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Book Release, Depletion Design: A Glossary of Network Ecologies

I’m very happy to have a contribution in the book Depletion Design: A Glossary of Network Ecologies, edited by Carolin Wiedemann and Zoenke Zehle; published by Institute of Network Cultures as part of their series Theory on Demand. The publication includes well-known theorists.  My contribution is a text titled “Remix[ing] Re/Appropriations” which was originally commissioned by the MEIAC for the exhibition Re/appropriations, curated by Gustavo Romano. I released it previously on Remix Theory.

Description of the publication (from xm:lab):

‘Depletion Design’ suggests that ideas of exhaustion cut across cultural, environmentalist, and political idioms and offers ways to explore the emergence of new material assemblages. Soenke Zehle and Carolin Wiedemann discuss Depletion Design with Marie-Luise Angerer, Jennifer Gabrys and David M. Berry, inviting tm13 participants into a collaborative reflection on the necessity to understand human beings as one species among others – constituted by interactions of media, organisms, weather patterns, ecosystems, thought patterns, cities, discourses, fashions, populations, brains, markets, dance nights and bacterial exchanges (Angerer); on the material leftovers of electronics as provocations  to think through and rework practices of material politics that may be less exploitative within our natural-cultural relationships (Gabrys); and on lines of flight from and through the computational – about expanding them into new ways of living beyond current limitations and towards new means of judgment and politics (Berry).

 

Depletion Design: A Glossary of Network Ecologies

Ed. Carolin Wiedemann & Soenke Zehle

 

Theory on Demand#8

Amsterdam: INC, 2012

 

We, or so we are told, are running out of time, of time to develop alternatives to a new politics of emergency, as constant crisis has exhausted the means of a politics of representation too slow for the state of exception, too ignorant of the distribution of political agency, too focused on the governability of financial architectures. But new forms of individual and collective agency already emerge, as we learn to live, love, work within the horizon of depletion, to ask what it means to sustain ourselves, each other, again. Of these and other knowledges so created, there can no longer be an encyclopedia; a glossary, perhaps.

 

Contributors: Marie-Luise Angerer (Cyborg), Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi (Exhaustion, Soul Work), David M. Berry (On Terminality), Zach Blas (Queer Darkness), Drew S. Burk (Grey Ecology), Gabriella Coleman (Anonymous), Heidi Rae Cooley (Ecologies of Practice), Sebastian Deterding (Playful Technologies, Persuasive Design), Jennifer Gabrys (Natural History, Salvage), Johannes Grenzfurthner & Frank A. Schneider (Hackerspace), Eric Kluitenberg (Sustainable Immobility), Boyan Manchev (Disorganisation, Persistence), Lev Manovich (Software), Sonia Matos (Wicked Problems), Timothy Morton (Ecology without Nature), Jason W. Moore (Crisis), Anna Munster (Digital Embodiment), Eduardo Navas (Remix[ing] Re/Appropriations), Brett Neilson (Fracking), Sebastian Olma (Biopolitics, Creative Industries, Vitalism), Luciana Parisi (Algorithmic Architecture), Jussi Parikka (Dust Matter), Judith Revel (Common), Ned Rossiter (Dirt Research), Sean Smith (Information Bomb), Hito Steyerl (Spam of the Earth)

Publication (English Version): Theory on Demand

 

This text is published under a Creative Commons licence (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike).

Collaboration as Process in the Exhibiting and Public Space, By Eduardo Navas

Living Light, designed by Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin

Image source: livinglightseoul.net/

This text was commissioned for the publication Future Exhibitions, Swedish Traveling Exhibitions, published in 2010. It is released as the third and last in a series of texts that were written during and after my residency for The  Swedish Traveling Exhibitions.

For the other texts, see:

1) When the Action Leaves the Museum: New Approaches to the Exhibition as a Tool of Communication.

2) Code Switching: Artists and Curators in Networked Culture

Note: This text is a brief analysis of the way exhibitions and art works were being redefined in 2010 and before by  the  growing ubiquity of interactive technology in art production and its presentation in art centers as well as public spaces.  Even though culture has experienced quite a few changes in social media and other forms of communication since this essay was originally written, the text is released online as a complement to its other forms of publication because it holds a critical position that is not contingent upon specific trends, but on long standing questions of art production.

