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Project Hyperessay: Influences I

Mood: James Blake - Limit to Your Love *

Curatorial Statement

Still is the central theme to the intellectual common ground of video art installations and performances by artists Granular Synthesis, Ryoji Ikeda and TeamLab. These pieces exemplify video as art in and above all, establishes the aesthetic paradigm while furnishing the conceptual. Still questions the concept of time and its structural quality when measured in hours, minutes and seconds, thereby an examination of the relationship between time and our perception of time. Still in its system and algorithmic manipulations is rational, and finds aesthetically production irrational, all in all closing the distance between ourselves, the artists and viewers to the sublime.

Modell 5, 1994-6
Kurt Hentschläger and Ulf Langheinrich / Granular Synthesis
Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 1.04.16 am

“From a few expressions on the face of the performer Akemi Takeya to a frenzied exploration of the alter ego, any known context of meaning ends in the dissolved movements, is stalled in denaturalized redundancy, in machine pain. The semantic void is too loud to be amenable to meditative reception. The frontal images the rhythmic structures generate contradictory emotions and great strain. Entertainment is offered and almost violently denied. At the highest level of energy, enjoyment reaches the limit.”


Modell 5 is an audiovisual installation by the artist duo Granular Synthesis, channelling digitally processed image and sound to 4 video channels and 8 audio outputs. A multisensual perceptual experience is produced. In live performances of Modell 5, the audio interacts with visuals.

The pre-recorded video has Japanese performer Akemi Takeya broken down into grains through an analytical process, then reconstructed, and resembled in another frequency. Through this process of granular synthesis, image and sound are separated, blurred and perceived erratically like flickers.

This intervention into the audiovisual material by means of granular synthesis evokes violence and pain, as her voice and portrait are now being dissected. Her natural rhythm is eliminated and replaced by a mechanical rhythm. It is as if the organic human form has been mechanised and has her spirit trapped in a purgatorial state.

The digital editing level could be perceived as disruptive, because synchronicity has been removed, while simultaneously, one experiences then synchronicity between recombined image and sound. The cyborg’s reality is a distortion of space and time, and to the onlooking audience, we relate to her torment. A commendation to the creative decision in slipping in sub-bass, triggering physiological effect, heightening that sense of empathy.

Transfinite, 2011
Ryoji Ikedathe_transfinite

The Tranfinite by Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese artist and electronic composer is large-scale digital installation. The installation bisects the space of the hall with pulsating patterns of real-time binary analysis of the Ryoji Ikeda’s soundtrack. It is a fully-immersive audio and visual experience.

In his album +/-, Ikeda describes his tone as “a high frequency sound that the listener becomes aware of only upon it disappearance”. While his rhythm exploits on beat patterns and noise, creating the semblance of a drum machine, the space involves a slowly evolving soundscape, with little or no sense of pulse. With minimal pulsation, audience are pulled into an abyss that signals the absence of time while enveloped in the darkness. In this alchemised experience which Ikeda describes as ‘the aesthetic experience of the sublime in mathematics’, we confront the vast magnitude of the universe. This project explores the transfinite that is quantitative and ordered, the intersection of beauty and the sublime, through music and math; black and white; 0s and 1s.

Universe of Water Particles, 2013
Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 1.04.53 pm

Universe of Water Particles is a waterfall created in a computer-simulated environment by TeamLab from Japan, a collective of artists, designers, animators, editors, programmers, mathematicians and architects.

01_new_zbush_R1Rock environment created in a computer space

01_new_zbush_up_A_R1Detail of rock sculpture

The waterfall simulation

1. A virtual rock is first sculpted and computer-generated water consisting of hundreds of thousands of water particles is then poured onto it.
2. The computer calculates the movement of these particles to produce an accurate waterfall simulation that flows in accordance to physical laws.
3. 0.1 percent of the particles are selected and lines are drawn in relation to them
4. the curvilinear motion depends on the overall interaction among the water particles and forms the magnificent cascade seen on screen.
5. Also, The waterfall is rendered at a resolution five times that of full HD to allow for the intricate and extreme detail of the work.

In traditional Japanese paintings of oceans, rivers, and bodies of water, they are expressed as curvilinear series of lines, giving the impression of life, as though water itself were a living creature.

