Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dancing ghosts

On Petapixel:

Check out the creepy effect seen in the video above, titled “Dancing Ghosts.” It was created by photographer Micaël Reynaud, who photographed a group of people during the day using long exposure times, and then interpolated the resulting photos into a real-time video.

Reynaud tells us that he was shooting with a Sony NEX mirrorless camera with a wide open lens. To allow for longer exposure times, he restricted the amount of light entering his camera using 2 neutral density filters and 1 infrared filter.

The photographs he captured had shutter speeds as slow as 2 seconds. During post-processing, he interpolated the motion blur-filled images into a video showing real time action. “The result looks like ghosts to me,” he says.

I’m starting to think that what Jason Kottke calls “time merge media” has something to do with spirit photography. It doesn’t matter that we don’t believe in ghosts anymore since they both activate the same kind of visual pleasure, perhaps?

via murketing

Johannes Göransson on Stina Kajaso and contemporary Swedish poetry

On Harriet:

I love how the girly world of Katy Perry somewhere becomes connected to the deathly ridiculousness of Herzog’s visionary fool. Kajaso’s writing moves through these sudden shifts and outbursts. I love how suddenly she is no longer in the world of Twilight, but on the train from work with blood in her hair: the poem as the violent spasm between the world of Twilight and work. But these two “worlds” are infected by each other: the fake blood from Twilight is in her hair! The fake blood is a moment that feels “authentic” (the job, the train, the hair) but though this line is in the position of an epiphany, it won’t bring Kajaso’s speaker back together again …. Kajaso never becomes whole, but remains sloppy, pathological and kitschy. Sick with the necroglamour of mass culture.

In her performances, Kajaso takes all those troubling, grotesque signifiers that are brought up by Lady Gaga and other pop music performers (and traffickers of spectacular imagery), and amplifies them, distorts them, parasites them. This is not “critique” as is so common in scholarly discourse, but something else. Something more like Ryan Trecartin’s video work. Something that traverses media, that ignores rules of taste, that fan-fictions pop culture—and by “fan fictions” I mean something violent, something more like Manny Farber’s classic “termite art” …

Kajaso’s blog in Swedish is called Sonofdad, and includes some English translations. Göransson is an incredible English-language resource for some of the more exciting developments in Swedish poetry. Highly recommended also are his posts on the blog Montevidayo.

“Twitter is one of the futures of the novel”

Teju Cole:

It is against this backdrop that we might try to understand what the Internet in general, and Twitter in particular, mean for experimental prose. For isn’t this, in all its narration and ungoverned excess, where we might now be going? Isn’t Twitter the most vivid illustration since Ulysses of what full inclusion might mean? There are two-hundred million people on Twitter. They are all writing, and all are writing under a formal constraint.

This leads one, almost, into a mystical formulation: on Twitter there is no “novelist” but there is a novel: Twitter is the continuity of the published thoughts of all the people present on Twitter. It had a beginning, but it has no end. And each second, thousands of pages are added, millions of contributions per day. And each person who reads it, as Heraclitus might have promised, reads something different from everyone else. This is an inclusiveness, from an unexpected direction, that might begin to affect even the practice of the conventional published novel. It’s hard to imagine that it wouldn’t: most young novelists are themselves active on Twitter now. The atomized mode of information dispersal is more and more natural, and less and less “experimental” or elite.

Though there are interesting individual experiments on Twitter, I am drawn to the original meaning of “individual”: that which is undivided. It is the undivided, undifferentiated cascade of thoughts streaming past the timeline that makes me suspect that Twitter is, indeed, elongating the perspective of human sensibility. I want to suggest, then, that Twitter is one of the futures of the novel. In a time of commercial publishing and excellent television, the novelist is smaller than ever before. But the novel itself, it seems, is suffering the opposite fate: it is getting bigger and bigger, and gradually swallowing the whole world.

 via @plumpesDenken

Rick Poynor on collage culture


On Design Observer:

Toward the end of Collage: The Making of Modern Art, published in 2004, art historian Brandon Taylor posed a critical question. “Has the Internet,” he wondered, “made collage more or less important as an instrument of contemporary aesthetic work?”

At that point, the answer seemed to be that if we apply a rigorous definition of collage as a process of physically cutting and gluing together image fragments to make a new image, then rather less of this was likely to happen in a digital age. If, on the other hand, we interpret the collage principle more liberally, then the evidence, Taylor concluded, already suggested that computer collage would proliferate for as long as software came with “cut” and “paste” commands. Within only a few years of this cautious assessment, collage of every kind — paper-based, digital, and all points between — is rampant. Some of this collage-making is finding its way into commercial projects, but there is also plenty of personal work by designers and illustrators who are passionate about collage. Cutting Edges, published by Gestalten in Berlin, assembles an international art squad of scissor-wielding collage enthusiasts and provides the perfect opportunity to take the measure of the resurgent medium.

