Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Folded-in at ISEA 2009 and at File Festival 2009, Sao Paulo

The Folded-in project, is presented this summer at ISEA 2009 15th International Symposium on Electronic Art, on the island of Ireland, at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast. Also, at the FILE 2009, Electronic Language International Festival, Sao Paulo, Brasil. On the occasion of the presentations here is a fragment of a great text , written by Franz Thalmair and CONT3XT.NET, that has been published at the Open Space annual hardcopy edition, Mapping Contemporary Creative Practice.

..If you rely in your definition of Web 2.0 – somewhat naively – on the relevant German entry in the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, one of the biggest 2.0 platforms itself, you are told: ‘Today, contents are no longer just generated by big media corporations in a centralised manner but also by a multitude of individuals who use social software to create additional network links among each other.’ Similarly, but by no means more critically and also without consideration of the commercial interests of many operating companies, Web 2.0 is described in Wikipedia’s English counterpart as a ‘living term’ that expresses itself primarily in the changed use of web technologies and seeks to ‘enhance creativity, information sharing and collaboration’. Both definitions are similar in that they do not understand the web age under the label of 2.0 so much in terms of specific technologies but rather focus on the interaction and the networks between users. It seems, then, that we are first and foremost faced with the global cooperation between people in immaterial relations of production, the creativity of which is mainly driven by technologies – of whichever kind.

This is exactly where the concept of Folded-In enters the discussion: on the one hand, Personal Cinema and The Erasers address the lack of critical engagement with the contents spread on the internet and the similarly lacking will to broach the subject of war. On the other hand, the project questions the aims of the possibilities that are only allegedly used for subjective and opinion-making participation in a bigger whole. To put it bluntly, the Web 2.0 networks may be described as art for the sake of art: they are about a sense of community which, and does not leave it uncommented. ‘Expression and content, both are more or less de territorialised; they are relatively de-territorialised, depending on the state of their form.’

The basic question that Folded-In explores is about the ways in which meaning is produced in Web 2.0: who produces and reproduces which contents; in which context do these contents circulate; and, in particular, who are they produced for? YouTube is not the only structure in this context in which the widely propagated freedoms of user-generated contents are not, or only superficially, used. Such platforms function according to the same principles as conventional media, which draw their contents from official or institutional information machineries: clichés that serve the interests and values of nation-states move around YouTube just as unquestioned as religious, sexist, and other stereotypes do in public and commercial media.

To counter this tendency, Folded-In pulls the war videos out of context: out of the YouTube media context, on the one hand; and out of the context of war, on the other. Through its transfer into the harmless environment of the game, the propagated information is written into a new story line that can be personally experienced and shared with the public (that is, the fellow gamers). At the same time, an effort is made to create an awareness of the medium that is being used, the World Wide Web. The overlaying of the superficial design of the game and its functions with the content of war manifests itself in the seemingly endless regeneration of form and content. This results in a mechanism that, to some degree, can be described as game-immanent: ‘It is the interruption of the automatic sign action, of the placement and signaletic conditionings of signs in articulation and implementation, that define the open space of the game as well as its functions of fictionalization and movement to a meta-theoretically useful “as if ”

The designers of the project describe this semiotic process and the related objectives as a phenomenon that is generally intrinsic to the field of new media: ‘In Folded-In, content is generated by the users/consumers and by some artists. What is reflected inside the game are those elements that constitute the mechanisms of control and profit “with a human face” which is pre-established by YouTube. However, what is at stake for some part of the media arts nowadays is a process of a language formation that will allow artists in the future to articulate more demanding and even more – aesthetically – differentiated art works..

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Blogger nigredo of transclass said...

"we have the problem that afflicts groups of all sorts: the repression of the unconscious dimension and thus this disavowal of the affective charge, not only permanently thwarts the collective production of the group but, a priori, maintains the individual member as an ‘identity’ rather than as a ‘field of energy’ and fences-off the outside of the group; it demarcates a boundary. In this way the group becomes a pseudo-collectivity that adopts the stasis of an identity. Its visibility is conditioned by the irrepressible joy of belonging in the midst of an alienating society, and is sustained by the absence of the expulsees who, furthermore, become hypostatised as ‘individualists’."
Let's be the gaming individualists

2 September 2009 at 22:26  
Blogger ilias said...

που είσαι εσύ καλέ? θα σε πάρω τηλ..

3 September 2009 at 15:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bravo paidia!!

4 September 2009 at 11:42  

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