frees narration from monopoly. It challenges the strategies, institutions and legislations with its high potential on collective memory. According to Treske, media technologies require us to navigate through the world of meaning into images make our memories. these timeless and time thickened images change the atmosphere, take us to the ground zero feeling. “We are immersing in the video atmospheres,” says Treske. Video as a form of realness gives us a new space under the new light in time. Inevitably video become atmospheric. A collectively produced sphere consist of many shares that mirrors the subjectivity of the user and determines the user’s interaction with society. Video spreads meaningful acts around the network inhabited spaces and environments. Today, Virtual reality combines the ideas of tangible corporeality and intangible representation. By synthetic reality, the intangible representation also becomes kind of sensible. Considering the upcoming technologies about the video (such as VR, 360 degree, tangible media) are exceedingly stimulating as well as extremely fast, updating the existing archives and adding them creative narrations with the new technologies might be worthwhile. Not to loose historical and conceptual connections and caring the authorial view in those narratives is also crucial as much as their novelty.

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Design

  • Integrity and Isolation / Harmony and ContrastGood design mostly archives unity with its environment. Isolated enough to being a discrete entity but still integrated to its background. Otherwise, it might loose its functionality. Each design evokes and invokes the inescapable totality of a culture,

    On the other hand, contrast is a pivotal context in the design. Since the aesthetic forms of the environment are not the only one , aesthetic form of the object can be justified by other integrant factors.

  • Focusing
    There has to be the focus in order to see efficiently. This can be either determined by titles or colours, sizes or placement.
  • Navigation (Hierarchy)
    The has to follow the directions. Every composition contains a latent or obvious navigation tools. This makes the frame easily captured. The factor hides the many persuasive techniques in it.


    If one takes the definition of design with the words of George Nelson who defines design “is a manifestation of the capacity of the human spirit to transcend its limitations”, having any form is the result of a design process. But considering what he calls good design with its purpose to holding ornament existence, rather than to substitute for it, originality of the design comes to the front.

    Nonetheless the word design (de-sign) points out the semantic question.

History of Automations

“A study of the history of automata clearly revelas that several of the basic inventions produced for these attempts to imitate life by mechanical means led to significant developments culminating in modern automation and cybernetics.” (Bedini 1964:41) Automaton is a self moving machine simulates the actions of a living being.

“I suppose the body to be just a statue or a machine made of earth… We see clocks, artificial fountains, mills, and other similar machines which, even though they are only made by men, have the power to move of their own accord in various ways.” (Descartes (1662) 1998:99)

  • Da Vinci’s Knight
  • The Draughtsman
  • The Musician
  • The Flute Player
  • The Digesting Duck (Jacques de Vaucanson, 1738)

The food is digested as in real animals…; the matter digested in the stomach is led off by pipes to the anus, where there is a sphincter allowing it to pass out. The inventor does not set this up as a perfect digestive system capable of manufacturing blood…to support the animal…(but) only to imitate the mechanics of the digestive process in three things, firstly, the swallowing of the food, secondly the maceration, cooking or dissolving of it, and thirdly the action causing it to leave the body in a markedly changed form. (Diderot, cited in Chapuis and Droz 1958:241)

  • The Silver Swan

  • The Mechanical Monk

  • The Turk
  • Hellbrunn mechanical theatre (1750)

Media History

Geological and Biological side of the media

As Jussi Parrika writes in his book called A Geology of Media “Media history conflates with earth history ; the geological materials of metals and chemicals gets deterritorialized from their strata and reterritorialized in machines that defines our technical media culture.” (pg 35)

silicon4

For instance, obviously, cooper is essential for the modern life or Silicon and germanium (fiber optic cable, IR optical technologies) are fundamental for computer culture.

“Our media devices and political economy of digital culture are dependent on energy (cloud computing is still too a large extent powered by carbon emission – heavy energy production) and materials ( metals, minerals, and a long list of refined and synthetic components)” (pg 43, Parikka)

Medium Theory

Changes in modes of communication have important consequences for the society according to Medium theory. According to one of the most well known medium theorists McLuhan, history can be divided into four communication periods. These periods named by oral, writing, printing, and electronic based on the dominant communicational modes. And these modes also differentiate the social organisation and cognition.

Change in the medium points out the change in environment by changing the place of interaction. Alteration in the communication environment effects the social body and organisation as well as the thoughts/ideas and way of thinkings.

According to the “New media: A critical introduction” book (2003) three core thesis derived from the Mc Luhan’s mapping.

  1. The extension thesis: technology is an “extension of man” (1964)
  2. The  environmental thesis: “the new media are not bridges between man and nature: they are nature” (1969:14)
  3. The anti-content thesis: “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication” (1964:1).

 

Carnival Culture

Culture of Laugher

Contemporary festivals derive from the ancient history and the philosophy of carnival which has the “notion of laughter’s therapeutic and liberating force” (Bakhtin) and also sanctioned by the highest ideal aims of human existence, not by the world of practical conditions.

Festival, as a gate which opens beyond the normative understanding of modern society, is a declaration of the utopia.  Temporary existence of the festival is an attempt to enter into collective ancestral body that indicate freedom, joy and abundance in life.

Construction of the festival based on creation of alternative social space. This very artistic act of creating the alternative social space proposes the significance of the moment despite its temporality. The permanent placement losses its construction by penetration of the temporal one.

There is no strict boundary between performers and the spectators in the festival place.

Mikhail Bakhtin was one of the most important Soviet thinker and theorists of social sciences in the twentieth century. His writing embodied the qualities of the Carnival in medieval culture. According to his writing carnival retains the opposite power toward to feudal in medieval wolrd. There are four categories of Bakhtin’s carnivalistic sense of the world:

1. Free and familiar interaction between people: in the carnival normally separated people can interact and freely express themselves to one another.

2. Eccentric behavior: behavior that was otherwise unacceptable is legitimate in carnival, and human nature’s hidden sides are revealed.

3.Carnivalistic misalliances: the free and familiar attitude of the carnival enables everything which is normally separated to connect – the sacred with the profane, the new and old, the high and low etc.

4. Sacrilegious: the carnival for Bakhtin is a site of ungodliness, of blasphemy, profanity and parodies on things that are sacred.

 

 


Pierre Bourdieu – Habitus, Cultural production, field, doxa, capital;  social capital, cultural capital, financial capital, and symbolic capital.


Lefebvre  – Place as a social product

According to Lefebvre, space is a reason and the result at the same time for the societies and ideologies. Ideologies define the way of production that might work as an evidence of product (space.) The production of space creates other spaces. One of the hypotheses of Lefebvre “if space is a product, our knowledge of it must be expected to reproduce and expand the process of production.”

Since the consciousness only exist within the interaction it is crucial to sustain those alternative social bodies to have an polygonal structure.

 


 

Social epistomology refers to web of belief