Sound – (Blog Post 03)

The Devil’s Music

The devil has always treasured music… what better arena to inspire, cultivate, and spread his will into the affairs of man? Music has served as both calming and exciting, soothing the savage or awakening dormant passions. Music is magic, a medium for man to communicate with the devil.

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The Legend Of Delta Blues, Robert Johnson.

“In the first half of the twentieth century, Jazz was considered particularly dangerous, with its imagined potential to unleash animal passions, especially among those unsuspecting ones.

More directly tied to deviltry than Jazz, and likewise imbued with the potency of its racial origins, was Blues. Black slaves often adopted Christianity after their enforced arrival in America, but melded it with native or Voudoun strains, Blue songs abound with references to devils, demons, and spirits. One of the most influential Blues singers of all time, Robert Johnson, is said to have sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads in the Mississippi Delta, and the surviving recordings of his haunting songs give credence to the legend that Satan rewarded his pact with the ability to play.”

BLACK METAL?

Defined by high pitched screechy vocals mixed with low death growls, fast riffs and tempos, blast beats, tremolo picking, long and abnormal song structures with long instrumental sections, and single notes played quickly and repeatedly, making the note sound long and drawn out. Unlike many other extreme subgenres, black metal bands favor higher pitched guitars and the use of tri-tones.

 

THE FIRST WAVE OF THE BLACK METAL SCENE

The First Wave of Black Metal was an ERA (not a genre) Which lasted from around 1981 to 1991 that consisted of various Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Doom Metal and Heavy Metal acts that influenced the sounds and ideas of the genre “Black Metal” and other future Extreme Metal Genres. The First Wave of Black Metal consists of bands such as Bathory, Celtic Frost, Venom….

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(Venom created the name “BLACK METAL” on their 1982 album titled BLACK METAL.)

 

THE SECOND WAVE OF THE BLACK METAL SCENE

The Second wave of the Black Metal scene started around 1992, It is credited with creating the modern black metal genre and produced some of the most highly acclaimed and influential artists in extreme metal. The scene attracted massive media attention when it was revealed that its members had been responsible for numerous murders, suicides and a wave of church burnings in Norway.

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The scene had an ideology and ethos and was likened to a cult, with the core members referring to themselves as “The Black Circle” or “Black Metal Inner Circle”. It consisted primarily of young men, many of whom gathered at the record shop Helvete (Hell) in Oslo. Artists in the second wave use ONLY black and white images on the album cover as a contrast to the American Death Metal scene (colorful gore images), they often wear corpse paint on their face and their music are heavily distorted in sound with Satanic lyrical theme, most of the bands (the major one including Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor…) does not believe in Satan or practices witchcraft nor do they believe in any religion, the Satanic theme is used as shock value. The group of artists from “The Black Circle” including the owner Øystein Aarseth “Euronymous” (also a member of the infamous group/band Mayhem) has always planned to burn down several famous historical churches in Norway (two succeeded, the future planned one failed due to the murder of Euronymous).

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MAYHEM

Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal scene. Mayhem’s career has been highly controversial, primarily due to their violent stage performances, the 1991 suicide of vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin “Dead” and the 1993 murder of guitarist Øystein Aarseth “Euronymous” by former member Varg Vikernes “Count Grishnackh”, of Burzum.

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DEAD, Per Yngve Ohlin (“Dead”) A vocalist who joined the band Mayhem (1988-1991) In 1990, the members of Mayhem moved to an old house in the forest near Oslo, which was used as a place for the band to rehearse. They began writing songs for their coming album “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. On 8 April 1991, Dead committed suicide in the house owned by the band. He was found by Euronymous with slit wrists and a shotgun wound to the head. Dead’s suicide note notably read “Excuse all the blood, cheers.” and included an apology for firing the weapon indoors. Instead of calling the police, Euronymous went to a nearby store and bought a disposable camera to photograph the corpse, after re-arranging some items, he also used some of the bones from his skull to create necklaces and gave them to what he stated “worthy artists”. One of the corpses photographs was later used as the cover of a bootleg live album “Dawn of the Black Hearts”.

