Category Archives: media


Flusser – We Shall Survive in the Memory of Others

Televison Image and Political Space in Light of the Romanian Revolution

  • Romanian revolution – not a political action
  • post-history having its first expression in Romania
  • television takes over – is the end of history, the end of what we used to call history
  • we have at least two possibilities to face our world

    • image
    • linear writing
  • man was originally in his circumstance
  • he then looked at this circumstance from a subjective distance

    • this was the
    • schrit zureg – heidegger
    • wittgenstein
    • the world as scene
    • magical character – every image is loaded
  • images are ‘media’ which ‘meaning’ the world

    • inner dialectics – images hide the world as well as show it to us
    • when images become very strong – “a very profound alienation”
    • the image becomes the concrete reality and the world is a pretext
  • event vs. happening

    • processural – political consciousness
    • television cannot be political – anti-poliitcal by its very structure
    • linear writing created events – explaining images
  • science projects images that are conceivable but unimaginable

    • photography was invented to deal with this unimaginability
  • writing as a public/private consciousness

    • go into private to write
    • go into the public to publish
    • go into private to read

media readings

john cage interviews – nam june paik in conversation – UCSD (1985)

nam june paik and john cage – in coversation (part 1 & part 2)

  • the failure of technology as beautiful – paik
  • “it is very important to do unimportant things” – cage
  • Malevich
  • Experiments Art Technology – a failure, but a beautiful failure as it proved that technology could fail
  • Story about the phones being off the hook for Cage’s piece, but engineers
  • The Well and Cage’s writings
  • Audio-vidual artworks – “back to the stone age” – “all this electronic information has no weight, no gravity”
  • engineers understanding the workings of art – Cage’s story of the telephone piece in NYC, where the engineers saw the phones off the hook – for that performance, “if we were cats and dogs, we only had three legs.”

Another Interview with Cage:

“Everything has a spirit and that spirit can be released by setting whatever it is into vibration.” – Oscar Fischinger

On the invention of ideas, the invention of the prepared piano – “That’s the trouble, of course, for any individual. There is the rest of society and the rest of history. I think we have to take that circumstance as the means upon which we work to help us discover the nature of the next step, rather than taking it as something to lament. That’s what my father would have done.”

e e cummings: “sweet spontaneous earth.”

on nature, conservation: “I won’t even support something like the Wilderness Society, and I love mushrooms, the forest, and all that. But I hate what those institutions are doing to them. Do you know what they do? They buy up a big piece of what you might call wilderness, or waste land, land that no industry or metropolis has thought suitable for a city or factory. Then they make rules that you can’t pick anything. You have to approach the whole thing as a museum. And they are turning the whole of nature into museums in the name of saving the wilderness, but with no good reason or purpose.”osweetspontaneousearth_eecummings.jpg

embarassing governments out of existence: “Thoreau said: “Government is a tree, its fruit are people. As people ripen, they drop from the tree”-his Essay on Civil Disobedience.”

“In India they say: “Music is continuous, it is we who turn away.””

Postmodernism and the Music of John Cage (pdf)

“Composition as Process” – redefining the composition as a non-static “object”

Criticism of Cage

  • Yvonne Rainer said that random processes did not awaken us to the “excellent life we are living,” but instead leads us to question why we may have been lead to believe that this is so (by external forces, governments, commerciality, etc.?).
  • Adorno said that interpenetration of the sounds of the world, etc., removed the independence of the composer as a critical force in the world.
  • Goehr – specific performances were very prescribed and still functioned within the concert hall…
  • 1970s postmodern writings using Cage, et al., as the initiation of the movement – overlooking the earlier work of fuurists… Russolo
  • Cage’s study of Satie, Boulez – bringing history
  • Boulez critical of Cage’s chance/indeterminacy: “The only thing, forgive me, which I am not happy with, is the method of absolute chance (by tossing the coins). On the contrary, I believe that chance must be extremely controlled: by using tables in general, or series of tables, I believe that it would be possible to direct the phenomenon of the automatism of chance, whether written down or not. . . there is already quite enough of the unknown.”
  • Cage (postmodernism) vs. Boulez (avant garde) is too simple
    • both believed in building on tradition – the notion of progress
    • Second Viennese School – reinterpretation
    • Cage was very interested to carve his place in history, to invent things

main point of essay: “His move away from self-expression resonates with the multiple voices of postmodernism, although indeterminacy operated within his chosen parameters.”

historical effect: “In the 1960s and 70s, Fluxus musicians went on to explore this idea of the “open work”, which anticipated conceptual art.”