Exhibitions at the beginning of the twenty-first century are becoming spaces of flux.  The usual static exhibition and installation with labels and proper cues for visitors to keep a safe distance—which is likely the default image that comes to mind when one thinks of museums and other public institutions—is being replaced by displays and installations that encourage some form of visitor interaction.  Interactivity can take place directly with the object, an online resource, or downloadable virtual tours, often with the aim not only to have an aesthetic experience but also to inform visitors on some issue.  While this new approach is certainly exciting, it also places real challenges for institutions in the arts and other fields on how to organize exhibitions that resonate with the contemporary audience.  In this regard, exhibitions tend to borrow from new forms of interaction often linked to artistic expression to highlight and bring audience’s attention to relevant information.  In what follows some of the variables that make exhibitions spaces of flux that increasingly rely on creative and even artistic solutions for engaging the audience will be discussed primarily in relation to art but will extend to other fields such as architecture, design, and the public space.

(more…)

Table of Contents and Introduction Available as PDF for my book, Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling

Springer has made available the Table of Contents and Introduction of my book, Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling. You can download it by visiting the book’s official link:
http://www.springer.com/architecture+%26+design/architecture/book/978-3-7091-1262-5

The book should be available in the coming weeks in Europe, and soon after in the United States. For more information, also see the main entry about the book.

Book Sprint on The New Aesthetic

This entry was originally posted on Vodule

Note: Previously this entry read “book print.”  This was a mistake on my part. It should be “book sprint.”

I recently read the “book sprint” New Aesthetic, New Anxieties by a group of media researchers, theorists and curators, who got together for three and a half days from June 17–21, 2012,  at V2, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The concept of coming together for just a few days to brainstorm a book is certainly something worth considering as an act of creative critical practice.  The book from this standpoint functions surprisingly well, especially because its premise is delivered to match the speed of change that its subject (The New Aesthetic) experiences in the daily flow of information throughout the global network. I personally find amazing that a book of this sort can be put together with some cohesion.

The subject of the book is The New Aesthetic, a term /concept that has been making the rounds on the Internet for a bit over a year and a few months, but which really took off when Bruce Sterling wrote about it for Wired on April 2, 2012.  Since then many  have written about it; the latest manifestation is the book sprint.

With all respect to the authors, I will state that the text is not fully cohesive, as it becomes obvious that much of the content consists of copy/paste material that was clearly worked over to somewhat match a book format in just three and a half days.  Clearly some stuff had to be written on the spot, but many of the references in the footnotes could not be gathered so quickly–or at least everyone had to come prepared with some strong references to use well before the writing sessions would begin.  What the book sprint does accomplish is provide a good sense of the initial stages of The New Aesthetic in order to reposition the concept in terms of a more critical practice.  The New Aesthetic, based on what I have been reading about it for a few months now, is not a term initially invested in criticality, but rather it befriends trending strategies of the design world which more often than not is primarily invested in landing major corporate contracts.

I won’t dwell on my own views on The New Aesthetic in this case.  For now, I prefer to share some links that also complement The New Aesthetic, New Anxieties Book sprint.  They appear below.  I did not include the authors’ names, but you can certainly find them once you click on the links.

———–

The New Aesthetic Blog:
http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com/

An Interview With James Bridle of the New Aesthetichttp://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/robert-urquhart/an-an-interview-with-jame_b_1498958.htm
The New Aesthetic: Waving at the Machines
http://booktwo.org/notebook/waving-at-machines/
An Essay on the New Aesthetichttp://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic/
In Response To Bruce Sterling’s “Essay On The New Aesthetic”
http://www.thecreatorsproject.com/blog/in-response-to-bruce-sterlings-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic
We are the droids we’re looking for: the New Aesthetic and its friendly critics
http://blog.jjcharlesworth.com/2012/05/07/we-are-the-droids-were-looking-for-the-new-aesthetic-and-its-friendly-critics/
What Is the “New Aesthetic”?
http://stunlaw.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-is-new-aesthetic.html
The New Aesthetic Revisited: the Debate Continues
http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2012/05/the-new-aesthetic-revisited-the-debate-continues/
#sxaesthetic
http://booktwo.org/notebook/sxaesthetic/
The New Aesthetic: Seeing Like Digital Devices at SXSW 2012
http://joannemcneil.com/index.php?/talks-and-such/new-aesthetic-at-sxsw-2012/
SXSW, the new aesthetic and commercial visual culture
http://noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com/design/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-commercial-visual-culture.html
The New Aesthetic
http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2012/03/13/godhelpus/#sxaesthetic
SXSW, the new aesthetic and writing
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-writing.html
What is the New Aesthetic?
http://gizmodo.com/5901405/what-is-the-new-aesthetic
The New Aesthetic Needs To Get Weirder
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/the-new-aesthetic-needs-to-get-weirder/255838/
Bruce Sterling interviewed about the New Aesthetic
http://boingboing.net/2012/06/21/bruce-sterling-interviewed-abo.html
Why the New Aesthetic isn’t about 8bit retro, the Robot Readable World, computer vision and pirates
http://revdancatt.com/2012/04/07/why-the-new-aesthetic-isnt-about-8bit-retro-the-robot-readable-world-computer-vision-and-pirates/
The Banality of The New Aesthetic
http://www.furtherfield.org/features/banality-new-aesthetic
Is Fashion Ready for a New Aesthetic?
http://www.businessoffashion.com/2012/05/is-fashion-ready-for-a-new-aesthetic.html
New Aesthetic Street Art
http://hyperallergic.com/53662/new-aesthetic-street-art-jilly-ballistic/
The New Aesthetics: Problems and Polemics (Part 1)
http://www.realityaugmentedblog.com/2012/05/the-new-aesthetics-problems-and-polemics-part-1/
The New Aesthetic Problems and Polemics (Part II)
http://www.realityaugmentedblog.com/2012/05/the-new-aesthetic-problems-and-polemics-part-ii/
The New Aesthetic: Further Thoughts
http://www.realityaugmentedblog.com/2012/06/the-new-aesthetic-further-thoughts/