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References:

IMAGES:

(Robert Johnson):

<https://thechrononautreport.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/robert-johnson1.jpg&gt;

(Venom – Black Metal Album):

<http://www.metal-archives.com/images/4/2/2/4/422453.jpg?5622&gt;

(Mayhem – 01):

<http://4.bp.blogspot.com/dhbfxL1AdXE/UJRIEc5jnLI/AAAAAAAAAvA/XFEiBStkdGk/s1600/MayhemBandPhoto.jpg&gt;

(Church Burning):

<https://didoisux.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/church-burnt-in-norway-92.jpg&gt;

(Burzum):

<https://66.media.tumblr.com/6354d8fd8f408b80c230d9ab0bb1f3b2/tumblr_n27gxuHgp81ri9n7fo1_500.gif&gt;

(Mayhem – Pig Head):

<http://www.spacebrain.no/bilder/galleri/Nytt/JesusPig.jpg&gt;

(Dawn of The Black Hearts):

<https://img.discogs.com/nlQXb4-pRAh8hi-jZhqOWMDpwzs=/fit-in/600×600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-2339760-1278080402.jpeg.jpg>

 

“Biography | Robert Johnson Blues Foundation.” Robert Johnson Blues Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <http://www.robertjohnsonbluesfoundation.org/biography/&gt;.

“Black Metal.” Metal Descent RSS. Web. 05 Nov. 2016. <http://metaldescent.com/black-metal/&gt;.

By the Lake Near the Forest Metal. “On the Modern Black Metal Scene.” On the Modern Black Metal Scene. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <http://www.morbidcurse.com/article2.html&gt;.

Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell. “Until the Light Takes Us – Full Documentary (2009) 720p HD.” YouTube. YouTube, 06 Oct. 2014. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFfB3QXVHRE&gt;.

“Mayhem.” – Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mayhem/67&gt;.

Moynihan, Michael, and Didrik Søderlind. Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground. Los Angeles, CA: Feral House, 2003. Print.

 

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Virtual / Mixed Realities – (Blog Post 02)

The virtual / Mixed reality is a hybrid reality that merges the real and virtual worlds to generate new visualizations and environments where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Virtual / Mixed reality not only takes place in our physical world but also inside another form of medium, including the world of digital reality.

 

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— The Stanley Parable —

The Stanley Parable game is a first-person exploration game designed by Davey Wreden, an illustration of a mixed reality within a virtual reality in the physical reality.

In the game, the player will play as Stanley, and will not play as Stanley. The player will follow a story, and will not follow a story. The player will have a choice; the player will have no choice. The game will end; the game will never end. Illogicality follows contradiction, the rules of the game and how it should work are broken, then broken again and again. – Davey Wreden

There is numerous reality within the physical reality Stanley is in and within this physical reality the protagonist, there are numbers of path the player can follow, and also the player can choose to not do anything for years (more than a year in our physical world with the game consciously running) to get to another reality in the game and to get certain achievement, there are also a narrator in the game that the player can listen to in order to enter certain world or ignore and go by its way to find another gateway to another reality within the game. The game Stanley Parable questions our mindset on how we perceive messages given by others (the narrator in the game), moreover, the reality within the game interacts directly with the physical reality we are in.

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— Pokémon Go —

The mobile app game “Pokémon Go”, produced by CEO John Hanke and Artist, Dennis Hwang. The game operates the augmented reality by using the GPS function in our mobile phones to locate Pokémon’s on the screen for the player to interact with. It presents a real-life Pokémon hunting experiencing allowing the players to capture Pokémon just like how the protagonist in the original cartoon catches their Pokémon. Moreover, the game carries certain benefits by forcing the player to travel (to catch Pokémon), exercise and socialize, but on the other hand it also causes problems such as road accidents due to player focusing too much on their mobile and not aware of their surroundings. The game Pokémon Go generates a whole new reality that brings in a huge community of players and it also innovates the use of technology on GPS and mobile gaming.

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— Playtest (Black Mirror, Third Series, Second Episode) —

“Playtest” is the second episode of the third series of Black Mirror, written by series creator Charlie Brooker and directed by Dan Trachtenberg. AR and VR system (in the gaming industry) is investigated in this episode, as the protagonist puts on a headband and a chip that is inserted into the back of his neck, the physical and virtual reality crashes and generated a reality of only fear that haunted and damaged the protagonist. In the end of the episode, it hints that the AR/VR system the protagonist is using is however damaged and he is trapped in his distorted reality of fear.