buckminster fuller on MediaSquat – 2009

april 7 – 1978 – buckminster fuller (83 years old) – minnesota

  • how to earn a living – blinding the world
  • S.O.S.
  • born into the world at a time when technology was disproving cynicism – Wright Brothers… 90% illiteracy to 90% literate
  • military – weaponry
  • British Empire – Thomas Malthus – humanity designed to be a failure – the inadequacy of resources
  • Carl Marx / Darwin – survival of the fittest – no where near enough to go around, the worker knows how to survive and others are parasites – those on top of the heap thought they were the ‘fittest’
  • you do it through artefacts – committing yourself to artifacts – not through ‘talking’
  • Westinghouse – the electromagnetic spectrum – reality is 99% non-directly contactable by the human senses – there is human contact but only through instruments
  • Thomas Malthus left out a great deal – last book right before the telegraph
  • acceleration of doing more with less – we might one day so much with so little that we can do something with nothing – and all the rules of political economics may be invalid
  • earning a living – “earning the right to live”
  • get out of the military and see what doing more with less would do outside the military
  • geodesic domes – mathematically you can enclose the most volume with the least amount of material investment
  • 99% of humanity is ignorant of the operation of technology
  • combustion – internal combustion energy (15% efficient), turbine (30% efficient), jet (60% efficient)

  • telephone – multiplexing in the copper wire – originally 1 signal per wire, then 20000

  • 175,000 tons of copper replaced by satellites

  • industrial lags from research to implementation – electronics 2 years, aeronautics 6 years, cars 4 years – the more we can see things move the more cautious we are…
  • lags in arts – 1936 – metals have a lag of 22 years. the history copper as having a spike at the WWI – and the scrap of copper after the war would be overwhelming.
  • 85% of all our metals are now (1978) coming from reclamation, not the mines

  • 2,000,000 design decisions for NASA – the critical path of solving problems
  • comprehensive anticipatory design
  • exchanging cows for shoes – “you can’t cut up the cow and still milk it” – so we invented money
  • making money on money – money has not been interested at all – “how do you put a meter on the wind/sun?”
  • the big thing i wanted to get at is… “sometimes i laugh at my own joke and forget what i was talking about”
  • The World Game
  • “Not living on the savings account of the universe”
  • What does it cost nature to create petroleum? Geologist calculatees $1,000,000 / gallon in cosmic costs to the universe
  • the king – military is about not being able to ‘take on two big men,’ and then dividing people into specialities/industries is a power game to keep people from bothering the king, keep them busy (Foucault)
  • science and technology – 70% of industries are not life-supporting industries

  • group womb of ignorance – took a lot of resources to realise that the mind is everything
  • kids are not allowing their optimism and idealism to be exploited
  • the young have no faith in political revolution –
  • what does a building weigh?
  • don’t understand the efficiencies of things on the ‘home front’ – using the scraps of low-performance materials
  • NO SCIENTIST HAVE EVER BEEN ASKED TO LOOK AT THE PLUMBING!” – we don’t turn our high-capability to the home-front.
  • Rushkoff – “the disconnection between the money industry and money as a utility is costing us dearly”

    • the utility of money is being removed through the hoarding of
    • the derivative economy – doesn’t support the “real economy”
    • Zizek and Buckminster – Zizek and the speculative economy must be kept alive – the Marxist
    • doing this with design instead of weaponry
    • the guns of first world nations are being used to preserve the semiotic systems – the labelling, the currency, the derivative
    • human beings are responsible for the design of their society – scientists don’t know how plumbing works, architects don’t know how much buildings weigh
    • technology as design contest, not an inheritance

time – BBC (2007)


