Speculations on Openings, Closings, and Thresholds in International Public Media
Monday, June 21, 2010
Blog written by Patricia Zimmermann, Shaw Foundation Professor, Nanyang Technological University and codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Why we need to know more about Cambodia
When I first traveled to Cambodia in 2003, I was deeply moved---and disturbed.
The contrast between the splendour and awe of the artistry of Angkor Wat and the history of one of the most devastating genocides of the 20th century grounded me. I wanted to understand, if understanding is at all possible in the face of horrors unspeakable.
From 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge was in control of Cambodia. They murdered over 2 million people. Cambodia is also one of the poorest countries in the world. NGOs are everywhere, prompting some in Southeast Asia to contend that the country is for all intents and purposes run by NGOs on one side and foreign companies running textile sweatshops on the other.
Meandering the market in Siem Reap, the town near Angkor Wat, I stumbled onto something I had never encountered anywhere in Southeast Asia: pirated copies of David Chandler's book on the history of Cambodia. I've seen pirated Hollywood films, pirated Louis Vuitton, and pirated Lonely Planet guides, but I had never encountered pirated academic history books in a market. David Chandler's books were there, in pirated zerox form. They looked pretty close to the real thing, although the books I bought were missing a few pages, mostly the footnotes. He's one of the preeminent historians of Cambodia. I felt an urgency about reclaiming history in that market.
Several colleagues and friends who work in human rights in Asia steered me to the Documentation Center of Cambodia's site. It captivated me. As a historian, I was struck by how this project was not only doing a history from the point of view of victims and perpetrators, but also creating a living archive to reclaim memories with the goal of justice for war crimes.
We've invited Kok They Eng, from DCCAM, to present at Open Space/Singapore/Southeast Asia at ICA in Singapore.
The Interview with Kok Thay Eng
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Blog written by Patricia Zimmermann, Shaw Foundation Professor, Nanyang Technological University and codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
When we started thinking about programming Open Space/Singapore/Southeast Asia to explore new media in the region last fall, I sent frantic emails to friends who work in international human rights independent media. Well, it was more a cry for help, as I was programming this exhibition from half a world away and not moving to Singapore until January. I was anxious.
My colleague and writing collaborator Sam Gregory from Witness, dedicated to collaborative and user generated human rights video and social media, suggested—more accurately, insisted—that we contact EngageMedia, a non profit organization based in Indonesia and Australia working with new media and social justice issues in innovative ways.
Many emails, website searches, and phone calls later, I finally connected to Enrico Aditjondro, from Indonesia, the Southeast Asia Editor for Engage Media. We’ve invited Enrico to present on our panel on human rights and new media at the Open Space exhibition and ICA next week. We’ve also curated the Engage Media site as one of ten featured organizations in our online exhibition. You can visit here: http://www.ica2010.sg/openspace/view.html
Enrico has lived and worked in Indonesia, West Papua, the USA, Australia, and Timor Leste. He started his journalism career in 1998 when he joined The Maritime Workers’ Journal in Sydney, reporting on labor issues and the shipping industry.
Seeking more excitement, he moved to Jakarta and joined the Southeast Asia Press Alliance in 2000. He traveled and worked in Timor Leste with UNESCO and UNTAET. Enrico also campaigned around corruption issues for Transparency International-Indonesia.
In 2005 he was the Southeast Asia Representative for the International News Safety Institute. In the same year he co-founded and became managing editor of Paras Indonesia, one of the country’s leading bilingual social-political website at the time.
Enrico was a fan of EngageMedia before joining the group in May 2009. He is now based in Jakarta, writing, producing films and maintaining the Southeast Asia content for EngageMedia . You can meet him in person next week at ICA 2010 in Singapore.
Patricia Zimmermann: Can you share a little bit about your background and how you initially got involved in EngageMedia?
Enrico Anditjondro:I've been a journalist and media consultant for a little bit more than a decade. I started in texts and photography, and gradually started to use videos and began filmmaking.
From the start, I've been a firm believer that objectivity is a myth, although in reporting, there are principles and ethics to follow. So, when I found EngageMedia.org, I was impressed with its ideas of voicing the voiceless with videos - well produced videos preferably, and became a fan of it immediately.