 

 

References:

Images Used in The Stanley Parable:

<https://www.stanleyparable.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/screen5.png&gt;

<https://i.ytimg.com/vi/fBtX0S2J32Y/maxresdefault.jpg&gt;

Images Used in Pokémon Go:

<http://gpsworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Pokemon-Go-2-W.jpg&gt;

<http://blogs-images.forbes.com/insertcoin/files/2016/07/pokemon-go-list1-1200×682.jpg&gt;

Images Used in Black Mirror:

<https://fsmedia.imgix.net/ee/0f/b1/cc/9ce2/40d6/b331/9e693244472a/wyatt-russell-in-the-black-mirror-season-3-episode-playtest.png?rect=15,0,934,467&dpr=2&auto=format,compress,enhance&q=75&gt;

 

Haller, Michael, Mark Billinghurst, and Bruce Thomas. Emerging Technologies of Augmented Reality: Interfaces and Design. Hershey: Idea Group Pub., 2007. Print.

Stuart, Keith. “Has a Black Mirror Episode Predicted the Future of Video Games?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 26 Oct. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/26/black-mirror-episode-playtest-predicted-future-video-games-augmented-reality&gt;.

“The Stanley Parable.” |. Web. 31 Oct. 2016. <https://www.stanleyparable.com/&gt;.

“What Is Really behind the Pokémon Go Craze.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/07/12/what-is-really-behind-the-pokemon-go-craze/&gt;.

“What Is Virtual Reality? – Virtual Reality.” Virtual Reality Society. N.p., 10 Jan. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016. <http://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/what-is-virtual-reality.html&gt;.

 

Bio Art – (Blog Post 01)

Numerous of provocative artists today manipulates with biotechnology, they work with engineers, doctors and scientists to aid converting and transforming their own bodies into works of art, creating the chimera of perfection with the artists will.

— Project Pandrogeny —

Sex Work… Occultism… Gender Issues… A diverse number of themes explored by English musician, writer, poet and performance artist, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (b.1950). S/he is most famous for the work “Project Pandrogeny”, a collaborative project with his/her wife Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge (b.1969) in which both trying to create an amalgam of their two selves. Project Pandrogeny consists of themes such as deep interpersonal coupling, transformation, postgenderism as well as Androgyny.

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The term Androgyny could be defined as a condition of having both female and male characteristics in either bodily appearance, attitudes, and behavior, for those who describe themselves as androgynies, often claim that fitting into society’s gender roles is a distress for them. In this case, Genesis P-Orridge has taken this one stage further and developed the concept of “Pandrogyny”, a chimera of gender.

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“Pandrogyny is the conscious embracing of gender roles, sexual orientations, or cultural traditions to render the person’s original identity completely indecipherable. It is the “third gender”, a type of gender-neutral living being more akin to the OTHER…a pandrogyne is about making one’s life (a brief existence) into an art form.” – Genesis

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Eduardo Kac (b.1962), a Brazilian-American “transgenic artist” who also uses biotechnology to aid his work. In his first work “Genesis”, he planned to create a dichotomy between biblical injunctions against tampering with nature. Eduardo Kac took a verse from the bible and translated it into Morse code, and have it converted into the base pairs of genetics and he grew an unspecified bacterium in a petri dish for implanting the resulting genes into it.

— Ear on Arm —

Stelarc (b.1946 – “Stelios Arcadiou”, legally changed his name in 1972), a Cypriot-Australian artist that focuses heavily on the use of technology to extend the capacities of the human body as well as how our body becoming increasingly obsolete at the same time. Stelarc’s states that he is neither utopian or a dystopian, and in this age of time human being are progressively extending themselves into the environment and the technological artifacts, and thus, the transformation of human into both zombies and cyborgs occurs.

