Video Art Program
Thursday May 28, 2015
Curator: Liat Berdugo
Assistant Curator: Samantha Adler de Oliveira
Now in its second year, the Print Screen festival’s Video Programme gathers the work of thirteen international artists to explore questions of “Hypersensitivity:” Collectively these works explore whether -- and how -- digital technologies change our sensitivity toward one another and the world around us. Questions explored will include those ranging from the more literal -- what added senses does technology provide us, and what are their limitations? Does a technologically-heightened sensibility lead to added sensitivity? -- to the more theoretical: How does technology impact emotions? How does technology change our awareness toward the social injustices and global concerns?
Works by LaTurbo Avedon (US), Sophie Barbasch (US), Sophia Brueckner (US), Coalfather Industries (US), Alina Deckel (IL), Omer Fast (IL), Jason Huff (US), John C. Kelley (US), Mores McWreath (US), Chen Serfaty (IL), Laliv Sivan (IL), Ben Wheele (UK), and Benjamin Yavuzsoy (DE)
1. The Transhuman and his Emotional States
28 May 2015, 20:30-21:00
Description: “Transhumanism” is the belief that the human race can evolve past its current physical, intellectual, and psychological limitations through the use of advanced technology. What are the potential emotional conditions of such transcendent beings? In this screening, five works engage with avatars, machinic perspective, feeding technological objects, and seeing one’s own birth through internet browsers. A Q+A with artist Chen Serfaty and curator Liat Berdugo will follow the screening.
Works by LaTurbo Avedon (US), Jason Huff (US), Chen Serfaty (IL), Ben Wheele (UK), and Benjamin Yavuzsoy (DE)
LaTurbo Avedon (US), Facebook Lookback, 1:01, 2014. LaTurbo Avedon is a virtual artist whose existence and creative output reside entirely online. Without a real world referent, LaTurbo is a digital manifestation of a person that has never existed outside of a computer. Avedon’s digital sculptures and environments disregard this lack of physicality, and instead emphasize the practice of virtual authorship. In Facebook Lookback, we see a year in the Facebook world of the artist, set to cheesy music meant to evoke nostalgia for personal history.
Benjamin Yavuzsoy (DE), Flour Room, 3:00, 2015. In the video performance Flour Room, a woman completely sucks a standard cake into a vacuum cleaner, as if part of a quotidian ritual of cleanliness, feeding, and machinic symbiosis. Yavuzsoy’s nonchalant work blurs the line between the anxiety-filled, bulimic impulses of human beings, and the implacable appetite of machines.
Chen Serfaty (IL), E34 WE ARE STANDARD, 3:25, 2014. E34 WE ARE STANDARD gives us the sense of architecture from the machine’s perspective: a GoPro camera connected to a Roomba vacuum cleaner robot wanders around a soon to be occupied apartment, standardly designed to fit the budget and needs of a young middle-class Israeli family. The work ends when the vacuum cleaner completes its predetermined route and returns to its own home: its charging station.
Ben Wheele (UK), The Birth Tab, 10:30, 2015. A woman travels through virtual space, hoping to find 'The Birth Tab' -- a mythical object that enables a person to witness their own birth, via live webcam feed. The video was inspired Wheele’s own experiences of drifting through Second Life using an Oculus Rift headset.
Jason Huff (US), work-life.tips, 0:58, 2015. The latest of Huff’s single-serve-esque websites, work-life.tips encourages us to relax. Open your mind and consider how many ways you can optimize your life. Be the capital you’ve always imagined. Watch the waves roll in, imagine the sand in your feet, and reflect. Snippets appear instructing you to optimize, capitalize, and reimagine yourself — drawn randomly from popular inspirational blogs and books with slight tweaks to peel apart the chill beach vibes.
Sophie Barbasch (US), Goodnight Call, 4:32, 2012. In Goodnight Call, Barbasch collects goodnight messages from strangers on Craigslist, where she post an ad in the strictly platonic personals section: “leave me a goodnight voicemail before you go to sleep at night as though we have been together for years. i will listen to it before i go to sleep.” Using technology, Barbasch creates intimate scenarios that are at once tender and alienating.