Later on, as my ideas and struggles are continued to be limited or even obstructed by the mainstream media I was involved in (i.e. I was tired of the ABC News's quest for Islam fundamentalism stories in Indonesia), EngageMedia became even more relevant and decided to join when the opportunity arrived.
PZ:Can you provide a snapshot of the work of Engage, for readers who might not be familiar with your organization? How is Engage similiar and different from other NGOs working in social justice issues?
EA: EngageMedia's flagship is www.engagemedia.org, a video sharing site on social justice and environment issues in Asia Pacific.
In shorter words, we like to think ourselves as YouTube for activists.
Aside from the site, we organize skill sharing workshops on online video distribution strategy, and video archive; video camps; research; and capacity building programs for organizations. We have similarities with Witness and its Hub, but we focus more on already published videos. We urge people more on distribution strategy and better use of videos in social justice and environment campaigns.
PZ: Can you explain how EngageMedia mobilizes the intersections between user-generated content, social and political issues, aggregation, and new technologies/interfaces? What opportunities and challenges has Engage encountered?
EA: EngageMedia chooses to have closer relations with its users.
Our editors frequently talk to users, suggesting ideas, and on the other hand, susses out who would seek technical advice as well requests to promote specific videos.
All of videos in EngageMedia are licensed under Creative Commons also, and the download feature is easily accessible, therefore campaigners and educators who need special videos can search and find videos easily and download them in high quality for their purposes (although still bound by the Creative Commons license conditions chosen by the filmmakers).
And since EngageMedia is run by its own Plumi software, we provide updates to users for new versions or features. One big agenda we have forward is to develop more mobile based technologies in our scope of work.
PZ: What do you see as some of the biggest issues and debates confronting new technology and social justice concerns in Asia and the Pacific?
EA:The fast rise of internet users in Asia and the Pacific is not followed by the equally fast internet infrastructure.
Nowadays, internet-able devices are very common all over but slow bandwidth remains an issue.
In Indonesia, half the new internet users are actually people using mobile devices for social networking applications. This trend is also followed by the overflow of pushed information, and decreases in the quality of reporting accuracy as reporters (and reporter-wannabees) try as fast as they can to post articles.
Facebook status unfortunately became another source of information, and often their inaccuracies have created problems. However, this phenomenon could also become strengths if used tactically. The other issue to be debated is the digital technology revolution which does not favor the marginalized societies who have very little technological access.
PZ: What are some projects and initiatives that you have worked on for Engage that you see as significant or that have had interesting outcomes?
EA:Being the Southeast Asia Editor for EngageMedia gives me the opportunity to watch hundreds of videos produced by filmmakers from the region.
The role also allows me to meet many of them during our Online Video Distribution Strategy Workshop in Singapore and various cities in Indonesia.
More and more filmmakers are now familiar and capable of using online tools for their video distribution and archiving, and slowly, EngageMedia is becoming a source for information and videos for journalists, educators, campaigners and filmmakers looking for inspirations.
PZ:.What are some of the issues that Engage and you confront in relationship to new technologies and on the ground issues and politics?
EA: In areas where government restrictions are prominent, the internet is a very useful alternative for many media makers.
However, in some places, the internet has also become a target for scrutiny - unfortunately this is caused by pornography and social networking applications. Therefore, more discussions about media regulations and cyber-law are needed so that the restrictions can be diverted.
On the other hand, filmmakers and campaigners are often enjoying so many iterations of these technologies that many have forgotten that the people they are fighting for have limited access to it.
The good old transmitter radio still works wonder in many remote places, much more than YouTube-- or even EngageMedia.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Blog posted by Patricia Zimmermann, Shaw Foundation Professor, Nanyang Technological University, and codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Meet Shannon Castleman
HDBs (Housing Development Buildings) define the Singapore urban landscape. Public housing designed by the government, HDBs transformed Singapore from kampongs to one of the world’s global cities in less than 50 years. The majority of Singaporeans live in—and own—their HDB flats.
Installation artist and photographer Shannon Castleman, an American living and teaching in Singapore, has created a multi-channel installation exploring the lives, languages and lessons of HDBs through an innovative collaborative process that engages the residents in the production of the piece. It exemplifies and embodies an open space aesthetics and ethics.
Castleman (USA/Singapore) has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University since 2006. Before joining NTU, she taught at Dar Al Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She was the recipient of Murphy Fine Arts Fellowship from the San Francisco Foundation in 2003. Castleman has worked as a freelance photographer for clients and publications including Ray Gun, Rolling Stone, Alternative Press and Workman Publishing.