Early Updates on Facebook: How the “is” Became a State of Mind, by Eduardo Navas

Image: inversion Facebook’s front page.

Digging through my archives, I found the list of my early updates on Facebook.  When I joined Facebook back in 2008, personal updates read “What are you doing?” prompted with “Your Name is … ” I liked the idea behind positioning the Facebook user in a constant state of action.  It was like a performance online.  Because of this set up, I found myself always thinking of what I was actually doing at the moment that I entered Facebook, and thought of creative ways to approach the apparent triviality of the updates.

I thought that I would eventually develop a project with my updates, or that I would simply keep writing them as long as I was a Facebook member.  But then Facebook changed its status updates to state: “What’s on your mind?” and I could no longer perform my ongoing development towards a work of art. Thus my potential project apparently came to an abrupt end.

Below are the updates that part of me still hopes to use in some form to develop an interesting art project. But I don’t see that in the near or far future.  So for now (and possibly for as long as this post is visible), they function more as mundane documentation and, to some degree, as commentary on my early days on Facebook. I share them because I realized upon my re-reading that the banality of the posts as they now are updated by members of Facebook has not faded, but rather has become watered down to appear more “thoughtful.”  After all, how deep can one be when asked, “What’s on your mind?”  This is equivalent to being asked by an acquaintance when passing them on the street, “how are you?”

Notes below:

———–

Facebook “what are you doing notes”
At this time I did not request friends and had my setting fairly open to be seen on major search engines.

The notes below are listed exactly as they appeared on Facebook.  I began writing my status updates on March 20, 2008

