jueves, 30 de abril de 2009

An Anecdoted Topography of Chance

The Anecdoted Topography of Chance has been called "arguably the most important and entertaining Artist Book of the post-war period" and a "quasi-autobiographical tour de force."

.- by Daniel Spoerri


I'm working on my Phase 4, and would like to stop a little bit and talk about Daniel Spoerri's project, Anecdoted Topography of Chance, probably the work which this Swiss/Romanian artist is widley acclaimed and known for author. This project is a literary analog to his snare-pictures, in which he mapped every object located on his table at a particular moment in time, describing each with his personal recollections evoked by the object. Mark has linked this project in the wiki page as possible model for option 2, and I've been exploring it in order to conceive my final project. A brief summary of what this project is about would allow me to explain in detail what I want to do for Phase 4.

Spoerri drew on a "map" the overlapping outlines of all the 80 objects that were lying on the table in a specific moment (October 17, 1961 at exactly 3:47 p.m.). Each object was assigned a number and Spoerri wrote a brief description of each object and the memories or associations it evoked. The descriptions cross referenced other objects on the table which were related. This project
is more than just a catalog of random objects, because if we read it in its entirety, "it provides a coherent and compelling picture of Spoerri's travels, friends and artistic endeavors."

In my case, I won't obviously talk about my travels or friends... but about my other 3 phases and my presentation. My main challenge for this Phase 4 is thus put everything I've done these past 9 or 10 months together, following the project guidelines stated in the wiki page. I will explain further details about how I will connect everything, which are going to be my main ideas and concepts I will be dealing with, and how I will eventually come up with a final product (an html-based project, in this case) to hand in!


DANIELSPOERRI.ORG (official website)


AUDIATUR (another project's review)

lunes, 27 de abril de 2009

EXQUISITE CORPSE- globality, interactivity and convergence


"Dada will in your faces, Dada is nothing and does not mean anything."
Tristan Tzara

"Poetry shoul be done by everyone, and not by only one."

I don't know why, but I was sure I have written about the Exquisite Corpse in this blog before. Maybe because I'm always talking and writing about the same kind of things... but the truth is that I haven't. Well, I did when I was preparing my Phase 1 and my presentation about the precedents of the hypertext and its influences on the hyperfiction literary tradition. Anyways, I think this is a great opportunity to revisit the Exquisite Corpse concept, the idea around which I would like to work for my phase 4 -the Google Image Trawl project.

The widespread use of the e-mail, the blog (and its feedback system based on comments), the copy-paste mechanisms, the hypertext and the digital photography... have made it possible to widely extend the initial possibilities of the Exquisite Corpse proposed by the Surrealists. As stated by elfloridobyte, "while the linear summation is a part of the "formal" concept -if we can talk in terms of formailty when creating surreal games-, we can either break down or muliply this linearity in the Internet medium, or we can exploit the multimedia possibilities using simultaneous or parallel elements, for instance."

In a way, my idea is to use the idea of "making meaning through collaboration"- exemplifying the nature of the dialogic, telecommunications-based process, where the central space is under the control neither of party A or party B-, as stated by Mark in the wiki page for the 1st option, and use it in the 2nd one -tracing the lineage of an image and its different applications and implementations throughout the closed system of the Internet-. I undertand the Exquisite Corpse as a playful and free dialogue, with a special interest in the electronic landscape, in which the geographic barriers and the physical presence are eliminated in the art creation process. Therefore, "exquisite corpse and network share their sense of globality, interactivity and convergence", that I would like to exploit.


Exquisite Corpse principles

- It is a collective work

- It should be understood as an entertaining work, with no stylistic pressures (regarding meaning or coherence). It may wish to be intentionally paradoxical.

- Intuition, randomness and coincidentality are appreciated values.

- It should always have an experimental perspective.

- It should supress the "real name" (ego) of the authors, as it must be conceived as a collective project.

- It is a hybrid.

miércoles, 22 de abril de 2009

e-mail ART

Before I start posting ideas and comments about my phase 4 project, I would like to explore some of the "other options" that I'm going to eventually rule out of my proposal. As I'm planning to work on the "Google image trawl" option, I refer to some of the mail/email art models or the time-delay projects -some of which I find really interesting.

I've been researching quite a bit about the "mail/e-mail art" movement. The
mailArt may be understood as a global movement of artistic exchange and communication through mail (or email) - I didn't know this movement was so old, since it can be traced back to its earliest manifestations in the Fluxus project or even the Neo-Dada art. Anyways, I'd rather focus on the characteristics of this kind of "art," because I'm not so interested in its historic approach.