Castleman's work has been included in a number of exhibitions, both in her native United States and internationally. Most recently her series entitled “Hanoi Ve Dem” was included in the Viet Nam! From Myth to Modernity exhibition at Singapore's Asian Civilizations Museum. In June 2008 she was commissioned by the Substation to produce a video installation in conjunction with SeptFest 2008. Her project “Jurong West Street 81” was featured in a solo exhibition at the Substation Gallery.
Jurong West, the installation, will be exhibited at the Open Space/Singapore/Southeast Asia section of the forthcoming International Communcations Conference in Singapore June 22-26, 2010. For more on Jurong West, visit http://web.me.com/twistedneg/projects/Jurong_West_.html
Patricia Zimmermann: Can you share your artistic trajectory, and how it led you to working in video installation?
Shannon Castleman: When I first began conceptualizing this project, I was thinking it would be done photographically. I was interested in getting a community to simultaneously work together to create a reproduction of the building that would included themselves in the photo.
However, once I chose the location and spent some time there, I quickly realized that I wanted to create more than just that brief second it would take for everyone to take the same photo. I quickly realized that with video I would be able to uncover more layers to each story with the inclusion of sound and would also be able to achieve my original goal of getting a group of residents to simultaneously interact with each other.
PZ: Jurong West(your installation that will be mounted in Open Space) exemplifies a collaborative, participatory and community process. How did you develop this idea initially? How did you construct your working relationships with the residents? What were some of the opportunities, challenges, and unexpected situations and ideas that emerged in the production and exhibition process?
SC: Like most works of art, the piece coalesced from several points of interest. As a photographer who is often inspired by urban architecture , when I first came to Singapore and saw the Housing Development Board flats (HBDs) I spent a lot of time thinking how I could photograph them. Since architectural photography of large building always ends up with an unnatural perspective I thought about how I could achieve a more realistic perspective if I were to collage together from images shot from each residents' window.
Around the same time ,I showed the film Rear Window to one of my classes. I was very surprised by the reactions to the film. They said they didn’t really pay attention to their neighbors. This inspired me to conceive Jurong west. I wanted to give people permission to watch their neighbors -- and maybe possibly they would get to know them a little better.
Getting the residents to agree to participate in the project was very difficult. I knocked on at least 144 doors before I got 8 pairs/ 16 flats to agree to participate. This success was achieved with the help of a small army of multilingual student volunteers who helped to persuade the residents to participate.
I think the biggest surprise was how much the student volunteers got out of the process. They each went into the homes to set up the cameras and take them down at the end of the project. They all were quite touched by the experience and forged connections with the residents. This process was something I tried to duplicate when I did a similar project in Cuba. Again I worked with students from the local university. The students did a wonderful job explaining the project to the residents.
PZ: How does an installation with multiple video monitors contribute to your idea about exploring the residents of HDBs, as opposed to a single channel projected project?
SC: By having each of the flats shown in its own monitor, I am able to make it a self-contained unit which when put together with the other monitors almost allows me to reconstruct the building. Also, so much of the really interesting stuff is very subtle and can only be seen when you are looking the pair of adjacent neighbors together. By putting them in separate monitors side by side , you can better follow these interactions (or lack there of) between the neighbors.
PZ: Projects that engage real people as participants always raise the issue of reception. What have been some of the responses of the residents to the final installation?
SC: For the first incarnation of Jurong West was at the Substation Gallery in Singapore , we invited all the residents and even provided transportation to and from the gallery for the opening. Sadly, only one family took us up on our offer to attended the opening. I think he finally understood what I was trying to create and why I was doing it when he saw the entire installation. He and his family were quite touched by the installation.
I had the same experience when I created a similar work in Cuba. I am sorry more residents don’t come to see the final work. I am not sure exactly why they didn’t come to the opening. I suspect that they are just busy and don’t really understand why I am creating art about their lives, which don’t seem that interesting to them. It may also be the discomfort of seeing their neighbors after they hear what they may have said about them in the videos.
PZ: Have their reactions and responses changed the way you mount the installation?