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“The possibilities of people anywhere being able to listen at any time to what’s going on, if I’m in Perth and you’re in London or in New York or wherever I am, you’ll be able to listen in to what my ear is hearing.” – Stelarc

The EXTRA EAR was originally planned as an ear on the side of Stelarc’s head, the process of this transformation for the 1/4 scale ear involved growing small replicas of his ear using living cells. However, it has altered into another project “THE EAR ON ARM” which involved a surgical construction of a full-sized ear on Stelarc’s forearm, one that would transmit the sounds it hears. The work “THE EAR ON ARM” seeks the body as an extended operational system, which also extrudes its awareness and experience. Another alternate functionality, aside from the remote listening, is the idea of the ear functioning as an extended and distributed Bluetooth system.

 

References:

Images used in Project Pandrogeny:

<https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–OqoEg3Lb–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/18rtkhgxtr9sajpg.jpg&gt;

<https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–IvZ4ZLS8–/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/18rtkm8lgdddyjpg.jpg&gt;

<http://nightflight.com/wp-content/uploads/GENESIS-P-ORRIDGE-3-425×291.jpg&gt;

Images used in Ear on Arm:

<http://stelarc.org/media/img/thumbs/240_378.jpg&gt;

<http://stelarc.org/media/img/thumbs/242_378.jpg

 

Dodero, Camille. “Artist Provocateur Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Lives By the Last Exit To Brooklyn.” Village Voice., 02 Apr. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016. <http://www.villagevoice.com/news/artist-provocateur-genesis-breyer-p-orridge-lives-by-the-last-exit-to-brooklyn-6430094&gt;.

Manderson, Lenore. Surface Tensions: Surgery, Bodily Boundaries, and the Social Self. Walnut Creek: Left Coast, 2011. Print.

Stelarc – Art, Design, Future of Man. Dir. Adam A. Ford. Perf. Stelarc. Web. 27 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1SPish8ZwQ&gt;.

Stelarc // Ear on Arm. Web. 26 Oct. 2016. <http://stelarc.org/?catID=20242&gt;.

““The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye”: Genesis P-Orridge’s Transformative ‘Pandrogeny Project’.” – Night Flight. Web. 29 Oct. 2016. <http://nightflight.com/the-ballad-of-genesis-and-lady-jaye-genesis-p-orridges-transformative-pandrogeny-project/&gt;.

 

 

 

Post 3: Bio Art

 

Bio art is an art practice that falls under media art due to the mediums used to create it. The practice uses new technology such as scientific processes, genetic engineering, and tissue culture and cloning. Bio artist work with live tissue, bacteria, living organisms and life processes. It links art, science, medicine and technology together by investigating the environment where humans are evolving in response to the fast growth of biotechnology. This is shown in Orlan’s and Suzanne Anker’s works.

Orlan has used biotechnology through out the years in her artwork. She believes that her face and body is a canvas and applies cosmetic surgery to transform it. She highlights how the strong influence of technology is able to transform our physical appearance. In her piece “ The reincarnatiom of saint- Orlan” which started in the 1990’s she uses the surgeries to change her face to the feminine ideal depicted by male artist. The surgery was filmed and broadcasted throughout the world. When her surgeries are complete she’ll have the chin of Botticelli’s Venus, the nose of Jean-Léon Gérôme’s Psyche, the lips of François Boucher’s Europa, the eyes of Diana and the forehead of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. She picked them “not for the cananons of beauty they represent…rather ton account of the stories associated with them”. The surgeries that are conducted is also a performance. Everyone in the room wears a costume and orlan uses props like a devils pitchfork.

Suzanne Anker combines art and science together through her concepts and mediums. It ranges from digital sculpture, installation, photography to plants grown using LED lights. She has her own bioArt lab in New York where she examines objects that have become icons of biology like chromosomes, MRI scans and Petri dishes. In her work “Vanitas in a Petri Dish” (2013) she pairs natural objects decaying and a petri dish as a 3d canvas. The purpose is to remind her audience of their own mortality and the cycle of life through the decaying objects. The work sparks the curiosity and diversity of new hybrid life forms scientist today are making with the petri dish.

The two works both involve biotechnology, which are a new media medium and the exploration of living organisms or tissue.

