Apple Computers: new video for @joncates REMIX-IT-RIGHT @filmcenter

As part of Conversations at the Edge (at the Gene Siskel Film Center) jonCates is organizing a screening of worx from the Phil Morton Memorial Archive along side remix’d worx from the archive by contemporary new media artists (including worx sourced from an open call on the screenings tumblr). This Thursday (March 7, 8 pm) From the press nfoz:

Chicago video pioneer Phil Morton (1945-2003) anticipated remix in his genre-defying individual and collaborative projects that share characteristics with what we now call “New Media” today. Radically open, committed to process, collaborative, contentious, and charismatic; Morton embodied what he dubbed COPY-IT-RIGHT. An alternative to copyright, this ethic encourages making, sharing, remixing, and distributing media art, its systems, and technologies. To illuminate Morton’s continued influence and inspiration, Jon Cates, founder of the Phil Morton Memorial Archive, asked an international roster of contemporary video and new media artists to remix, rework, and re-imagine Morton’s original tapes. This program interweaves Morton’s work with his remixes, resulting in a generous mash-up of past, present, proto-digital and cyber psychedelic. Presented in collaboration with the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference. This program is generously supported by the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Foundation.

screening includes new worx by, Yoshi SodeokaJennifer ChanEmilie GervaisAkihiko TaniguchiConstant DullaartRick Silva and myself. I made a [re]mix/make of my favorite Phil Morton piece (and quite frankly one of my favorite pieces of video art ever) General Motors. Below Part1 of General Motors from the Phil Morton Memorial Archive && above a kinda ‘trailer’ for [re]mix/make Apple Computers, with some footage I had to cut from the final version of the video.

General Motors (Part 1) – Phil Morton (1976) from Phil Morton on Vimeo.

DVD Dead Drop #5 @MovingImageNYC » BEST OF Fach & Asendorf Gallery @fa_g (Feb 8 – Mar 14)

I’ve got a piece on the latest [super packed] DVD Dead Drop, a (previously unreleased… && unfinished) arware project. If you’re in Astoria, NYC between the 8th of Feb && the 14th of March stop by the Museum of the Moving Image with a blank DVD and get yourself a copy (bring an xtra DVD for me please ^_^). Curated/compiled by Ole Fach && Kim Asendorf of :

“The Internet, it is everywhere. It is here, it is there and it is where you actually are. It is so huge that nobody ever could print it. It is so deep that no one ever would dive to its end. There is peace and war in it, love and hate and all between. Once you have traveled through it, you will never forget, and you will come back, asap.”

Since then, Fach & Asendorf Gallery has served 24 online exhibitions of digital and net art to more than 28,000 unique visitors. To celebrate the beginning of their third season, Fach & Asendorf Gallery presents BEST OF, an enormous collection of unreleased and exclusive work by 78 artists from around the world spanning a broad range of formats including applications, videos, and animated GIFs. BEST OF is a whole week of Internet on DVD.

DVD Dead Drop at MMI NYC from aram bartholl on Vimeo.

Participating artists:
Absis Minas, Alan Butler, Alexander Peverett, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Andrew Benson, Andrew Rosinski, Aoki and Peverett, Bea Fremderman, Brandon Blommaert, Carlos Saez, Charles Chalas, Chris Collins, Christian Petersen, Claudia Mate, Clement Valla and Kyle McDonald, Constant Dullaart,, Daniel Leyva, David Kraftsow, Deanna Havas, Dominik Podsiadly, Emilie Gervais, Emilio Gomariz, Fabien Mousse, Ferestec, Florian Kuhlmann, Francoise Gamma, Fritz Laszlo Weber, Georges Jacoty, Goto80, Grace McEvoy, Hugo Scibetta, Jacob Engblom, Jan Robert Leegte, Jasper Elings, Jerome Saint-Clair, JK Keller, Johannes P Osterhoff, Jon Satrom, Jonas Lund, Jonathan Pirnay and Jörn Röder, jonCates, Jordan Tate, Jörg Piringer, Julien A Lacroix, Lorna Mills, Manuel Fernández, Mark Beasley, Mark Durkan, Martin Böttger, Matthew Williamson, Max Capacity, Michael Manning, Mitch Trale, Miyö Van Stenis, Nicholas O’Brien, Nicolas Boillot, Nicolas Sassoon, Nick Briz, Niko Princen, Paul Flannery, Philipp Teister, Rajeev Basu, Raphaël Bastide, Rick Silva, Rollin Leonard, Sara Ludy, Sarah Weis, Sebastian Schmieg and Silvio Lorusso, Stefan Riebel, Sterling Crispin, Ted Davis, Theodore Darst, Travis Hallenbeck, V5MT, Yoshi Sodeoka

Sharing my thoughts [&&vid] on @gltich karaoke @MC_IMR

This week In Media Res is hosting a week long chat on ‘Glitch Media’ lead by Evan Meaney + w/posts by Simon Tarr + Shawné Holloway + A. Bill Miller + myself. I’ll be posting on Friday: “there’s a huge noise in the middle of this: the ha[ng]ppenings of Karaoke” >>> video below:

Conversations at the Edge Archives on Vimeo!

