Archive for May, 2012

citable in all of its moments

May 16, 2012 Comments off

A chronicler who recites everything without distinguishing between major and minor ones acts in accordance with the following truth: nothing that has ever happened should e regarded as a lost for history. Theses on the Philosophy of History

Instant historicization does two things at a time, one is perpetuation of the present in the visual flow, and,  two the immortalization of the past as an eternal relic. These two historical concepts, move in two different directions, nevertheless present a singular image.  In the face of contemporary machinery of destruction, the location of history has shifted to the instant past and immediate future and as such it is collapsing on the present. While before one could look back at history from the vista point of the present, that vista point now looks at its visual echo, with the delay of broadcast time. The historicization of presence responds to an impulse to secure a spot outside of history. This is achieved by removing the self from the site of the event, but turning the event into the subject of visual investigation, by recounting it not as the affected subject, but as a narrator, and as a historian. The eternity that was assigned to the represented subject, now is conferred to the producer of the image; it is the absence from representation that is immortal. But the fate of image that is emptied from eternity remains obscure. To have no agency in determining one’s position vis-a-vis the view finder, is the position of the victim. A hero commands the representation of his annihilation, a victim who defines the conditions of representation.

Car Burning in Homs, youtube still frame

Categories: main

barking the real

May 14, 2012 Comments off

In 2007, representing South Carolina in Miss Teen USA competition, Caite Upton infamously responded to a question regarding a fifth of Americans inability to located the United States on a world map. Her answer did not cross any political or social redlines and neither was offensive to any particular racial or class entities. It was a wall of words that filled a pocket of time designated for the participant’s response in the show. The words do not follow one another in order to create meaning, but rather they present response as such. Later on Today Show, Upton mentioned how she did not comprehend the question correctly, and used the opportunity to answer: “Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t. And if the statistics are correct, I believe that there should be more emphasis on geography in our education so people will learn how to read maps better.” Her revised answer is not necessarily more “meaningful” than her previous collection of words, it is merely an apophantic statement.

Mark Callahan, 24 Hour Miss South Carolina, still frame

A similar glitch on live television was Rick Perry’s famous “oops moment,” where he forgot the third government agency that he was going to dismantle in his first day of presidency. While most pundits marked the incident as the end of Perry’s campaign, some mentioned that in fact the lapse in fact opened a key hole into the candidate’s humanity and portrayed him as a human being rather than a machine i.e. we do not want a person to merely hit the right words as a machine could be programmed to do so, but rather we want to see a soul behind the talking head, where presence makes a surprise appearance. In 24 Hour Miss South Carolina artist Mark Callahan expands this transient moment of pure presence to 24 hours. Pointing to Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho and the media attention devoted to Upton’s speech, the piece recoups this moment of authenticity and stretches it into a gesture. While the correct answers would go unnoticed, it is the unscripted moment that represent the soul and this soul’s incarnation is in the form of farce. In these moments presence wags its tail at us and barks from a milieu beyond textuality. The only outlet of the real in the media is farce.

Categories: main Tags:

tagged image

May 12, 2012 Comments off

There is no lack of literature on images’ contingency on the representational context, how their meaning could alter according to accompanying text, placement, frame, order of appearance, etc. A recent example of an image’s shift of meaning is Mona Eltahawy’s recent publicity stunt on Foreign Policy, where the image of beating of an Egyptian woman by the military forces, (known as the Blue Bra Girl) was used to illustrate how men in the Middle East hate women. However, this image/text relationship has entered a new phase in web 2.0.

While previously images’ meaning altered or was affected by their positioning in the media and how they were contextualized, now they can be permanently tied to a set of words, according to both the text that accompanies them, but also, (and more importantly) to tag words. These tags could direct images to particular directions and define them within certain political and ideological landscapes. While for instance on the one hand the Blue Bra Girl is was tied to the Egyptian Revolution, on the other hand now has also has ties with that particular article, its writer and also its publisher. The same stands for other indigenous journalist’s videos , whose tag words more often than not are already hijacked by political and/or commercial forces on the web. Legends of metal music are a click away from The Syrian Days Of Rage youtube channel.

Categories: main Tags: ,

May 12, 2012 Comments off

Racine’s Phaedra must die not because the flame of her incestuous love for her stepson burns so black, as she complains, but rather because after two hours the smoky candles in the Paris theaters had burned out.