  • “it is time that makes us uniquely human” – michio kaku
  • grunion mating cycle – arriving within a precise time on newport beach
  • time is not an abstract – if mating cycles are not timed proper – they disappear as a species
  • 1962 – michelle siffre – lived in a cave for 2 months – don’t take a watch – living without any time cues. live based on feelings of hunger, based on feelings of tiredness. roughly 24hr cycle of the body – there is an ‘isolated’ body clock
  • effects of time on the body – feelings, strength, pain threshold – physical performance changes dramatically throughout the day
  • pain threshold changes during the day – nerves are less sensitive later on in the day
  • small – superchiasmatic nucleus – master clock
  • all plants, animals – share the genes for the superchiasmatic
  • Stephen Kern – the invention of “public time” –
  • Frederick_Winslow_Taylor – studying brickmakers, timing events
  • WWI – prompted developments in timing – the wrist watch became a main ‘weapon’ for movements of troops – watches were synchronised at headquarters and sent out
  • pace of living – FedEx – overnight
  • driven by time – feels like an external force
  • comic timing
  • Warren Meck – Duke University
  • fMRI – centres of the brain for timing – sense for time passing is embedded in the cells of the brain – neurochemical released, neurons fire – different rates – the pattern of beats gives the sense of timing the world around us
  • phenomenon of ‘time slowing down’ in moments of crisis/near death
  • freefall experiment – 12 stories free fall – chronometer – time slowing down / brain speeding up
  • drugs – rat experiments – trained to get a pellet at a certain time – with cocaine, marijuna drugs
  • chemicals released that change our experience of time
  • why does time run forward and not backward – the laws of physics state that the reversal of time is not impossible, but it is very very improbable
  • the past is always fixed in our memories, and the future is yet to come – the arrow of time (the angel of history)
  • is this a purely human experience?
  • how long is the present
  • Cliver Wearing – the worst case of amnesia ever known
  • “it’s been like death – i’ve never seen a person before…”


  • does time really speed up when you get older?
  • young people time a minute too quickly – older people finish counting after a minute
  • the internal clock in the brain is slowing down the older we get – everything else seems to speed up
  • why can’t we live forever
  • the oldest inhabitant on earth – bristle-conded pine tress – methusela (4781 years old – older than the pyramids, older than recorded history itself)
  • oldest person
  • we are the only living things who ‘know’ that our time is limited (elephants…?)
  • young people remember a wide range of pictures in experiments – older people remember the positive set – with age people begin to take account of the time they have left
  • the portrait – tarnia cooper – memento mori – paintings that remind us of death/mortality (skulls, rotting fruit, candle – flesh will rot)
  • family portraits / photos
  • hypnotism – islands of memory
  • newness – vivid emotional experiences can slow down our perception of time
  • are we programmed to die?
  • yeast cells are immortal – 1985 – perhaps the same mechanism could exist in humans (last common ancestor – 1,500,000 years ago we had a common strand)
  • there are no genes for oldness – no ageing genes
  • “biological age” – system assessment – HB Health
  • mitochondria – energy producers – create free radicals and these free radicals damage DNA/gene which tells our skin cells how to produce skin cells, etc.
  • so we age
  • radioactivity – from the atomic bomb – in sea urchins
  • individual sea urchins can be 100~150 years – no indication of ageing
  • “it lives outside time”
  • Gordon Lithgow’s lab – Buck Institute for Ageing Research – worms
  • Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de Grey


  • just how far back and into the future does time go?
  • the huge scale of time – beginnings and ends
  • crazy-horse – the world’s largest sculpture – corjack – standing bear
  • shoulders of giants – no shakespear without the greeks, etc…
  • when did time begin:
    • James Usher – Dr. Elizabethanne Boran
    • adds up the ages of the biblical families
    • 4004 BC – established as the moment of God’s creation (pronounced in 17th century)
    • James Hutton – geology opening up the idea of deep time
    • Sam Bowring – zircon mineral… uranium/zircon ratio will give you its age. the oldest fragment of earth ever found – 4000 000 000 years.
    • Berringer meteor crater in arizona – 300 000 tons of rock collided with rock
    • 1955 all ways to date the earth agree that it is: 4,600,000 000 000 (4.6 billion) years old
  • change over millions of years – earth time
  • lava – volcanoes – Pangea
  • the body as a museum – asian eye features coming from ice-age survival strategies
  • pulling life from a crystal – living creatures
  • Danny Hillis – The Long Now Foundation – the planets as a universal language of time
  • the sun – when will it die? 5,000, 000 000 000 (5 billion) years from now.
  • the earth is 1/2 way through its life…