References

Artiste transmédia et féministe. Météorite narratif du BIO ART. Son oeuvre questionne le statut du CORPS dans la société. Ses sculptures, HYBRIDATIONS et autoportraits réinterprètent le rôle des nouvelles technologies.. (2016). Orlan.eu. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://www.orlan.eu/

 

Bio Art | SVA Bio Art Lab, BFA Fine Arts – New York City. (2016). Bioart.sva.edu. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://bioart.sva.edu/

 

Faces of Bioart: Bio-Icons with Suzanne Anker. (2016). Labiotech.eu. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://labiotech.eu/faces-of-bioart-bio-icons-with-suzanne-anker/

 

 Orlan’s art of sex and surgery. (2016). the Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/jul/01/orlan-performance-artist-carnal-art

 

Post 2: Interactive Art

Interactive art involves the audience response through action or being immersed in the work. It emerged in the late 1950’s due to artists’ needs to find less exclusive to the viewer therefore showing their art in inclusive environments like the street, warehouse or shop front. These works now generally involve feature computers, interfaces, sensors or other programs that are use to respond to. They rely on the audience’s involvement to determine their outcome unlike traditional art where the audience involvement is a psychological activity. Two artists that make interactive art are Aaron Sherwood and Kurt Perschke.

Aaron Sherwood collaborated with Mike Allison to create a interactive media installation called “firewall” (2012). It’s made from spandex and programs Max/MSP, Ardino and a kinect. The spandex is stretched and is sensitive to the audiences touch. Once someone pushes it creates fire visuals and plays music. Max allows the music to react to the depth of the touch. The artwork does nothing if it is not interacted with. This concept was inspired by a performance with dancers called “mizalu”. The dancers put pressure on the spandex with the audience facing the other direction. It’s a metaphor for death and experience of reality. The membrane (spandex) represents a plane that you can experience but never break through and fully understand life and death.

Kurt Perschke created an travelling street art work called the “RedBall project” (2007-2014). The project contains a 4.5 m inflated red ball stuck in between two city spaces around the world. Persschke uses the fun nature of the ball to spark the imagination in his audience. . Perschke states “ In the end, art is about people, and I look forward to seeing how each city responds to the invitations Redball offers”. He believes that the true power isn’t in the object, the ball but in the participants experience in what they can create using it. The work has an interactive piece to it due to the scale, presence and tactile aspects. It creates an inviting nature in these cities and the public involvement makes the story of a city.

It’s evident in each of these interactive artworks it is crucial for the audiences response.

References

Aaron Sherwood-Blog. (2016). Aaron-sherwood.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://aaron-sherwood.com/blog/?p=558

 

FAQ – RedBall Project. (2016). RedBall Project. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://redballproject.com/faq/

 

Interactive art. (2016). Tate.org.uk. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://www.tate.org.uk/learn/online-resources/glossary/i/interactive-art

 

 RedBall Project Takes Interactive Urban Art on Tour. (2016). WebUrbanist. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://weburbanist.com/2011/12/30/redball-project-takes-interactive-urban-art-on-tour/

Post 3: May Total Delusionists The New Realists?

(To be read after Posts 1 & 2)

Reusing the modified nature vs nurture analogy (Post 1) combined with the rationale between horticultural therapy (Post 2), if genes dictate what a person’s potential would be and environmental factors what the person will grow up to be, a media designer basically adds some green stuff to this person’s worldly experience (via one’s visions, muscles, or any additional physical and mental processes for that matter, Rokeby puts up a good case for this). And when this gun-person fires with such green dust on his/her mind or body, a greened-up version of a experience is resulted. Philosophical possibilities can then be raised:

  • A target is hit with the aid of this magic green dust;
  • A target is hit with or without the green dust;
  • A target turns green whenever green dust is used;
  • The target is green to start with;
  • A green target will appear and be hit whenever green dust is used;
  • A target, green or not, will be hit at the same time as every time the trigger is pulled, green-dusted or not;
  • ….(I have confused myself at this stage so I’d better stop listing more possible maybe situations and just keep on shooting whatever I see in front of me at present time, metaphorically speaking of course.)
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Image: http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/xEAAAOxydlFSu49N/s-l300.jpg, accessed 26 October 2016

These are the kinds of questions one should ask when living in an increasingly VR-ed world. David Rokeby illustrates this line of inquiry by pointing out that interactive artist creates relational artworks in which power of the expressions multiplied when interactors themselves become referents of the work; and also that as interactive technologies become so common and transparent that they become the new reality for those whose awareness of the control, manipulation and deception ends (Rokeby, 1998).