SC: When I originally showed the work, I didn’t subtitle the piece because I didn’t want them to feel discomfort at the exhibition opening seeing their words in text. Since then, I have added subtitles to the work. Now I worry a lot less about how they are going to feel with their neighbors reading what they said.
PZ: Has your work on this project led you to new directions in new projects?
SC: It was always my hope that this work would be one of many. The second project I produced in Cuba was done utilizing the same system. It is quite interesting to see how different the interactions are in different cultures. I hope that the projects will continue and that with each work I might also be able to improve the production value. Getting access to so many video cameras can be difficult.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Blog written by Patricia Zimmermann, Shaw Foundation Professor, Nanyang Technological University, and codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Meet Michael Tan
The day after I arrived in Singapore in January, I found a postcard for an installation about flip flops called Invisible Life by artist Michael Tan in one of the libraries on campus. I was intrigued: everywhere I looked, I saw people here wearing flip flops. It’s hot and humid. Closed shoes, like mini-microwaves, seem to trap the heat.
My colleague and co-curator of Open Space, Nikki Draper and I, planned an excursion over to the National University of Singapore Art Gallery where Invisible Life was mounted. We were gradually drawn into small images of flip flops dangling from strings, the text explaining the political economies of flip flops wrapped around the gallery, and the large scale photographs of flip flop production and use. We sent co-curator Sharon Lin Tay over to see it.
And a few months later, we were convinced we needed to program it for the Open Spaces/Singapore/Southeast Asia exhibition we’re doing for ICA in Singapore. It was photographs and words opening spaces beyond Singapore but also in it. Perfect.
Michael Tan (Singapore) is currently assistant professor in the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) at Nanyang Technological University. Prior to joining NTU, he served as a part time lecturer at LaSalle College of the Arts and at The National Institute of Education (NIE) where he taught a range of media art related courses in studio practice, theory and history.
His practice seeks to link art and design to the fields of humanities, architecture and urban studies. Beside his research in studio arts, he is also interested in research on art and design pedagogy.
His installation, Invisible Life, a mixed media piece which explores political economy and transnational relations. You can catch it on the 3rd floor of Suntec Convention Center during the ICA conference next week here in Singapore. And you can hear Michael speak about his work at the Open Space panel on Thursday, June 24.
Patricia Zimmermann: What drew you to work in installation art? What do you see as the opportunities and challenges in working in three dimensional space in different locations?
Michael Tan: I am interested in the transformative power of installation art to immerse and situate the body in another world. It is like a theatre, except that in installation art the viewer is also the actor-- a characteristic of installation art that I really like. Opportunities are there, but I think it does take a process of dialogue and negotiation between artists, institutions and space before the work can be realized. Logistics can be a challenge.
PZ: Invisible Life (your installation that will be exhibited in Open Space/Singapore/Southeast Asia) seems to emerge within the context of a growing movement of artists across the globe interested in exploring the transnational crossings and economies of commodities. What was the genesis of this project, and how did it assume its current form of pedestals with small pictures dangling from above? Why flip flops?
MT: Having realized the sociological subject in my work, I was interested in investigating the role visual art can play alongside sociology. The visual has always been more available to solicit visceral responses so I thought it will be interesting to see how in a speculative manner, installation work can provide a lead into greater sociological pondering. Caroline Knowles and I were interested in telling stories that will stir people to think about everyday life.
We are obsessed with things and events that slipped under the current of the everyday. Objects are part of the everyday. They have life: their own and also a shared life with humans. But we don’t often give much thought to objects. Hence that tickled us. We were interested in telling a story with an object .
As an object that a large part of the world owns, the flip-flop became significant to us. Its is capable of opening up subjects such as the social fabric, mobility, globalization, social class. We were interested in pricking people’s imaginations and activating their consciousness.We agreed that installation work could perhaps help us to achieve this aim.
PZ: How does the concept of your project relate to the spatial dimensions which you create in the installation? Is there a translation process you undertake to move an idea into a more concrete experience of space for the spectator?
MT: We wanted to provide a set up that encourages viewers to embark on a journey to imagine narratives on different aspects of the flip-flops.
Dangling images were used to create a forest-like environment to invite physical and mental wandering. The images are frames from our journeys in China and Ethiopia from which the viewer can form their own story.
These elements provide points and boundaries that guide the viewer in their pondering. I think of the creation of an installation work as more of process of articulation rather than a process of translation. I enjoy the challenge of identifying appropriate and efficient signifiers that can lead viewers to grasp the key concerns of my work.