  • nuons
  • Bern – Albert Einstein – special relativity
  • time changes depending on relative speed
  • immutability – unchangeable
  • Tom Bolten – signal 6-1 – the first blackhole
  • H. G. Wells – Time Machine
  • particle accelerator – subatomic particles – the building blocks of our universe
  • time isn’t necessarily one way – theoretical blueprint
  • the space-time foam in quantum states – worm holes
  • we make these by injecting a lot of energy – particle accelerator – a million times greater than the nuclear explosion
  • stabilizing space time foam – creating a wormhole – then enlarging the wormhole with negative energy
  • 1948 Hendrik Casmir – negative energy – anti-gravitational properties
  • we live in a very extreme corner of the universe – where time is constant…
  • time only has one direction FORWARDS
  • the 3 other dimensions – we have full freedom of motion – so why not time?
  • Hubble – 1919 – discovered that the milky way was not the limit of our universe…
  • oct 4th 1923 – tiny spec in the adromeda nebula – which were thought to be part of our own milky way universe – he discovered that this was another universe – so the universe would have to be much older
  • he doppler effect – the compression of sound waves at the front of an object, and the stretching out of sound waves at the back of a moving object
  • ‘the red shift’ – similarly proved that the universe was expanding – from an event… – galaxies are moving away from us
  • rays of light from space that have been overstretched – radio static as the sound of creation
  • The Big Bang – 13.7 billion years ago – is when all space and tim were created
  • time is eternal – but time came into being at a precise moment
  • buddhism – time eternal – no biggining or end
  • christianity – adam and even, initiation
  • norse myth – the forces of good and evil – the winter of winters – an epic ice age
  • Saul Perlmutter
  • most thought the expansion of the universe is collapsing back in on itself – the big crunch… stopping time (and space, of course…)
  • supernova – the aftermath of exploded stars –
    • it’s peak brightness gives you how far away it is and hence how old the star is
    • it’s red-shift – which is the dopplr effect resulting from the expansion rate of the universe and the light waves of the supernova itself
  • apparently the universe is not slowing down but speeding up
  • 5 ages of the universe

    • primordial – the birth of time until 350,000 year s
    • Stelliferous Age – 100 000 000 000 000 years from now
    • degenerate age – the last stars burn out and die, and matter begins to decay – only black holes remainf
    • the age of photon – invisible indestructible, low energy particles
    • dark age
media readings

new media in art – rush (2005)

time art

  • locating the seeds of real-time and manipulation of time as an artistic practice: “After the mid-1960s, as citic and curator Anne-Marie Duguet has said, “Time emerged not only as a recurrent theme but also as a constituent parameter of the very nature of an art work.”
  • media art is inextricably linked to photography
  • “representation clearly involves space; but less clear is time, and this is where the revolution wrought by phtoography and its bigger cousin moving photography, humans began to participate in the manipulation of time itself.”
  • Bergson:
    • time as metaphysics – flux of reality
    • Matter and Memory (1896)
    • “What I call ‘my present’ has one foot in my past and another in the future.”
    • championed the interaction between intuition and perception
    • Bergson didn’t like technology in art – perception should be ‘pure’
  • Rush: “From the beginnings of photography, however, art and technology co-existed in an essential bond that has benefitted both for more than one hundred years.”
  • Marey – Bergson (who were at College de France together – Muybridge
  • chornophotography
  • embraced by the futurist – Giacomo Balla, Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters – applied futurism to their painting…
  • 1950s – Hollis Frampton / Stan Brakhage
  • Williiam Kennedy Laurie Dickson
  • Knetorgraph
  • Kinetoscope
  • 1895 – Lumiere Brothers – projected on screens for paying public
  • George Melies – “the first screen artist” – lighting, cinematography, time-lapse, Cinderella – The Dreyfus Affair – A Trip to the Moon
  • Edwin S. Porter – The Great Train Robbery
  • D. W. Griffith – The Birth of the Nation & Intolerance
  • Louis Feuillade
  • Abel Gance
  • F. W. Murnau
  • Fritz Lang
  • Victor Sjostrom
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Sergei Eisenstein – art technology life during soviet avant-garde (1915-1932)
    • educated in engineering, mathematics and art
    • worked as a theorter designer
    • montage as emotion through editing – constructivism and cubism
    • new ways of seeing – new society means new ways of seeing things
    • cinema was totally utilitarian rationalist and materialist – applications of industrial processes
    • dynamic camera angles and such allows for multiple understandings of reality
  • Vertov
  • Delluc
  • Robert Wiene
  • Teinosuke Kinugasa
  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
  • Alfred Steiglitz


ART:21 – Time

PBS ART:21 – Time

  • merce cunninham – tap dancing is a way of articulating time
  • martin puryear
  • paul pfeiffer

    • newscasts, sporting image
    • crucifiction
    • the long count –
    • craft: building a relationship to the material
  • vija celmins
  • tim hawkinson

paul mccarthy and allan kaprow in conversation (2000)

Paul McCarthy Mid-career retrospective in 2000 – MOCA conversation between Allan Kaprow and Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy (aged 55 here – born 1945)

