Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Decode: Digital Design Sensations

The exhibition ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations’ at V&A explored the themes of Code, Interactivity and Network. But most importantly was the emotional aspect of the works displayed. Looking around what is happening in the Digital Arts field makes you believe in the supremacy of technology and the immensity of art in this context. One cannot start describing, so instead here’s the link!


This exhibition is a great demonstration of beautiful Digital Arts projects, a complete manifestation of the theory in books.

Monday, 21 December 2009

107 women is too much women.

In Sophie Calle’s images, texts, videos, in brief narratives, she exposes her private experience to the collective. In the exhibition running at the Whitechapel Gallery Prenez soin de vous or Take Care of Yourself, she invites 107 women from different professions to decode an email in which her lover breaks up with her. The reactions were very much different; each is interpreting in her own way. In general the idea of this exhibition was appealing to me, but when I started plunging into the artworks, I realized that I was thinking about the artist’s lover, what would be his reaction when he discovers this parade happening all around him? I thought of how far in intimacy would artists go showcasing their personal life. Sophie Calle’s approach is always a push to the extreme, I was annoyed by the bombardment of the women’s judgments, I sympathized with the artist's lover and pitied the artist.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Indie Film 'The Girlfriend Experience' by Steven Soderbergh (2009)

The film, now showing on the big screen, made during the 2008 USA presidential elections, discussing issues like money, work, the economy, and set up around a Manhattan call-girl, is far from being a sex film, rather it is a political film about prostitution in the contemporary term, the economy and ethics of that subject matter.

The style of the film is playing on docu-fictional cinema, it is a beautiful sweet masterpiece free from add-ons and extra long shots. The after taste of the screening for me was: 'why do we keep busying ourselves with trying to figure out the more specific and the bigger picture, spontaneity and condensing thoughts might be a solution, the solution.'

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

1W13 Damien Hirst's No Love Lost

With the will to return to his 'solitary practice of painting', Damien Hirst reveals a series of 'Blue Paintings' at the Wallace Collection, a family assortment always displaying old paintings, furniture, porcelain, armour, and sculptures in their villa like museum.

Hirst’ theme of mortality is portrayed through a series of blue painted floating skulls, framed with classical wooden edges, placed against wallpaper covered walls in between the Wallace Collection’s rooms and corridors.

A ‘radical departure’ from the artist’s established working practice’, Hirst is figuring out new ways of showcasing his artworks. For me, this exhibit demonstrates how an artwork could be imposed on a museum instead of being displayed in a museum.

Monday, 7 December 2009

1W13 Janet Murray and the Incunabula Days of the Narrative Computer

In Janet Murray's words, 'it would be a mistake to compare the first fruits of a new medium too directly with the accustomed yield of older media'. As an example, she uses Gutenberg's invention of the printing press in 1405 and the 50 years of experimentation after this event that led to more established conventions, legible typefaces, proof sheet corrections, page numbering and paragraphing, title pages, prefaces and chapter divisions. What Gutenberg invented was the 'incunabula', a Latin word for swaddling clothes and that is used to indicate that these so called books are the work of a technology that is still in its infancy. The 50 years of experimentation lead to the published book as a coherent means of communication. Murray concludes that we are now living in the incunabula days of the narrative computer, we can see how the 20th century novels, films and plays have been steadily pushing against the boundaries of linear storytelling. Looking at the narrative in the VJing playground, V.J.ing being considered an eye candy so far, I find peace reading Murray's words, an assurance that pushes me in the direction of exploring the narrative and the technology that will contain it.

1W13 The times that remains

'The Times that remains' of Elia Suleiman (2009) is a 'semi biographic film', about the director's family, archived since 1948 until recent times. The scenario is based on the director's father diaries and his mother's letters to family members who have left Palestine to other countries, escaping the Israeli occupation. Arab-Israelis is the main theme of the film, the film is neither a documentary nor a fiction but somewhere in the 2 playgrounds at the same time; And the film does not follow a traditional form of narration, It is based on archival matters to which the director added his sense of irony and melancholia, and shaped the whole in a series of short scenes, each could be a short on itself, but when placed together, the scenes constitute some sort of a narrative flow, or a continuation.