In Optical Media, Kittler notes how the unavailability of durable light sources effected literary compositions, and as such dramas by Corneille or Racine, for instance, never exceeded 3,000 alexandrines. The lack of stage lighting technologies caused the early death of characters or their expedited their fall from grace. He also mentions how technologies similar to those used in theater were also used to summon apparitions and the eventual suicide of tricksters after their tricks were exposed. The ghosts and the protagonists’ lifespan was tied to the available technologies of perception. A similar imposed technological restraint is the ten minute maximum video time on youtube, due to bandwith limits.

annoying orange squash nylan cat

While these restrictions are now for the most part uplifted (the limit was raised to fifteen and now to unlimited for privileged users, the new fifteen minute restriction is more due to copyright rules), but the limits shaped the world of online video and set a standard that most outlets have taken, even though that technically they  no longer face those limitations. Thus, the Annoying Orange for instance, will seldom exceed even five minutes, and neither do most other web series. The ten minute limit set the tone for the duration of video files on youtube, just like the wax candles in the theaters set the limits of dramas.

Child taping what remains of his house

May 8, 2012 Comments off

In the youtube video Child taping what remains of his house, we see a boy filming a pile of rubble which used to be a house. It is of course difficult to confirm if the house belongs to the child and his family, but nevertheless, that is what the title suggests. The man who is filming the child first approaches him as a news reporter approaches a subject of interview in a war zone, and as he gets closer he apparently asks: can you tell me what you see? Which also could be read as “can you tell me what you are filming?” The child responds to the question and other questions posed by the man. Both of them are clearly acting a scenario and the footage also implies a spoof on official/traditional television reportage (they even laugh at some point to a joke that the child makes).

Child taping what remains of his house, youtube still frame

The same video a few years ago would show the child in front of the rubble talking to the camera, now both the child and the other camera are filming. The child delegates the task of experiencing the destruction of his house to the camera, similar to a tourist in front of an ancient a ruin. He does not want to be the represented, but rather the one who represents. Here, in the words of Adorno, one can witness the triumph of representation over what is represented. Not unlike the journalist, the child is also interested in dissecting the site of destruction with a camera, to describe what he can see and highlight the economy of access, but this time to his own rubble. Friedrich Kittler mentions a 1902 German Reich law that gave every man and woman the “right to one’s own image,” here the camera gives the child the right to his own rubble. This gives rise to a new figure of victim, one that is detached from his own destruction by a digital camera. A victim who removes himself from the ruin and whose “rejection of experience can provisionally embody a legitimate defense,” in words of Agamben. A generation that grew up looking at monitors from the point of view of first-person shooter games can now experience its own habitat as the game zone.

The formation of Syrian battalion is a meme?

May 7, 2012 Comments off

There are few dozens of videos of Syrian army defectors and civilians joining the opposition or forming various parallel independent battalions. A great number of these videos show a group of Syrian men, standing in front of a camera, while the leader or a representative, reads the group’s declaration of constitution from a laptop computer. These videos also share a very low viewership, that in most cases is equivalent or less than the number of insurgents in the video.  The text is read in a loud, assertive and forceful voice, addressed, not to those present, but to the camera (or whatever recording device), or rather, to the internet.

The video announces to the internet that these group of people have decided to part with the leading military regime, and join the opposition. However, given the low number of viewers, it becomes unclear if the video is directed to an online audience, who do not know these people, and cannot anticipate their success, influence and their position vis a vis the multiplicity of forces within the country. As mentioned in a pervious post, the video—if we can call it video as its physical existence is in question— makes it clear that the group is constituted as an online entity as well as a physical one and possibly in spite of it. The declaration of the formation of the group is inseparable from the meme that its contributing to, one might suggest that it is prompted by it.

Thus, the internet here is not only an idea of a possible audience, it is not simply a means to an end (to send a message); rather the internet here is the very affirmation of the group’s existence, without which it will cease to be. The group substitutes the act of signing, with that of posing in front of the camera, one gesture is replaced by the other. Those present in the video are also signatories of the declaration. They stand before a computer screen and unite in front of a computer screen and will remain there until the video is removed from the internet. But if a subject’s offline existence is contingent upon its online presence, then one needs to transcode oneself into an avatar and contribute to the meme’s development and possible mutation.

Categories: main Tags: , ,

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Comments on Rodney King video on youtube on the 20th anniversary of LA riots

May 2, 2012 Comments off

Comments on the Rodney Kind video on youtube on the 20th anniversary of LA riots of 1992. All material is directly copied and pasted from the youtube page Rodney King tape on national news.flv
The images are screen shots from all the links on youtube’s right sidebar of the same page.