PZ: The Singapore Art Museum recently mounted an exhibition of installations from Southeast Asia in their collection. Can you share your thoughts on the histories and significance of installation art in Southeast Asia? What kind of regional and transnational dialogues do you see your work engaging?
MT: Installation art definitely has a good following by artists in Southeast Asia. I believe it emerged from the tradition of sculpture and architecture. Influences from art outside the region also contributed to its development.
Contemporary art in the Southeast Asian region is experiencing varied development. Art as an economy is a concept that most countries in the region are trying to grasp as they shift in varied speeds from positions as developing countries to developed ones. Over the years, at least in Singapore, we do get a sense that viewers have a better awareness and understanding of installation. I suppose art education by schools and the museums have played an important role,
Art is a way I share the world I perceive and experience with others. I think our ability to find, create and share stories is key. I am interested in the human condition. My work is an indicator of my personal psyche, but I think it also part of a greater narrative in society. I hope my work becomes a point of contact for people.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Blog written by Patricia Zimmermann, Shaw Foundation Professor, Nanyang Technological University and codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Vladimir Todorovic is an artist who installs systems and generative processes to erase romanticized subjectivities in order to unearth new structures.
Todorovic is currently assistant professor in the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University. He received his BFA in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Belgrade, and MFA from University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). His installation based on generative media (creating systems to generate images independently of the artists) called The Snail on the Slope is a featured new media installation at the Open Spaces/Singapore/Southeast Asia exhibition for the International Communication Conference in Singapore the end of June.
Todorovic is the founder of the Emerging Art and Technologies Research Group ‘RASTER’ based in Singapore and co-founder of the Institute for Flexible Cultures and Technologies ‘NAPON’ in Novi Sad, Serbia. He explores fields where art and science intersect, working within the nexus of environmental data, sustainable systems, game cultures and technologies.
His works have been exhibited at venues such as Wired NextFest, Dislocate07, ISEA06, Venice Biennale of Architecture, Siggraph 06, Transmediale 05, Wroclaw Biennale 05, File 2004, MuseumsQuartier Vienna, Machinista, Entermutlimediale, and Museum of Contemporary Arts Belgrade. They have been reviewed by Wired, New Scientist, Gamasutra, Futures-labs, Neutral.it, Selectparks.net, Turbulence, Artmagazine, Remont, and Danas. You can find out more about his at http://tadar.net/
Patricia Zimmermann: What drew you to work in new media in the first place? What do new media interfaces offer that are different from more analog ways of making media?
Vladimir Todorovic: I studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. During my studies in a traditional, more analog program, I became interested in generative systems and new media. At that time, I was experimenting with software to generate videos and interactive installations.
The power of code as well as the experience of writing it was fascinating. When you compile code, you get a beautiful and complex system on the screen. Dynamic and different, it has its own life.
One new media course I took during my studies in Belgrade also influenced my artistic development. At the school, we were painting and drawing 4-8 hours a day for 5 years, we had only one new media course that was an elective for no credits.
This course opened up new ideas about art and technology. I am very thankful to the professors from Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade who ran this course. We had theorists, artists, and quantum physicists presenting their works in the art school. These professors would organize exhibitions for the students with interesting works.
I don’t think that new media interfaces make things easier for artists. They don’t make works more effective either. In most cases, you spend a lot of time working on designing a system. You design a system--- about 80% of your work—and then during the final phase, you see your project being born. You have a very compressed period of time to see beauty and to capture it. The amount of content that you can generate is huge.
PZ: Your work explores and rips open the intersections between nature, the environment, technologies, synthetic worlds, new emerging forms. How did you initially launch into this kind of nexus of ideas?
VT: I was born in a town called Zrenjanin(Serbia) where some connection with nature is still pretty much alive--- you interact with nature on daily basis.
When enjoying nature, I look for aesthetic qualities. In Serbia, during wintertime, you could drive through some villages with not one single person on the streets covered with snow. Everything was black and white. The most vibrant, alive color that you could see would be sepia, usually some dirt or clay on the road.
This monochrome landscape was fascinating because there was no need to search for aesthetic qualities; they were everywhere, they were very graphic, almost like woodcuts, and they were really overwhelming.
