Archive for January, 2013
MSPaintbrush and MSPaint drawing filtered/echoed in Chris Shier web app thing.
Not made in the Microsoft Store.
Weinstein further notes that he regrets that the P.T. Anderson film The Master will lose money, and notes that he should have been "a devil’s advocate instead of a cheerleader" — meaning he ought to have taken a firmer hand in controlling the cut and marketing of the movie.
In the interview, Weinstein says nothing about the "cut" of The Master, controlling it or otherwise. He says "I probably could have marketed it better" and "maybe I could have come up with a different campaign."
"Nanowaving" [3.9 MB .mp3]
Subtracted the Mazemod beats from "Maze Moderne," leaving tracks of unaccompanied percussion. Then added melody lines with synth, piano, and bass (organ) that sort of worked around those existing drum hits. This led to some shuffling and restructuring. New things I learned: how to change microtiming of sequencer steps and how to change samples for individual steps using "sample locks."
On the topic of digital expressionistic painting, here's an essay I wrote for Art Papers twelve years ago that I hadn't looked at in a while.
Very little of the thinking (ranting) there would be revised after all this time. And the digi-paintings covered look much like the work being done now.
Was advocating a multi-platform approach, not in the context of branding but in wanting visual art to be more like drum and bass and hiphop: a sampling aesthetic but also eclecticism of means, where one software program interrogates another within the same work (e.g.. Illustrator quasi-vector rubbing up against Photoshop bitmaps, text smeared into visual content, etc.).
In an essay for Rhizome.org, "Painting by Numbers," Brian Droitcour employs some flawed reasoning in support of Michael Manning's digital painting series "Microsoft Store Paintings."
The essay features three reproductions of paintings Manning made on Windows 8 demonstration tablets inside a Microsoft retail store, as well as Manning's Instagram photo of the outside of a store. The post is tagged "Microsoft Store Paintings." But painting in a Microsoft Store is a joke, right? Microsoft may be Brand A in the business desktop PC market but it has famously missed every recent trend: browsing, search, voice, pods, pads. "Microsoft Store Paintings" also invokes a laugh because everyone knows Apple is the "computer for creatives" due to assiduous marketing to designers, illustrators, and even artists, a contrarian breed typically uncomfortable being associated with a brand (Campbell's Soup notwithstanding).
Yet despite the tag and the pics, the essay tells us that (i) the import of Manning's work is its use of multiple platforms (including the iPad and Apple smartphone), and that (ii) this ecumenical approach somehow disproves tech pundit Bruce Sterling's assertion that the Worldwide Web has broken down into smaller, corporate-branded enclaves.
None of this makes any sense in terms of the critic's role in explaining, justifying, or contextualizing artwork, or otherwise.
Droitcour confesses, somewhat strangely for an institutional writer placing a series of paintings into art history, that "as much as I enjoy looking at painting I don’t really like to write about it." To respond vernacularly: But that's your job, dude.
Discrimination and specificity in writing about painting might help viewers process an impression they have when they click through to Manning's site, which is that the Microsoft Store Paintings look rather different than the iPad paintings: let's go out on a shaky branch and say better, as in crisper, wider, with less self-conscious filtering and special effects, more like paint. This leads to an untenable conclusion: that Microsoft, the also-ran company, got something right, or that Manning found something innately right in a branded product, and that the series isn't just typical smirky new media irony but might raise some intriguing questions about the meaning of a "gesture" and the means of simulating a gesture in the post-painting era. The politics of expression instead of the tired old politics of branding. That's an essay to be written about this work but it doesn't matter because it's already been canonized.
See also Chris Collins' recent video of falling, 3D "bird in space" statues. It's great that you guys went to college and took an art history course.
"Maze Moderne" [2.6 MB .mp3]
One minute drum solo made using a couple of beats borrowed from the Mazemod site and several of those Richard Devine Reaktor patches I recorded a few weeks back, plus miscellaneous percussion.
You can do a fair amount of sample trimming in the Octatrack groovebox but it's easier for me to process the samples elsewhere and then let the Octatrack do Ableton-like timestretching (which my version of Cubase does poorly). Thus I could insert a Devine beat here at every fourth measure and have it add bleeps and ambient melodies in sync with the 137 bpm Mazemod beats. The fun is hearing it come together.
In electronic music terms, Shier's app functions partly as a filter, partly as a delay unit. A stationary image is sliced into pixels-wide bands; when you move your cursor the bands become "echoes" of the original image in the form of hundreds of micro-offsets. These create blurry trails with varying degrees of overlap, depending on how much you move the cursor. It's more complex but that's the basic idea.
Manning's recent images consist of touchscreen paintings with menu-selected brushes, textures and hues; am guessing these are "augmented finger paintings" and not done with a stylus. He has made them on the iPad as well as with Windows 8 demo screens inside the Microsoft Store [alien country for the Apple-brainwashed creative elite -- obligatory dig --ed.]. The buildup of color, washes, and calligraphic line in digital gesture painting can be seductive but let's remember the original AbEx artists also employed cinematic scale, gloppy physical media, and the athleticism of pushing the glop around with long-handled brushes. They would have laughed to see people making micro-movements on a TV screen and then saving them as jpegs and PNGs. The "action painting" model has been pretty thoroughly discredited but those are the reasons it's in museums, at any rate. Am possibly more interested in Manning's steady output of tiny de Kooningesque and Twomblyesque color-spasms as performance-cum-notation having to do with "available technology" and the instant masterpieces "apps" promise to deliver than some electronic de-reification of the earnest Real of gestural abstraction, although both motivations might be present. Also they are pretty, and it's always good to annoy the Marxist art-as-hair-shirt crowd.
Attended an interesting lecture tonight at the SVA theatre on 23rd Street:
Rounding the Digital Turn: CGI, Cyborg Cinema, and the New Realness
Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 7 pm
Cinema was the universal culture of the 20th century. But that was then, before Jurassic Park and The Matrix, not to mention videogames, digitally projected gallery installations, and YouTube. Is the cinema, as we knew it (or thought we did) over, or has it only suffered a narcissistic wound? Film critic and author J. Hoberman discusses some of the issues raised in his new book Film After Film: Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?
Hoberman discussed how digital developments took us on a different "turn" from André Bazin's idea of "total cinema" (all-encompassing, real, objective) into what is now predominantly animation, a completely different, highly artificial art form.
Yet he gave many paradoxical examples of how the "real" of film is still represented in these mechanized fantasies:
--In Avalon, animated video games are made more tangible through the use of live actors filmed with grainy, monochrome stock. The final level of game reality, which the plot has been leading up to, gives us ordinary color, stereo sound, un-treated footage of the actors walking around the streets of a contemporary city.
--The only non-CGI element in Wall-E is a clip from a conventional film (Hello Dolly!).
--After three hours of exposed artifice and stagecraft, shot digitally, Dogville climaxes with a credit-sequence montage of documentary, objective (very grim) photographs of America during the 1930s Depression.
During the Q&A afterward I asked him if he had seen the director's roundtable on YouTube where Quentin Tarantino announced the imminent end of his moviemaking because "this digital shit wasn't what I signed on for." (Or words to that effect.) Hoberman hadn't seen the clip but reminded us that this great lover of conventional cinema got his education in a video store watching hundreds of tapes of old movies.