The burden of creating illusion or a sense of self-believe for media users lies with the media designers, who are responsible for making the users either actually being part of the improvement (green-ed gun actually does a better job), or perceived to be part of the improvement (green-ed gun thinks it does a better job), or alleged to be part of the success (green-ed gun is led to think so by showing the improvement/success wherever it pulls its green-up trigger). In all cases only the designer will know for sure if that is achieved co-incidentally or causation-ally.

This view is supported by other scholar and artist works. If ‘presence as invisible medium’ or ‘presence as transformed medium’ and thus perceptual illusion of non-mediation becomes the true sense of presence for media users (Lombard & Ditton 1997), and that illusion becomes unquestionably accepted and totally incorporated into ones’ ordinary course of life, mixed or total virtual reality will become the new reality. The notion of these altered states of reality to be taken as the only known and therefore accepted reality is famously deployed in Warner Bros’s 1999 movie production The Matrix where different degrees of (dis)believe and acceptance are portrayed.

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Image: https://fangirlknitsscarf.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/the_matrixl.jpg, accessed 26 October 2016

Are We Living in Reality, Mixed Reality or Virtual Reality Really?

First coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Coleridge, suspension of disbelief is defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable, during which realism and logic are sacrificed for the sake of enjoyment (Dictionary.com) (Holland, 2003). The physical and psychological effects are normally rest on the receiver rather than the creator of the medium design. Such gratifications felt not only the participants but also the viewers are exemplified by Blast Theory’s interactive pervasive game A Machine to See With 2011.

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Image: https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4091/4994828376_c194eab17c_b.jpg, accessed 24 October 2016

Success of this project lies in the facts that causes and effects of presence (Lombard & Ditton, 1997) are well understood and convincingly applied. Participants acting as avatars are put on the streets among unsuspecting members of the public, with the surroundings as the props and backdrop for its fictitious thriller storyline played in real time and location. This work shows how people elect to be tricked and surrender the control of their own bodies or moral judgements voluntarily for excitement.

VR, simulations and game-up real life scenarios can all be seen as practice rounds for certain aspects of ones’ real life we either love, hate or need to face without risking too much, as per the biological imperative reasons promoted by MONA. For example, Crimewave Shows by Survival Research Laboratories (1979-current) are likened visual rehearsals to possible apocalypse conditions we are all stressed about in real life. Viewers’ senses are stimulated and de-sensitized after prolonged exposure to similar conditions can be found in many other media platforms (eg TV series on vampire attacks or zombie fighting video games).

 

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Image: http://srl.org/raw_images/header.jpg, accessed 20 October 2016

Mirroring the four chosen human evolutionary theories behind On Origin of Art exhibition (in Post 2) a better sense can be made in understanding many of our additive social behaviours in media context (all graphic but not necessarily artistic though). Examples are:

  • Preference or reliance on technologies to function/perform daily activities with the believe that humans survive better in the digital jungle with silicon tools eg Online self-promotion/dating activities on social media vs face-to-face presentations of self (Art/cultural practices being a form of cognitive play that translates to vital survival skills);
  • Popularity of using image-sharing apps to signal mate values eg Instagram pictures showing constructed identities of self/properties/rights (Art/cultural practices evolving as part of the sexual or fitness selection process);
  • Attraction to on-screen representations and presentations of perfect lives eg beautifully brightly interactively promoted website contents on all possible subjects/objects, real or unreal (Art/cultural practices acting as a senses pleaser);
  • Any activities that give human brains a good work-out, be it entertaining, saddening, satisfying at the end of the session, participants normally feel anew for another day (Artistic/cultural practices as an exercise for the otherwise laid-off brains).

Pornography, thrill/kill games on- or off-line, arguably fit into the first and last categories depending on what sorts of skills the media users required and how stressed or bored the individuals are with other part of their lives.

