[-empyre-] glitch device/divide

jonCates joncates at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 09:38:45 EST 2011

im now in the 1rst day of my guest micro.blog'n for Mark Amerika's
remixthebook project (0) && about a week away from the date that Patrick
suggested that i should start to make a few specific contributions to this
discussion. as a result i am continuing to think/feel thru the biomechanics
&& biomechanicalRythmns of these discourses

the semester has just concluded @ The School warez i teach the topics we're
discuss'n. times like these open up sum space for academics like me &&
mayhaps also for others on this list. mayhaps this will present sum
opportunities to return to certain aspects of the discussion +/or continue
the convo in new waze...

01 such topic i wanna continue/return to is a position described by Rosa
when she wrote, in her recent post on Glitch Art as a genre, the following:
"This reflexive approach to materiality in glitch tends to, as Katherine
Hayles would assert, re-conceptualize materiality itself as ‘the interplay
between a text’s physical characteristics and its signifying strategies’."

Rosa, this is great! thnx for bringing these points into the duscussion,
offerining these defns/positions && for applying N. Katherine Hayles this
waze. if we follow these defns/positions then could we then set out a
conceptual framework/ scaffolding which would incl:

if New Media Art is non-medium-specific (but rather constructed
technosocially as consisting of pluralities, i.e. 'media') && Glitch Art
(as a genre) self-reflexively addresses materialities as dynamic + not
'nonphysical' but rather not-only-physical aspects of various media

then could we ask questions about Modernist (or even 'super' or
'hyper'-Modernist) formalisms in New Media Art && in Glitch Art? so could
we bring these questions to those Glitch Art projects which foreground
pattern-making +/or places primary emphasis on (domesticated[?]) glitch
aesthetics +/or are composed of technologically-determined/essentialized
approaches to systems, etc... (&& also, is this mayhaps @least part of what
you meant Julian [or mayhaps Rosa in response to Julian] about 'gl1tch'?)

but also, would a problem arise in this continuum of glitch/Glitch Art/art
moment[um]s that in using this defn/position we would risk running a
convient escape from those self-same problems of formalisms that trouble
the genre/histories? +/or is this an inclusive continuum of moment[um]s
that allows for flows thru these various forms of of
formalisms/materialities to complicate them self-reflexively (as you
suggest Rosa) + insinuate them in technosocial contexts as (a) part of
(their) materialities before/as/after they break on (our) shores?

which brings me to this about the formalisms + rltns to other materialist
impulses: Nick Briz, Evan Meaney + others incl'n myself sumtimes
contextualize Glitch Art (in gen) + their own Media Art Histories &
Genealogies (in specific) in rltn to sum previous moment[um]s such as
Structuralist Film, Nam June Paik's projects (i.e. Magnet TV) + (the often
invoked/ever inspirational) JODI, to name just a few. these examples are
all variously considered materialist/or even formalist @ times by various
Media Art Histories scholars + Media Art critics. as Briz goes on to say
about these genealogies: "Just like Brakhage painting colors on clear
celluloid, a hacker punching 1's and 0's into a file to invoke broken
shards of colorful pixels exposes the digital medium for what it is. In
this way glitch art is like experimental film." (2)

so then, a question to all yawl invoked above, are these impulses in Glitch
Art expressions of essentialist beliefs about/desires for materials,
medium-specificity + meaning? +/or do these approaches confront Modernist
essentialism by de-materializing 'materiality' within a technosocial

"or another way of approaching these questions, discourses + hystories +
Paik in particular comes to us transmitted across spacetime as txt from
Martha Rosler:

"Many of these early users saw themselves as carrying out an act of supreme
social criticism, criticism specifically directed at the domination of
groups and individualized epitomized by broadcast television and perhaps
all of Western industrial and technological
culture... Not only a systemic but also a utopian critique was implicit in
video's early use, for the effort was not to enter the system but to
transform every aspect of it and - legacy of the revolutionary avant-garde
project - to redifine the system out of existence by merging art with
social life and making audience and producer interchangeable." (3)

later Rosler begins the section titled Part III: Myth w/the following line:
"At the head of virtually every video history is the name Nam June Paik."
(4) she continues discussing Paik positioning him in terms of the creation
of his [patriarchy-reaffirming/hystoricized/technosocially constructed +
elevated] mythic status as father of Video Art. this is a deeply
intertwingled section + should be read in the context of the entire essay
rather than excerpted via the cut-n-paste operations i could perform here.
in her closing section, the Conclusion, Rosler brings her previously
developed hyperthreads into a tighter + tighter weave @ one point writing:

"To recapitulate, these histories seem to rely on encompassable (psuedo-)
transgressions of the institutions of both television and the museum,
formalist rearrangements of what are uncritically called the "capabilities"
of the medium, as though these were God-given, a technocratic scientism
that replaces considerations of human use and social reception with highly
abstracted discussions of time space, cybernetic circuitry, and physiology;
that is, a vocabulary straight out of old-fashioned discredited formalist
modernism" (5)

...i am a deeply interested in  + excited by various new media myths +
technosocial fantasies while attempting to apply self-reflexive forms of
critique + analysis to these discourses)... i could go on... but instead i
will end + press send while remembering recursive digital ghosts haunt new
+ old media moments alike..." (6)

// jonCates

0. https://twitter.com/#!/remixthebook

1. [-empyre-] glitch device/divide - Rosa Menkman (2011)

2. Wikipedia as quoted by Briz in his:
Glitch Art Historie[s] (contextualizing glitch art) - Nick Briz (2010)

+ then re:versioned/updated in:

Glitch Art Historie[s]: contextualizing glitch art -- a perpetual beta -
Nick Briz (2011)
in the GLI.TC/H READER[ROR] 20111

3. Video: Shedding the Utopian Moment - Martha Rosler (1985/1986)

4. ibid

5. ibid

6. Re: [-empyre-] archiving - jonCates (2005)
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