March 20: Eduardo is looking at your profile.
March 26: Eduardo is still looking at your profile.
April 1: Eduardo is exchanging his labor for pleasure.
April 8: Eduardo is exchanging his pleasure for value.
April 12: Eduardo is debating the default state of the verb “to be” in the Facebook Interface.
April 18: Eduardo is reloading his home page to check out the adds on the left.
Apr 26, 2008: Eduardo is unable to fill this space with an action.
May 4, 2008: Eduardo is down with an empty statement.
May 13, 2008: Eduardo is excited about a new art project.
May 20, 2008: Eduardo is moving.
May 26, 2008: Eduardo is about to fly.
May 29, 2008: Eduardo is in Madrid.
June 5, 2008: Eduardo is on the move again…
June 6, 2008: Eduardo is in Barcelona
June 9, 2008: Eduardo is in Madrid, again.
June 16, 2008: Eduardo is back in LA.
June 17, 208: Eduardo is in San Diego and depressed, Lakers lost…
June 20, 2008: Eduardo is sick.  Some bug he caught.
June 24, 2008: Eduardo is now sick of writing, but cannot let go of the keyboard.
June 25, 2008: Eduardo is cool now. Not as in being cool, just cool.. now.
June 30, 2008: Eduardo is.
July 7, 2008: Eduardo is [re]revising.
July 15, 2008: Eduardo is down with the stoop.
July 19, 2008: Eduardo on the move, again–going east.
July 25, 2008: Eduardo is still on the east coast, working really hard.
August 5, 2008: Eduardo is looking at his belly.
August 20: Eduardo is simply busy.
September 8: Eduardo is killing mosquitoes with his bare hands.
September 18, 2008: Eduardo is, again.
September 20, 2008: Eduardo is forgetting to write in this space what he is doing.
October 3, 2008: Eduardo is looking at leaves falling.
October 10, 2008: Eduardo is releasing a new project: http://navasse.net/traceblog/about.html.
October 19, 2008: Eduardo is listening to his own music list: http://remixtheory.net/?page_id=328
October 28, 2008: Eduardo is preparing for a long long day.
November 4, 2008: Eduardo is looking at the polls (and has voted).
November 5, 2008: Eduardo is more than the verb to be today, because we can.
November 10, 2008: Eduardo is just out of smart things to say.
November 16, 2008: Eduardo is in the middle of wishing-happy-birthday week.
November 22, 2008: Eduardo is, has been, and will be in the middle of snow for a while..
November 29, 2008: Eduardo is quite sick of Turkey, but still willing to eat it.
December 9, 2008: Eduardo s tired.  Academic term almost over… Flying to warmer lands!
December 22, 2008: Eduardo is still cold.  Whatever happened to California weather?!
December 26, 2008: Eduardo is still cold, second update. People in Big Bear, CA must be happy…
January 5, 2008: Eduardo is up, packing.  About to go back east, yet again, back to Lalaland soon next month
January 7, 2008: Eduardo is back in the middle of snow, ice and lots and lots of rain.
January 19, 2008: Eduardo is enjoying MLK Day. Must stay up and work, work, work.
January 20, 2009: Eduardo is thinking about living history, or living in history, or living with history, or living-history: 44th presidential Inauguration of the President
February 1, 2009: Eduardo is going to watch the game with ambivalent critical distance…
February 7, 2009: Eduardo is simply chilling.  Yep.
February 14, 2009: Eduardo is trying to say something that will be well data-mined.
February 28, 2009: Eduardo noticed that “is” is no longer the default on Facebook.

At this time I took myself off search engines results and privacy settings were set to their safest set up.  I began to request friendships based on recommendations of people I might know, or suggested friends.

Facebook Update Status changed to “What’s on my mind”
March 16, 2009: Now I no longer need to be in a state of action, but simply express what’s on my mind.  We have entered a new stage of data-mining.
April 3, 2009: Spring.
April 16, 2009: Eduardo just figured out (quite late) why Facebook changed its status hook. (cause of twits…)

Please Contribute to Survey for Remix Studies Reader

Image: Remix Studies

Dear community,

We are currently conducting a survey for a Remix Studies book project and we would really appreciate your help. The survey is quick and easy and should take no more than a few minutes of your time. Your assistance will be invaluable in the development of the book, which we hope will be of great use to students, teachers, researchers and practitioners of remix alike.

If possible, we would also be very grateful if you could help us to distribute the survey to anyone within your networks who has an interest in remix.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C9MGRVV

Thank you very much for your time and effort – we value your input.

Kind regards,

Eduardo, Owen and xtine

Eduardo Navas
http://remixtheory.net
http://navasse.net

Owen Gallagher
http://www.remixstudies.org
http://www.totalrecut.com
http://www.criticalremix.com

xtine burrough
http://www.missconceptions.net

Pre-order Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling

Cover Design: Ludmil Trenkov

Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling can now be pre-ordered.  You can place your order on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Powell’sl Books, or another major online bookseller in your region, anywhere in the world.  The book is scheduled to be available in Europe in July, 2012 and in the U.S. in September/October of 2012.

The book will also be available electronically through university libraries that have subscriptions with Springer’s online service, Springerlink.  I encourage educators who find the book as a whole, or in part, of use for classes to consider the latter option to make the material available to students at an affordable price.

Anyone should be able to preview book chapters on Springerlink once the book is released everywhere.  If you would like a print copy for review, please send me, Eduardo Navas, an e-mail with your information and motivation for requesting a print version.

For all questions, please feel free to contact me at eduardo_at_navasse_dot_net.

Also, see the main entry on this book for the table of content and more information.

Below are selected excerpts from the book:

From Chapter One, Remix[ing] Sampling, page 11:

Before Remix is defined specifically in the late 1960s and ‘70s, it is necessary to trace its cultural development, which will clarify how Remix is informed by modernism and postmodernism at the beginning of the twenty-first century. For this reason, my aim in this chapter is to contextualize Remix’s theoretical framework. This will be done in two parts. The first consists of the three stages of mechanical reproduction, which set the ground for sampling to rise as a meta-activity in the second half of the twentieth century. The three stages are presented with the aim to understand how people engage with mechanical reproduction as media becomes more accessible for manipulation. […]The three stages are then linked to four stages of Remix, which overlap the second and third stage of mechanical reproduction.

