Tag: open source

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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Theory of Meme

According to the theory of Richard Dawkins memes just like genes have no  purpose beyond their own reproduction. Important contribution to Theory of Meme is done by computer programmer Richard Brodie “who defines the meme as the virus of the mind, and who identifies three method of infection: repetition, cognitive dissonance, and Trojan Horses.  The most effective way to insert meme into mind is the repetition. A brief glance at the modern communication, from advertising to the media’s obsessive repetition of keywords such as “terrorist” and “crisis” easily enables us to understand this process.” (Campenelli, Vito. Web Aesthetics: How Digital Media Affect Culture and Society)

Imagination

Imagination is like going down the rabbit hole. By the origin of the word it is picturing, imaging oneself. It’s a great ability of the human that can connect the different points and creates new ideas, images, concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

Contemporary area, which is governed by scientific taste, creates its narrative genre called science fiction.

From Jules Verne to Star Trek, science fiction has proven to be remarkably prescient in developing new technologies and shaping attitudes towards that technology. As a reminder, a promise of the science fiction requires material, physical, rationalisation rather than a supernatural or arbitrary. Material rather than the supernatural is its key attribution. However, it is hard to differentiate the well-developed technology from the supernatural. So let’s face the music. Isaac Asimov wrote about the connected library that everyone can access, in a short story called “From The ‘London Times’ in 1904, Mark Twain predicted the internet in 1898 when telephones were still a very novel form of communication. John Brunner also wrote about the many issues related to computer technology. One of the contemporary ways of communication has already written by Jelus Verne in 1889. Talking holograms do not only appear in the Star Trek, they become to come around. There was a voice-controlled computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Voice control has become mainstream software like Siri on the iPhone 4S. Besides, the first aeroplane television was seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now you can see it anytime you take a flight. Cyberspace was the word from the Necromancer that was written by W. Gibson. Kurtzwell had already written that intelligence machine will win the chess match in 1990 before IBM’s Deep Blue won in 1997.


The Spielberg film A.I. was based on a Brian Aldiss story, “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long”.


The question of imaginary media is: What can be imagined, and under what historical, social and political conditions? What are the conditions for the media imaginaries of the modern mind and contemporary culture, and on the other hand, how do imaginaries condition the way we see actual technologies?(Parikka, 2012, What is Media Archeology pg 47)

Pan.do/ra: Open Source Video Archive

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Software based digital video archives likely to be the most prospective field. Based on the developments in the computer learning This new way, as a categorical multilinear non-narrative, has vast potential. Certainly, the aesthetic of the digital, and postmodern comes to the front.

The audio visual archive can, for the first time, be organized not just by metadata but according to proper media inherent criteria – a sonic and visual memory in its own. Contrary to traditional semantic research in the history of ideas, such an endogenic audiovisual archive will no longer list sound and image sequences exclusively according to their authors , subjects, and time and space metadata of recording. Instead, digital data banks will allow audio-visual sequences to be systematised according to genuinely signal-paramethic notions (mediation rather than narrative topoi), revealing new insights into their informative qualities and aesthetics. (Jussi Parrika, Media Archaeology as a Transatlantic Bridge)

Pan.do/ra is one of those digital video archive software, which was developed and maintained by Jan Gerber and Sebastian Lütgert at 0x2620 in Berlin and Sanjay Bhangar at CAMP in Bombay. It allows you to manage large, decentralised collections of video, to collaboratively create metadata and time-based annotations, and to serve your archive as a desktop-class web application. It is a free and open source.

The programme called Pan.do/ra consists the function of the computer having an attribution of being encyclopaedic, spatial, procedural, participatory and modular. The program involves small sufficient modules; scripts. The system allows its users find separate videos, in the form of shots and sequences and thus create a sequence out of them into different combinations. In other words, participants engage with a closed system, and access multiple clips stored in a database. The users, acting as a curator, select and assemble clips into different combinations, navigate within the database.

Programmers by sharing the program as an open source, which allows users/designers to build their own version, they give the opportunity to social context designer having a platform to digitalised, organise and frame the data easily. The software also allows users to become the creator of their own documentaries by containing the possibilities of combining different clips, as well as setting various relationships between all these by determined keywords—and it thus it develops the avant-garde idea of a documentary under the name of personal list as an abstract visual score to its logical end, and beyond. The software has the potential to bring a new level of objectivity and taste to the documentary culture. The line between archive and documentary becomes more blurred by this computer based new compositing points the next generation of narration, which puts the emphasis on behaviour, choice, and action rather than composition.

As programmers came to visit and gave lecture us into the class that I have taken from Andreas Treske, I thought “it would be the best point to use it.” Thanks to my dorm friend who is a continuing physics student we set up the programme. I started to upload videos from the festival archive each year as I have already separated and exported some of them in a right format.

The most important factor that made me experiment with the program is its usability. Usability is a buzzword for all types of software and applications. But of course what is significant as much as usability is usefulness. Traditionally, in art practice, the artists made a unique piece within a particular medium. There is no difference between the interface and the work that has done. In contemporary age, with the new media, there are new ways of collaborating while practising art. For instance, as a software, Pan.do/ra needs social context and an editor who enter the keywords to make the categorisation.

The most significant problem with the digital archive is a contingency. As a fact, digital archives can be instantaneously erased and this might be faster than any fire in the library at Alexandria. Like the all other new technologies, digital archives constantly required to keep it up to date.

System Theory and Pan.do/ra