because the outside world has changed.... 2013-2016

 

Front side of Vondelparkpaviljoen in Amsterdam, 1963.
From 1972 to 2012 the building offered shelter to the Filmmuseum.

With this project we departed to trace changing technologies that are narrating, translating and reconnecting our memories and histories together. A sequence filmed in ruined interiors of the former film museum is the starting point for a conversation between the two of us: Go Eun Im and Igor Sevcuk.

This project began as an intuitive exploration into the architectural, technological and institutional transition of what was formerly known as Amsterdam’s Filmmuseum. In the course of four episodes, our considerations and shared materials developed further, each time being renewed, retold, re-edited.

because the outside world has changed... is an ancient work-in-progress, and now our experiment too, an experiment in editing and rethinking our shared footage in trans-medial and dialogic way.

 

drawings:

...................................................................................................trailer

..................................................................................................no.w.here

video works :

.................................................episode 1

.................................................episode 2

Nowhere Palace.......................episode 3

work-in-progress......................episode 4

 

 

Technological Takeovers draft text:

Not so long ago recent technological takeover seems to be fully accomplished – total dominance of software based technology appears to be a fact. In consequence we could sense that with this latest turn of the world, our ways of being and our inner rhythms are changing too. However, we could also observe that this digital takeover is not that total at all - everywhere there are still pockets of resistance and stubborn insistence of various analogue technologies. Or, could we observe that perhaps nothing much did change? We possessed nonlinear and other ways of structuring our thoughts already long before any advanced editing technology was invented. Our inner 'software' is indeed capable of very complex montages that are, for instance, so vividly screened in our dreams. This mental capability is quite delicate (bio)technology that extensively interconnect us with the changing world we inhabit. All additional / external recording and editing seem to be just its extentions.

In regard to extentions of our mind already Plato wrote about dangers of in his time still relatively new technology of writing. (1.a) In his Phaedrus dialogue writing was pictured as something 'unnatural' and inferior to live interpersonal dialectics. Furthermore, from this perspective writing could be seen as both fancy playfulness and handicapping activity. Alienated writers and readers of dividing rhetorics are occupying their minds with flows of external reminders: false recollections and abstractions. In short, for Plato writing was not remedy for memory, or something capable of 'true' relationship between our inner experience and outside world. Many centuries later similar concerns were voiced in regard to evolution and use of photographic - still and/or moving - image technologies. The most prominent thinkers did this in a variety of ways, among others: Barthes, Sontag, Derrida, Baudrillard and Debord.(2) For instance, Guy Debord in his 1961 essay-film Critique of Separation declares: "The function of cinema, whether dramatic or documentary, is to present a false and isolated coherence as a substitute for a communication and activity that are absent." (3) In the same time Debord's film script is based on his writing: "... a completely typical drunken monologue, with its incomprehensible allusions and tiresome delivery. With its vain phrases that do not await response..." 4) However, being well organised or more haphazard, writing is the invention that in comparison had far bigger impact on ways of human mind than later inventions of photography and film followed by nowadays digitally processed images.

because the outside world has changed... is a project that propose to test (and taste) solidarity between variety of old and new technologies influencing or creating our ways of relating with the world. For now we do confirm that both, the oldest analogue and the newest digital technologies do introduce 'division and alienation' - as Plato observed - 'but a higher unity as well'. Writing, just as other montage techniques, does 'intensify the sense of self and fosters more conscious interaction between persons'.(1.b) The latest excessive non-linearity and archival interconnectedness of the digital technology does certainly influence and change the way we think and communicate. Many of us are quite distracted when confronted with endless flows of chaotic links. In the same time we may be a bit closer to understand the ways of our inner narrative self - constant interlinking and reediting of our most personal and collective thoughts. because the outside world has changed... is an ancient work-in-progress (5), and now our experiment too, an experiment in rethinking and narrating our shared footage in transmedial and dialogic ways.

Igor Sevcuk, January 2014

 

1) Ong W.J., Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, New York: Routlege, 2002

a) chapter: Plato, Writing and Computers
b) chapter: The Inward Turn: Consciousness and the Text

2) McQuire, S., Visons of Modernity: Represantation, Memory, Time and Space in the Age of the Camera, chapter: Amnesic Cultures, London: Sage, 1998

3) Guy Debord, Complete Cinematic Works: Scrpts, Stills, Documents, trans. and edit. Ken Knabb, Oakland: AK Press, 2003, p.29

4) Ibid., p.35.

5) "... we attend to the specificity of the human — its ways of being in the world, its ways of knowing, observing, and describing — by (paradoxically, for humanism) acknowledging that it is fundamentally a prosthetic creature that has coevolved with various forms of technicity and materiality, forms that are radically “not-human” and yet have nevertheless made the human what it is."

from Cary Wolfe's What Is Posthumanism, Minneapolis: the University of Minnesota Press, 2010, p.xxv

 

 

Nowhere Palace, 2015, 17:00

 

 

 

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