Jonathan Steuer in the course of defining virtual reality, distinguishes ‘presence’ and ‘telepresence’ as ‘the sense of being in an environment, generated by natural or mediated means, respectively’ (Steuer, 1994). All examples presented in these blogs are based on various degrees of telepresence (VR is a special case of telepresence according to Steuer) except for those who are deluded enough to accept any mediated presence as natural. This is possible for human experience is considered to be the perception of those surroundings mediated by both automatic and controlled mental processes (Gibson, 1979). In that case, media-induced presence becomes the true presence: a different version of reality like the one in The Matrix film becomes THE reality.

I argue that followers who place unproven confidence or blind trust in communication technology/mass media in running their lives will definitely fall into this category. Manovich stresses the importance of human-computer interface and the interfaces of software applications used to author and access new media objects in the new world of “computer’s ontology, epistemology and pragmatics” (Manovich, 2001). An updated version of this dataist worldview is also depicted in historian Yuval Noah Harari’s 2016 book ‘Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow’. Harari proposes that we are risking loosing humanist authority to the hidden force of the big data currents.

“…as the Church and the KGB give way to Google and Facebook, humanism loses its practical advantages. For we are now at the confluence of two scientific tidal waves. One the one hand, biologists are deciphering the mysteries of the human body and, in particular, of the brain and of human feelings. At the same time, computer scientists are giving us unprecedented data-processing power. When you put the two together, you get external systems that can monitor and understand my feelings much better than I can. Once Big Data systems know me better than I know myself, authority will shift from humans to algorithms. Big Dada could then empower Big Brother.” – Harari 2016

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Image: Copy right to Janne Iivonen, https://next-geebee.ft.com/image/v1/images/raw/http%3A%2F%2Fcom.ft.imagepublish.prod.s3.amazonaws.com%2F7798e37a-6a58-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c?source=next&fit=scale-down&width=700, accessed 20 October 2016

Harari suggests you shall ‘know thyself’ if staying clear of Dataism is your choice.

Conclusion

My three posts examine different ways media artists looks at humanism, with media user’s participatory and reflective roles taken into heavy account. Media art plays a vital role in the dataist society by constantly reflecting and critiquing the ever-evolving media-induced human conditions.

 

Reference List

Gibson, J. J., The Ecological Approach To Visual Perception, Boston Houghton Mifflin, 1979

Harari., Y., https://www.ft.com/content/50bb4830-6a4c-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c, accessed 18 October 2016

Holland, N., The willing suspension of Disbelief: A Neuro-[suchanonalytic view, PsyART, Vol 7, Jan-Mar 2003, http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2003-03357-001, accessed 26 October 2016

Manovich, L., The Language of New Media, MIT Press, 2001, Chapter 1.

Rokeby, D., “Transforming Mirrors: Conclusion – Designing the Future”, ACM Press, 1998

http://srl.org/shows.html, accessed 20 October 2016

http://steinhardtapps.es.its.nyu.edu/create/courses/2015/reading/steuer.pdf, accessed 28 October 2016

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/biographia-literaria-by-samuel-taylor-coleridge, accessed 28 October 2016

http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/projects/a-machine-to-see-with/, accessed 24 October 2016

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/suspension-of-disbelief, accessed 26 October 2016

http://www.iconeye.com/opinion/review/item/9657-a-machine-to-see-with, accessed 24 October 2016

http://www.warnerbros.com/matrix, accessed 26 October 2016

 

Robotic & Kinetic Art

According to Kac (1997), the development of kinetic art in 1960s opened the perspectives of development for modern media art by breaking away from the concept of stable and static art works. It has shaped a new aesthetic system in our society as, the majority of robot developments were for entertainment and scientific research until 1950s. In modern days, technologies have invaded every part of our lives. Yumaz (2014) pointed out that these high technologies have also added a new view point to the art and the role of robotics and kinetic engineers have become significant in contemporary art.

 

Robot K-456 (1964)

Korean-born artist Nam June Paik has created numerous low-tech multimedia installations and experimental performances. His early interest in composition and performance has been considered profound and sustained impact om the media culture of last twentieth century (Anderson, 2013).