The use of this medium obviously affects and determines the characteristics of the artwork (the object to be sent) -in terms of size, weight and shape-, which are constrained to postal services conditions. The communication channel is this case an essential part of the artwork, sometimes one of the most important since it brings the "noise", the uncertainty, or the signs of all of the administration steps through which the work has passed by. But mail art is much more than a simple exchange of artistic works through mail, as I see it as mainly communication. "Both, art and communication merge in postage."

Because this is a technology course, I should mention the capacity of the mail art to become e-email art. MailArt has endorsed the digital technology and thus uses all of the new media diffusion tools (first fax, now e-mail).
I've found this article, MAIL ART INITIATION, very interesting regarding MailArt, since it announces some of the main principles of this artistic movement. These include:
- freedom of speech: even though pre-determined topics/issues are established in MA projects, the artist has entire freedom to exercise its activity
- there is no selection and no judgement. Every artwork is accepted and exhibited.
- also, there is no art sale and no copyright restrictions.

The works that constitute this kind of art may come from a variety of sources. They include books, postcards, stamps, collages, rubber stamps, videos, audios, copy-art, 3D objects, digital creations, net-art, and so on. I find this variety really amazing, because it potentially allows us to create and re-create everything from an artistic point of view. That's why I considered doing the first option,
"Exquisite Corpse Updated / Mail/Email Art / Telephone Game / the Effects of Technologies on Materials". But my personal situation -I'm working now on my project from Spain- the distance factor has its own problems: I would be forced to exclusively e-mail the images (in all of the steps) which introduces a limiting factor in how I can alter the images. I would like to finish this post by linking some very interesting non-American/non-Canadian mail artists. I assume they are quite unknown in Canada, and I think it's always interesting to share this information and the kind of work they do:

/ Juan Carlos Romero / Eugenio Dittborn / Miguel Jiménez "Zenon" / Edgardo A. Vigo / Clemente Padín /

jueves, 9 de abril de 2009


I have my phase 3 done! I have chosen to recreate two domestic spaces (the kitchen and the bathroom) as exclusively sound environments. In one minute, I wanted to express a melody/sound choreography using only the types of sounds people usually do when they are in those spaces. In both cases, the piece starts from no sound at all. Then multiple sounds (layers) start to overlap progressively until the first half of the piece; from that point on, the sounds start to dicrease until we have no sound again. The musical structure of both pieces is thus intended to be a pyramid.
Regarding the "meaning" or interpretation of the pieces, I want my project to be understood in several levels.
First, it makes possible to re-think those domestic spaces as sound environments, easily recognizable without any visual contact. Both pieces play with clicks, water, fire, door sounds... which are elements present in our daily lives.
Moreover, I wanted to create a choreography or a melody using daily life sounds, which helps me to blur the boundaries between the capture and the edition. I wanted the pyramid structure to be easily recognizable.
Lasty, since I wanted to engage this phase with the other 2 and my presentation, the layering is supposed to respond to Borges' metaphor of the labyrinth and my hypertext concepts, in which "all possible outcomes of an event occur at the same time." In my pieces, not all of the sounds begin and stop one after another (linear text), but they keep going/forking and overlapping (hypertext), even though this won't be possible in the traditional use of these spaces (the same person can't have a shower and use the toilet at the same time; nor open the fridge and stir a glass of water).

Space: Bathroom
Elements: door, bathroom fan, tap water, flushing toilet, bathroom
curtain, bath water, bathroom curtain.

Space: Kitchen
Elements: microwave, coffee maker, fridge, extractor fan, oven, pouring
water into a glass, stirring a glass of sugar.

All the material I have used is original, so I didn't need any extra sources. That has helped to make the pieces more similar between each other, and thus more difficult to differenciate capture and edition.

Regarding the capture/edited differences, I think it is not relevant to undertand my project's point (or to make alternative interpretations) to make any difference between which has been edited and which hasn't. Both of them imply an edition and manipulation work. My biggest challege was to create the layering sounds using edition software (in one piece) and the microphone (in the other one) and get a similar pyramid structure. That said, I leave the freedom to guess and interpretate the differences between capture and edition to my fellow students.

martes, 7 de abril de 2009

Max NEUHAUS - Public Supply (audio project)

"I realized I could open a large door into the radio studio with the telephone; if I installed telephone lines in the studio, anybody could sonically walk in from any telephone. At that time there were no live call-in shows. […] Although I was not able to articulate it in 1966, now, after having worked with this idea for a long time and talked about it and thought about it, it seems that what these works are really about is proposing to reinstate a kind of music which we have forgotten about and which is perhaps the original impulse for music in man: not making a musical product to be listened to, but forming a dialogue, a dialogue without language, a sound dialogue."