From Chapter two, Remix[ing] Music, page 61:

To remix is to compose, and dub was the first stage where this possibility was seen not as an act that promoted genius, but as an act that questioned authorship, creativity, originality, and the economics that supported the discourse behind these terms as stable cultural forms. […] Repetition becomes the privileged mode of production, in which preexisting material is recycled towards new forms of representation. The potential behind this paradigm shift would not become evident until the second stage of Remix in New York City, where the principles explored in dub were further explored in what today is known as turntablism: the looping of small sections of records to create new beats—instrumental loops, on top of which MCs and rappers would freestyle, improvising rhymes. […]

From Chapter Three, Remix[ing] Theory, page 125:

Once the concept of sampling, as understood in music during the ‘70s and ‘80s, was introduced as an activity directly linked to remixing different elements beyond music (and eventually evolved into an influential discourse), appropriation and recycling as concepts changed at the beginning of the twenty-first century; they cannot be considered on the same terms prior to the development of machines specifically design for remixing. This would be equivalent to trying to understand the world in terms of representation prior to the photo camera. Once a specific technology is introduced it eventually develops a discourse that helps to shape cultural anxieties. Remix has done and is currently doing this to concepts of appropriation. Remix has changed how we look at the production of material in terms of combinations. This is what enables Remix to become an aesthetic, a discourse that, like a virus, can move through any cultural area and be progressive and regressive depending on the intentions of the people implementing its principles.

More excerpts available once the book is available.

Research on Remix and Cultural Analytics, Part 5

Image: evaluating sliced visualizations of The Charleston Style remixes at the Vroom at Calit2. View larger image. View other Vroom images by cultvis on Flickr.

In previous posts I discussed how I used cultural analytics to examine video mashups. (See part 1 on the Charleston Mix, part 2 on Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, and part 3 on the Downfall parodies, and part 4, on sliced visualizations of all three case studies.) One thing that is difficult in this process is to view all images at once in order to make the observations that I have discussed so far.  This is when a large tiled screen is useful, such as the one available at the Vroom at Calit2, where the Software Studies Lab in San Diego is  based. Below are images that give an idea of how the large screen is useful to evaluate various images at once.

Image: wide view, 32 tiled-screen at the Vroom, Calit2. See larger image.

This image shows the thirty montage grid visualizations of my second case study, The Lotus Flower Parodies. The advantage in this case is that all thirty videos can be examined at once.  This is something that is impossible on a regular laptop or a large computer screen. Being able to compare images in large scale is not only useful to come up with detailed analysis, but also provides the ability to discuss one’s research with other colleagues.

Image: Tracy Cornish, a researcher at CRCA, points out a detail to a colleague of my Lotus Flower remixes grid visualization. See larger image.

Image: Detailed visualization of Thom Yorke Does the Macarena! See larger image.

Image: Sliced images of Lotus Flower remixes on top of montage grid visualizations. (See part 3 and part 4 my analysis for more on sliced images.)

One of the advantages of the tiled screen, in addition to viewing many images at once and in great detail, is the fact that the files don’t appear inside windows as they would on an average computer.  As the image above makes obvious, you can lay images next to each other, and on top of others, with no frame around them.  While this feature might appear not so important when first considered, I found that it provided me with a sense of immediacy.

Image: Todd Margolis, Technical Director at CRCA, examines grid-montage and sliced image visualizations of Lotus Flower Parodies. See larger image.

Image: alternate view of grid-montage and sliced image visualizations of Lotus Flower Parodies. See larger image.

Image: Todd Margolis, Technical Director at CRCA, examines grid-montage and sliced image visualizations of Lotus Flower Parodies. See larger image.

Image: detail of grid-montage visualization of Charleston Style remixes. See larger image.

Detail of sliced visualization of Downfall parodies. See larger image.

Image: sliced visuazlizations of the three case studies on top of Lev Manovich’s and Jeremy Douglass’s Time Magazine covers. See larger image.

Image: detail of Lev Manovich’s and Jeremy Douglass’s Time Magazine covers. See larger image.

Going back to my initial point, when considering a large amount of images, such as all Time Magazine covers,  it becomes evident how being able to view several images at once becomes an important part of visualization.

Image: alternate view of Lev Manovich’s and Jeremy Douglass’s Time Magazine covers. See larger image.

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