The Robot K-456 was his first life-size robot that is remote controlled and it was built with Japanese electronics engineer Shuya Abe in 1964 (Mcintyre, 2015). The robot K-456 has acquired a certain value over time as it introduced free mobility and interaction with public (Kac, 1997). The robot was named after one Mozart’s Piano Concertos and it’s programmed to talk, walk, and defecate beans. The robot was hit by a car during the public performance in year 1964, but it was also planned as part of the performance and reconstructed after. According to Mcintyre (2015), the robot is clearly showing the artist’s persistent interests in the relationship between art, technology and human body.

 

k456-for-website

Figure 1. Robot K-456 (1964)

 

Third Hand (1981)

Stelac’s third hand was created in 1981 for his first robotic performance. Kac (1997) said in his paper that the performance is represented the evolved cyborg and posthuman metaphors. In the Third Hand performance, Stelac explored the possibility of writing simultaneously with his right and his third hand. The third hand was moved with his muscle movements as if it is a body extension. It is very interesting how Stelac has a point of view that the body can be treated as an object and it can be redesigned with technology (Lain, 2008).

 

the-third-hand-1981

Figure 2. Stelac, The Third Hand (1981) Courtesy the artist

 

One Kind of Behaviour (2000)

Shyu Ruey-SHiann is a Tiwan born artist and he is well-known for creating mechanical and kinetic sculptures since 1997. Xuan Mai Ardia (2016) states that the artist treats the mechanical form as an abstract communication tool and He wants to deliver his ideas and messages about his feeling towards life, current issues which concerns him. His works are mechanically complicated yet the design would always convey the impression of simplicity and that is the contradiction the artist is aiming at (Xuan Mai Ardia 2016).

Xuan Mai Ardia (2016) explained that the installation One Kind of Behavior uses same-sized steel buckets scattered to open and close randomly at a slow speed. The shape of the artwork was inspired by hermit crabs and their slow movements which are contrasting the high speed of society change. The use of steel bucket was a metaphor of hard shell of a crab and it also symbolises the weak human trying to protect themselves. According to the artist, the rhythm the buckets making represent human heartbeat and he wants the viewers to think about how the mechanical developments have been impacting the nature.

 

IMG_2772_11.jpgFigure 3. One Kind of Behavior (2000) courtesy of Fubon Art Foundation

As Yulmaz (2014) states, artists in these days can benefit from the opportunities provided by high developed technologies and this could nourish art itself as well as offering diversity.

 

 

References:
Andreson, J., 2013. Nam June Paik: Preserving the Human Televisions – News – Art in America. [online] Artinamericamagazine.com. Available at: <http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/news/nam-june-paik-smithsonian/&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Kac, E. 1997, Foundation and development of robotic art , Art Journal, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 60-67.

Lain, 2008. let’s shake hands with the third hand. [online] Stelarc-lain.blogspot.com.au. Available at: <http://stelarc-lain.blogspot.com.au/&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Mcintyre, S. 2015, NAM JUNE PAIK, ArtAsiaPacific, no. 92, p. 153.

The Bronx Museum, 2014. Shyu Ruey-Shiann: One Kind of Behavior – Exhibitions – The Bronx Museum of the Arts. [online] Bronxmuseum.org. Available at: <http://www.bronxmuseum.org/exhibitions/shyu-ruey-shiann-one-kind-of-behavior&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Xuan Mai Ardia, C., 2016. 8 Robotics Artists From China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. [online] The Culture Trip. Available at: <https://theculturetrip.com/asia/china/articles/8-robotics-artists-from-china-hong-kong-and-taiwan/&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Yulmaz, B., 2014. Art Engineering and Kinetic Art. Journal or Arts & Humanities, December, pp.16-21.

 

Image References:

Figure 1. März, R., 2016. Robot K-456 (1964). [image] Available at: <http://asiasociety.org/new-york/exhibitions/nam-june-paik-becoming-robot-1#robotk456&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Figure 2. Stelac, 2016, The Third Hand, 1981, Courtesy the artist. [image] Available at: <http://stelarc.org/?catID=20290&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].

Figure 3. The Bronx Museum, 2014, One Kind of Behavior (2000) courtesy of Fubon Art Foundation, [image] Available at: <https://theculturetrip.com/asia/china/articles/8-robotics-artists-from-china-hong-kong-and-taiwan/&gt; [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].