See particularly the incredible examples Poynor gives of contemporary collage from Sergei Sviatchenko, Malin Gabriella Nordin, and Julien Picaud (whose digital collage referencing the song “When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine is pictured above), among others.

Nicholas Carr on automated affect

On Rough Type:

The next step is obvious: automating the feels. Whenever you write a message or update, the camera in your smartphone or tablet will “read” your eyes and your facial expression, precisely calculate your mood, and append the appropriate emoji. Not only does this speed up the process immensely, but it removes the requirement for subjective self-examination and possible obfuscation. Automatically feeding objective mood readings into the mood graph helps purify and enrich the data even as it enhances the efficiency of the realtime stream. For the three parties involved in online messaging—sender, receiver, and tracker—it’s a win-win-win.

Sometimes I feel like it’s 20 years ago and I’m reading Paul Virilio except that it’s today and mainstream.

Melissa Gregg’s speculations on Airbnb

On homecookedtheory:

Read positively, is Airbnb symptomatic of transformations to middle-class sensibility? Does entrepreneurialism respond, for instance, to the failures of community? Is ‘hosting’ an empowered response to loneliness, to the decline of recognition and reciprocity in public space, to the hyper-mobility and perceived anonymity of everyday life?

Is the retreat to the domestic scene – or, conversely, the delivery of intimate space to the market – about localising commerce in some way? If so, because I can rent out a spare room, should I? Will future norms include the social pressure to make use of all potential assets or risk negative perceptions? Are we all destined to be speculators?

What remains a concern is that Airbnb relies on two forms of enfranchisement that the US, among other places, does not bestow equally: access to credit and digital connectivity. Evidently, it exacerbates what are already pressing social tensions in major US cities. The site itself has global reach. A specific population enjoys the benefits of this data economy, culminating in a kind of ‘white flight’ from the hotel industry even as it paves the way for the further extension of distinct cultural preferences. Airbnb is a success in part because it fosters a new elitism in hospitality, one that can discriminate through algorithms in ways that formal workplaces and organizations can not. Its success therefore threatens to enshrine practices of discrimination that are part of a much longer real estate story.

Jakob von Uexküll’s “Theory of Meaning”

Excerpted on Larval Subjects:

An angry dog barks at me on a country road.  in order to get rid of him, I grab a paving stone and chase the attacker away with a skillful throw.  In this case, nobody who observed what happened and picked up the stone afterward would doubt that this was the same object, ‘stone,’ which initially lay in the street and was then thrown at the dog.

Neither the shape, nor the weight, nor the other physical and chemical properties of the stone have changed.  its color, its hardness, its crystal formations have all stayed the same– and yet it has undergone a fundamental transformation:  it has changed its meaning.  As long as the stone was integrated into the country road, it served as a support for the hiker’s foot.  Its meaning was in its participation in the function of the path.  It had, we could say, a “path tone.”  That changed fundamentally when I picked up the stone in order to throw it at the dog.  The stone became a thrown projectile– a new meaning was impressed upon it.  It received a “throwing tone.”

The stone, which lies as a relationless object in the hand of the observer, becomes a carrier of meaning as soon as it enters into a relationship with a subject.  (A Foray Into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, 140)

Yves Klein’s Anthropométries


Yves Klein – Anthropométries (1960):

Klein’s idea for the Anthropométries stemmed in part from his practice in judo, as he became fascinated by the markings left on the mat as a judo fighter fell. His initial experiment into using the human figure as a medium dates back to June 1958 in a friend’s apartment. It was here that he first applied blue paint to a nude model and guided her in rolling across a sheet of paper that had been placed on the floor. Surprisingly, this initial work troubled Klein. To him, the heavily-coated paint traces left by the body on the paper were too much about the workings of chance and spontaneity. However, he continued to be intrigued with the idea of using “living brushes” and in February 1960 staged a live public premiere at his own apartment utilizing his new medium.Klein gave a signal to his model Jacqueline to first undress and then to cover her breasts, stomach, and thighs in blue paint. Under his supervision and direction, she pressed herself against a sheet of paper fixed to the wall.The torso and thighs of the female body had been reduced to pure essentials; to Klein, it was an anthropometric symbol that served as the pure canon of human proportion, and he called it “the most concentrated expression of vital energy imaginable.” He believed that the model’s impressions represent the “health that brings humans into being,” and that their presence in the work “transcends personal presence.”

More images here. More of the essay on Klein’s performance piece on the Walker Art Center blog.

via museumuseum