Coalfather Industries (US), Chocolate Phone, 1:00, 2014. In this work, Coalfather Industries picture a character who lives in a post-technological world and attempts to obtain the ephemeral pleasures of his missing devices. With an almost loving-like caress, the character desperately tries to reach out through a mundane object that cannot provide connection -- asking us to consider what kinds of connections our mobile devices actually promise.
Alina Deckel (IL), A Joke on William, 14:21, 2014. Artist Alina Deckel created this short film from video footage found on YouTube and uploaded by William's mother, Violette1st. Her username eludes to the ‘violation’ of her children’s privacy -- and to the issues of selfhood, connection, and relationships that are mediated through cameras and the Internet. Like in the artist’s other films, the soundtrack and visuals are all derived from the original YouTube videos, demonstrating that YouTube material, which arguably belongs to the popular realm, can be re-edited to construct an entirely new cinematographic experience.
John C. Kelley (US), Pause, 2:13, 2013. Pause is a bittersweet illustration of nostalgia’s romantic and destructive nature. Pausing VHS tapes in order to recall a memory causes the footage to literally deteriorate, thus bringing the materiality and physical storage components of the digital world to the fore.
Sophia Brueckner (US), Crying to Dragon Dictate, 0:34, 2011. Like many computer programmers, Brueckner ended up with repetitive stress injuries to her wrists. She could no longer type and was forced to use Dragon Dictate, a popular speech recognition program, to interact with her computer. At one point, Brueckner spent an hour attempting to type only a few sentences, and broke down crying in frustration while the speech recognition software was still running. This text is the result of Dragon Dictate’s interpretation of five minutes of her crying.
Mores McWreath (US), Sharing Lazy Grains, 5:12, 2014. In Sharing Lazy Gains the figure of the artist is multiplied exponentially in an infinite field of carpet as a virtual camera endlessly spirals above. Mores McWreath reenacts a subjective, transformative sequencing of text derived from a vast array of sources including quotes from fictional cyborgs, over-sharers, spammers, phishers, robots, trolls, advertisers, musicians, philosophers, poets, and rappers -- a comment on how today’s technology conflates public and private forms of expression, with bodies and minds always on a narcissistic display.
Laliv Sivan (IL), The Thin Black Line, 1:01, 2015. The Thin Black Line is a minimal self-portrait made by two digital signs: a black line, flickering on the screen as a new idea wants to be presented, and a small static black dot of self-criticism. Sivan uses this minimalist work to create a conceptual self-portrait of creative block -- a mirror reflection in front of an empty white screen.
Omer Fast (IL), CNN Concatenated, 18:27, 2002. In this work, Omer Fast uses CNN footage to cut together a talk in which each word is spoken by a different newsperson. The extremely fast cuts make the newscasters seem machine- and computer-like as they delve into more and more personal topics. In this way, the media we are already familiar with begin to excavate a series of suppressed, undercurrent issues : death, the fear of death, and the private, emotional landscapes of the viewer. CNN Concatenated literally asks the viewers to reconsider the media’s true intentions as they surreptitiously tap into our most private emotions, and to question what marks appropriate territory for the public realm.
2. Connect me: Dial-up, Ring tone, and Camera Flash
28 May 2015, 21:30
Description: How does the technological landscape impact human connection? In this screening, three works address chocolate phones, attempts to reach through digital voids, and mediated relationships. A Q+A with artist Alina Deckel and curator Liat Berdugo will follow the screening.
Works by Sophie Barbasch (US), Coalfather Industries (US), and Alina Deckel (IL)
3. Everyday Emotional Computing
28 May 2015, 22:30
This final screening focuses on the emotional landscape in the face of current digital, technological, and Internet-based modalities: on nostalgia and loss, on frustration and sharing, on trust and death. The works in this collection explore the physical storage of digital memories, and how today’s technology conflates public and private forms of expression, with bodies and minds always on display. What are the raw emotions that we share through technology -- or that we have, as private experiences, in front of our TV sets and computers?
A Q+A with curator Liat Berdugo and assistant curator Samantha Adler de Oliveira will follow the screening.
Works by Sophia Brueckner (US), Omer Fast (IL), John C. Kelley (US), Mores McWreath (US), and Laliv Sivan (IL)