Sound composition by Maggie Payne.
Evelien Lohbeck’s multimedia artwork noteboek (2008), has been selected as a Top Video in the Biennial of Creative Video, the showcase organized by the Guggenheim Museum and YouTube. 1 Noteboek exemplifies what I call ‘reversed remediation’. 2 This aesthetic strategy subverts Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s notion of ‘remediation,’ which serves a historical desire for immediacy.3 Countering Marshall McLuhan’s fear of the narcotic state that the user of a medium can enter when becoming a closed system with the medium; reversed remediation offers a chance to wake up the viewer. 4 It creates a state of critical awareness about how media shape one’s perception of the world. (Art)works that employ reversed remediation destabilize remediation mechanisms, by making media visible instead of transparent. It makes critical awareness possible because it lays bare the workings of media instead of obfuscating them. The following discussion distinguishes between the theories of remediation and reversed remediation and applies this theoretical foundation to Lohbeck’s noteboek.
Video from 1987 depicting early digital image editing techniques in the Soviet Union using rotary scanners, magnetic tape, and trackballs.
This is a series of digital photographs of sunsets altered by a controlled download error. These files where bitmap transferred via personal messaging software (adium) from one place to another. After the file was completely downloaded the transfer is aborted. The final result is that the bitmap repeats the last horizontal downloaded pixel to complete the image dimensions. This was administrated by monitoring the downloading process to stop the transfer in a certain point of the image to create some relation between the image and the error.
In this work Wim Janssen cuts polarization filter into small rectangles of one cm, in random orientations, like large pixels. These little squares are fixed between two large rectangular pieces of plexiglass. At first sight, the screen looks like a banal, slightly darkened window. But in front of this screen stands a slowly rotating disc, also made of polarization filter. When the screen is seen through this disc, it changes into a half transparent field of video noise.
This phenomenon occurs because lightwaves, besides their frequency and amplitude, also have an orientation. Polarization filter let light pass in only one direction. When you look through a piece of this filter, it's perfectly transparent, just a bit darker than normal plexi or glass. When you look through the filter at an other piece of this material which is rotated 90°, the second piece becomes an opaque black surface, because the light passing through the first filter, can't pass through the second filter. Every other orientation gives a different degree of opacity.
By cutting thousands of little pieces of polarization filter and putting a rotating polarization filter in front of them, Wim Janssen succeeds in imitating television static by using an almost banal technique.