Rodney King tape on national news.flv, youtube still frame

haha, you ignorant prick. He ended up receiving 3.8 million from his lawsuit. I would call THAT getting what he deserves.
knewknew in reply to FlacidFicklePickle (Show the comment) 3 days ago

the PCP allegations were never proven. People assumed that because of the beating he took. All the cops had to do was put him into handcuffs, and into the squad car. But no, they beat the shit out him. The entire Rodney King case (and the riot that followed) had nothing to do with Rodney King, but rather the excessive force that cops use in situations like these all of the time in LA.
knewknew in reply to SuperJerkyBoys (Show the comment) 3 days ago

Yeah but he’d been arrested for posession of schedule 4 drugs, for beating his wife, and evading arrest before any of this even happened. If you’re honestly trying to defend Rodney King it just makes you ignorant. Did the cops fuck up? Absolutely. More importantly a multiple time offender got off with nothing, and made almost 4 million dollars. That’s bullshit.
BTW I don’t give a shit bout the drug conviction…pot is Sch. 4 and I love it hah. King is a dirtbag, so were the cops bottom line.
chennighausen in reply to knewknew (Show the comment) 2 days ago

What are you Rodney Kings lawyer ???
FACT, if not for Rodney King acting like an asshole, all the people wouldn’t have died in the riots.
How many times has Rodney King been arrested since 1992 ??
SuperJerkyBoys in reply to knewknew (Show the comment) 2 days ago

Comment removed
Author withheld
Jungle bunny getting what he deserves
FlacidFicklePickle 3 days ago

If Rodney King wasn’t high on PCP driving 100 MPH this never would have happend.
Thirty six people died in the riots that followed because of this stupid fuck !
SuperJerkyBoys 3 days ago

This has been flagged as spam show
Jeff Fisher 3 days ago

This has been flagged as spam show
Jeff Fisher 3 days ago

with all the hand outs and special treatment the niggers get we should be allowed to smash thier fuckin heads in like this anytime we want.
dstrbd24 3 days ago

This has been flagged as spam show
SeajayUKHalo in reply to dstrbd24 (Show the comment) 3 days ago

remyworldpeace in reply to dstrbd24 (Show the comment) 3 days ago

You small minded inbred white trailer trash wanker…..and yes I am white ….scum like you embarrass normal people… what a tosser
toxicbobbyb in reply to dstrbd24 (Show the comment) 3 days ago

Comment removed
Author withheld
On second thought, white people probably WOULD have made it into a racial issue…
therealdaviddavidson in reply to ThePakiSami (Show the comment) 3 days ago

Can you imagine if a few black officers had beaten down a white kid? Nothing could go wrong there because it’s not racist at all.
ThePakiSami 3 days ago 3

So you’re saying if black officers beat down a white kid, it’s not wrong?
MrSleepygrizzly in reply to ThePakiSami (Show the comment) 3 days ago

The riots only came after the cops were all acquitted of assault despite the damning video evidence. That combined with previous racial disparity perceived by the black people in Los Angeles at the time is what made it, for them, a racial issue. If a bunch of black officers had been caught on video beating up a white kid and then got acquitted, white people would not make it into a racial issue because they would have no reason to suspect it was so.
therealdaviddavidson in reply to ThePakiSami (Show the comment) 3 days ago

Maybe if he wasn’t on crack and driving 100 miles an hour putting alot of people in harms way, it wouldn’t of ending up like this!!! Reality check….red and blue lights flashing….pull the fuck over dumb ass!!! Unless your on crack and drinking and driving and on probation for robbery!!!
tapout2977 in reply to Murdism (Show the comment) 3 days ago

You are either extremely racist, or extremely unsympathetic. Either way you’re not doing yourself any good in preparing for the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
UndergroundBlack88 in reply to Murdism (Show the comment) 3 days ago

At what point do you have to wait for enough police officers to subdue this man? All the police officers that were there could have easily handcuffed this man without hitting him once with a PR-24. If all of them together could not subdue this man with their bare hands they need to find another profession. It’s a shame that all of the officers were not fired, pensions forfeited and thrown in jail. BTW I am a retired police officer and a former deparmental firearms and PR-24 instructor.
IntoDust24 3 days ago

1:08 Why you showing a black guy taking a black guy away? Thats not racist.
vette543211 3 days ago

Why did the police beat that poor negroe? He didnt look like he was fighting back.
Trashfished 3 days ago
fuck the police
eazy700ify 3 days ago
They need to stop calling it “civil rights”, its black rights.
Huntmaster555 3 days ago
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
RassBrass 3 days ago

Categories: main Tags: , ,