Singapore is different. This landscape is much more colorful. During my ‘art journeys’ with very good friend and fellow artist Andreas Schlegel, we would hunt for the formal qualities in our experiences. And in the projects that we (Syntfarm) did here in Singapore, we would discover some formal qualities in single organisms like a pink anemone, and fluorescent green hard corals, and many others that we found here on Kusu Island.
When we did a Bukit Timah hike, we were in this natural amphitheater, where several hundred cicadas performed. They were so loud and fantastic. It really felt like we were at some experimental noise performance. In both cases--the very monochrome Serbian landscape and the very alive and direct songs of cicadas in Singapore--I could not remain apathetic. For me, it was important to transform those experiences and to reframe them into an art form.
With the development of information technologies, scientists and artists were able to simulate or mimic various systems from nature. When I see these emerging forms and synthetic worlds in the art galleries or museums, most pieces that strike me are the ones who are not mimicking the natural with a gimmickry of a fancy conceptual idea, but the ones that address nature in a kind of classical manner, where you don’t modify nature much and where you see some individual and unique quality of a creator.
In Syntfarm’s project (with Andreas Schlegel), we tried to visualize nature with synthetic language. Our goal was not to work with this language to do the photorealistic replicas, but to transform our natural experience into synthetic ones. The choice of the synthetic language is very simple: it is the language that you can say is (unfortunately) the closest to our ‘younger’ generation. : )
PZ: Your work blends technological interface invention with environmental exploration, and, in effect, generates new hybridized environments. Can you describe some of the major conceptual concerns that your work investigates in this context?
VT: In my solo projects and also in the collaborative works of Syntfarm, hybridization exists almost as a necessity. Usually, the projects have some reference to nature, but then the outcomes are usually very synthetic. I would say that for Syntfarm projects, transformation is a term that captures their essence. We go to nature, capture as much data as possible, and then transform this information into a synthetic experience.
With my project called Metazoa Ludens, which I did with the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, hybridization was very important from the start. In that project, we had live animals interacting with a programmed system that physically shaped their environment – created hills for them and some obstacles. In this project, hybridization helped us visualize our relationship to a technological environment.
In that installation, mice move freely, depending on how the computer generates a 3d physical space for them. Mice positions in physical space are captured and replicated in real time in a 3D game. Everything works like a balanced natural ecosystem. It is better to not talk about this project in front of the animal lovers, because they would all claim that mice are not treated well in that hybrid environment. This project was definitely more about creating a hybrid ecosystem that can make us understand our lives better.
PZ: For the Open Space/Singapore/Southeast Asia exhibition, we'll be mounting your installation of generative work, The Snail and the Slope. Can you explain what generative media is, and why you are attracted to working in this realm? For many in media, the idea of generative media is quite new and difficult to grasp. What traditions does it emerge from? What questions does it answer for you?
VT: I started working with generative media when I was studying painting. My method was to add x amount of liters of oil, water and turpentine and after x amount of weeks to come back and see what kind of painting that system would create.
This method was not so heavily indebted to conforming to the sets of rules that, for example Sol Lewit used in his work. I would say that in his drawings, where he would follow a very clear set of instructions, we witness one of the earliest examples of generative media.
I also worked a lot with video, where the camera was placed in a system that will generate a wide range of variations of audio-visual material. I mounted the camera on an electro-motor, on a tree branch, in a barrel, on a bicycle and so on. I did these very early works without too much programming, but they were still generative projects, in that, I created a system and let the system make the work.
Later on, thanks to Andreas who has shown me the easy and powerful way to work with code, I started working with code and programming, which lead to the project I will be showing at the Open Space exhibition.
The Snail on the Slope is a generative movie, a story I wanted to make into a narrative film. When the script of the film was almost finalized, I was also working with computer language called Processing and generating visual material.
Instead of getting into a huge production and waiting for several months to be creatively engaged, I got the idea to use visuals done in Processing to represent the atmospheres of five different chapters of the movie. The movie is very abstract, but there are some very vague narrative structures.
Some viewers of this movie remark that this is what futuristic cinema could look like. I don’t agree. With the digital platforms available today, what is apparent is that there is a drastic democratization of creative coding environments--- more and more people have free and open access to these technologies. This open access and ease of coding is bound to have an enormous impact on the arts creative media.
Saturday, June 5, 2010