So we question: What implications did the notion of Nature as a living creature as an integral part have on their perceptions of the world? TeamLab expresses their point of view that this work of art embodies an integration of the modern objective world and the subjective world of Japanese ancestors. To think of ancient Japanese understanding space and time, “we reasoned that while compiling visual information in their minds, they would have experienced time on a longer axis. Stemming from this idea, we created a time lag during the simulation of the particles that left an afterimage. Following which, we formed lines from the afterimages.”

When viewing the work, if is there is something within the lines from which
the audience feel a presence of life, then perhaps TeamLab’s proposition of the subjectivity is their Japanese ancestors is extant in our objective perceiving of the world today.

Also, in such immersion from viewership of the work, one does not feel a barrier between them and the waterfall. Nature is not just an object of our observation. The integral part of nature and its behaviour arose from Japanese ancestors ways of seeing i.e. rivers as living entities such modes of perception make it very easy to feel no boundary or separation from their environment

Through this approach to perception in work of art, the qualities from ancient Japanese times is transcendental to our modern world besides the intangible stillness of mind image from viewing the water. Also, physical manifestation of the experience from looking at
this waterfall in spite of the virtuality of it from a screen.

what people think i do

Third Space Research Series: Intimacy and Technology


In relation to the Third Space, both works of art are exemplary in the investigation of the notion of intimacy and the evolution of technology.

Catch-22 is that we are connected and alienated simultaneously. Intimate and isolating at the same time. The contemporary art embraces binary opposites and such marriage marks incredible milestone in art practice, as the role of an artist draws on parallel to a facilitator in creative process and viewer’s reception. Art critic Robert Hughes suggests a truly significant work of art is the one that prepares the future. Digital natives, it is as important to be concerned about the integration of third space in the everyday, vice versa.

The Big Kiss attempts to construct a shared experience through the participation fostered by the third space. What is noticeably challenged is defined by physically, and tactile sensation.
In Telematic Dreaming, such is enhanced with the placement of bed, a physical manifestation of the third space for the two participants situated remotely.

Telematic Dreaming by Paul Sermon, 1992:

telematic dreaming statementArtist’s statement on Telematic Dreaming.

In Telematic Dreaming, Paul Sermon enforces telepresence with the place of bed as a stimuli to foster the feeling of that other location. Telepresence videoconferencing allows artist-viewer* to share and without them, it just an empty space. Paul Sermon as a facilitator contemplates on how to engage the audience and therefore ownership within an environment.

artist-viewer* suggests viewer as artist and artist as viewer through participatory gesture to render an art experience.

Moving forward from existential angst and loneliness staring into the abyss of HTML, the inception of HTML5 in 2008 has been a tool to pull strings for difference spaces in a browser. #stingtheorypun

The Wilderness Downtown by Chris Milk, 2010
downtownClick on image to be directed

The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive music video for Arcade Fire’s song “We Used to Wait.” Visitors are prompted to enter their hometown’s address, and then the site calls upon Google Earth and HTML5 to create a personalised music video that takes the user on a journey back home.

Also note that besides the comparative incitation of third space, some of the most interesting and important works of art conceived and built upon on the internet challenge the convention of museum-going; web-browser replacing art gallery, as that of the third space replacing real place. I digress.

The Kiss by Annie Abrahams, 2008:

annie abrahams' comments
Artist’s “statement” for The  (Big) Kiss.

Annie Abrahams creates situations where people reveal things of themselves they normally don’t show, being real and acting out of what is normally accepted, referring to it as an “intimate moment”. The idea is that in such a situation, people invest their thoughts and emotions while conferencing in the third space. In retrospection, it pricks to pick on their performance, in The Kiss, both performers self-consciously gestured a kiss. A kiss and its various cultural connotations deconstructed in the third space.

Man falls in love with operating system.

Watch trailer here:

Her, written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, 2013

What does it mean to hold a relationship through electronic media? Annie Abrahams is appreciative of the realness exhibited by the man behind the webcam. From Spike Jonze’s film, Her, the protagonist in flesh develops a relationship with a machine, an OS. The revelation is that authenticity exhibited, regardless of machines and devices, contributes to the foundation of the third space.  Life is evoked by life intertwined with memory and nostalgia. #meta

and yes —

You are welcome.



Alessandro Tomasi. 2008. Journal of Evolution and Technology. The Role of Intimacy in the Evolution of Technology, 17(1): 1-12. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

Umut Sumnu. 2011. Image, Time and Motion: New Media Critique from Turkey. What is Absent in telepresence?, 135-138. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.