  • story of the meeting of Allan Kaprow
  • art as play, art as education
  • both live in Pasadena
  • article in art forum – not interested in academic analysis
  • don’t work at it – don’t worry about Saturday
  • architecture’s effect on work
  • 1980s blew out of the water a number of artists who never re-appeared into the art world

Allan Kaprow (aged 72 here – born 1927)

  • experimental artist – that art is for experiment – not about locating art specifically about not locating
  • ontologies of art
  • he idea that art goes where art building goes – specific buildings built for
  • the influence of one on the other is tremendous (elevator sizes, etc.)
  • the architecture of certain kinds of museums that effect the kind of work that is made for particular spaces
  • Heinz catchup at Paul’s studio – reeking of catchup, vinegar
  • Video portapack – tapes of himself on a cot, with lots of ground meat and catchup.
  • Impressed by the videotapes that he saw – but couldn’t get rid of the smell…
  • Quite sure that the smell determined the nature of the space – smell characterised space… it went in to the clothes, and the nostrils and the hairs in there.
  • From time to time I have read – art forum – which are extremely elegantly written and full of abstractions and missing something in the work of Paul McCarthy
  • Play as a human phenomenon and its relation to education and art
  • Paul’s work more about play – not about shock, or the breakdown of human culture…
  • Play’s with meat and catchup – as a child does – i.e.: play as play. Unlike the Vienna group – who are programmatic, editorialised, based on imaginary early-catholic religious experience of the body and the soul. None of that is in the work of Paul McCarthy – which is a kind of free play.
  • Accounts of things that would never be showable at a museum:

    • A group of friends each took a small pocket mirror and went off to different spots in the campus at UCSD. Smile or frown indefinitely until one or the other of two friends would come and visit. It was strange looking at the frozen smile – which seemed less and less funny. If choosing to visit another, they would have to walk across campus with the fake smile or frown – and exchange smiles and frowns with the sitting person. Two people came to meet
  • Kaprow’s Pollock:

    • 1956 (published 1958) – the legacy of Jackson Pollock
    • What was valuable in what he did was the art that was on the canvas
    • The painting was in those days very big – huge – the painting almost filled the entire wall, 4 paintings per room
    • “Great big examples of wall-paper that came alive, and that it extended into the space of the center of the room… and that suggested that all of life intermingled with that emergence off the wall into the room, like maelstrom. The art idea for me in those days was anything was fair for art – real streets, real spaghetti – anything you want. Now that was my liberation in the late 50’s… I don’t know how Paul would feel about that.”
  • “the real situation”

Footnote – short interview with Bran Kaprow

  • “if he ever wanted a little outside of the box thinking, he would come and ask me…”

Art of Allan Kaprow, Happening Again in Los Angeles – New York Times.pdf

“Which raises questions that Kaprow himself increasingly confronted as he aged. What does it mean to restage a Happening, revisiting an event that was meant to be very Zen and present tense? Does the artist’s original intention even matter? And, when it comes to exhibitions, what is the best way to sustain the legacy of an artist obsessed with the everyday and ephemeral, an artist who once compared putting “lifelike art” in a museum to “making love in a cemetery”? (NYT, April 13th, 2008 – By JORI FINKEL Published: April 13, 2008

media readings

de landa – Columbia Art & Technology Lecture Series (2004)

ManuelDelanda: Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithmin Architecture

  1. population thinking
  2. intensive properties – intensive thinking
    • the tendencies of a material
    • properties that cannot be divided in real space
    • extensive = maps / intensive = meteorological
  3. topological
    • you always needed a space one-dimension
    • Gauss – developed the 2 dimensional manifold strategy
    • Rieman
    • Differential concept of space – using local conditions and information, you don’t need a ‘shoebox’ into which
ideas media

mass media mass material

east-enders: “so many viewers tuned in that they brought on a nationwide 1,400-megawatt power surge, the equivalent of 500,000 people simultaneously turning on their electric teapots.

superbowl super flush effect: “Media stunt or not, there really have been occasions when the super flush effect did occur. The most recent, according to the city, came at the end of the much-touted last episode of M*A*S*H, which aired in 1983. People were apparently glued to their seats during the entire two-and-a-half-hour show and then all headed off to the pissoir at once. The resultant pressure drop caused a pronounced surge in the two huge tunnels that bring water into New York each day from the Catskills. Similar surges have been observed during the Academy Awards, the first moon walk, and so on.”

media quotes

object subjects

holderlin (quoted by Herzog in a talk with Avital Ronell – Conférence Centre Pompidou): “let yourself undulate like a lake on a boat”