This is a treasure trove for anyone into experimental media work! I used to work for CATE (Conversations at the Edge) while going to grad school at SAIC + have long awaited the day these would go online. I captured + edited plenty of these tapes and thus have watched many of them + can attest to how aawsum they are! CATE is a series the Film, Video, New Media and Animation department at SAIC puts on spearheaded by Amy Beste: each week another rad media artist visits Chicago to share + chat about their work, just check out this roster!

&& if ya live in Chicago the new season starts Feb 14th! !!!

Diamonds ( Green Screen Version )

Nick Briz (2012) copy<it>right
&& rotoscoped by Andrew Briz


…here you go internetz, don’t tell Oliver Laric, don’t want him to think I’m jocking his styleand/or copying his swagger, yawl know how net artists get these days. send me your remixes!

Web Artists Are Furious At Rihanna And Azealia Banks – “Rihanna’s performance of “Diamonds” on Saturday Night Live this weekend took most people by surprise, mainly because she was singing in front of a green screen instead of the show’s usual stage for musical guests. A small number of Web artists were in for a bigger surprise, though, as their visual aesthetic was co-opted entirely by the singer without consultation or credit.” > Buzzfeed

Rihanna’s ‘SNL’ Performance Sparks Internet BacklashThe Internet Is Pissed At Rihanna For Her Screensaver Performance On ‘SNL’Cool Or Commerical: Rihanna and Azealia Banks Dip Into The Tumblr-PondDo Seapunks Have a Right to Be Pissed at Rihanna?

“But to claim that we, all of us, are not a part of this mutation process ourselves is the kind of lie that is unproductive, different than the creative, productive lie I mentioned before. We have to embrace mutation in all it’s forms if we embrace it at all. From net kids giving new meaning to the emptiness of commercial space, to art directors getting it wrong but thus getting it right. This is an exciting cycle that is also painful, like life.” > Jacob Ciocci

Interactive Arts & Media Visiting Lecture: Jon Satrom & Nick Briz

jon.satrom and I will be sharing our wurrrk + chatting about our involvement in the glitch art community && co-organizing the GLI.TC/H conference/festival/gathering @Columbia College tomorrow!!! Free + open to all, come and chat :)



Glitch Codec Tutorial [preliminaries]

this is long overdue, but here are some screen recordings from the preliminary steps of the Glitch Codec Tutorial: (from March,2010)

A couple years ago a colleague accused me of “killing my art” in a public presentation of the Glitch Codec Tutorial (GCT). Though my intention was to encourage others to engage with their computers at a level which would reveal system/media politix that often go unnoticed… he felt I was ruining the mystery and enabling others to produce lots of bad glitch art on youtube. There’s no escaping bad datamoshed youtube videos (with or without the GCT), and while many folks see the GCT as a method for producing ‘em, I hope most viewers are considering the <embeded> ideology:

(conversation on the GCT comment thread)

It’s been really rad to meet && chat with glitch artists/enthusiasts via comments && emails pertaining to the GCT + it’s been xciting to see the interesting projects others have developed using the GCT: everything from feature length experimental narratives to AR installations!

one question that’s come up a few times is, are there any preliminary steps? This usually comes from Ubuntu users wanting to follow along on their own systems (i.e. not using the .ISO). The answer is yes, there are a few preliminary steps, I left this out of the GCT in the interest of keeping it accessible (only focusing on the important part, i.e. hacking codecs and the politix therein). That said, I dug up screen recordings from a couple years ago where I go through all these preliminary steps, downloading the ffmpeg source and compiling the ‘glitchcodec’ from it.

+ folks interested in trying to set this up on other operating systems might also benefit. Quick disclaimer, this isn’t’ a ‘proper’ tutorial, it’s raw screen recordings from the compiling process… that said, I think it’s pretty straight fwd. So have at it:

Coded Perception [the New Aesthetic @SETUPUtrecht]

Last week I shared my ‘perspective’ on the New Aesthetic with SETUP [a space in Utrecht which hosts events on digital culture] which held an opening for their Coded Perception expo. From their site [translated from Dutch via Google]:

  • What images constructs the computer as he looks to our world? During the exhibition ‘Coded Perception‘ you can take a look at the new visual culture that originated here, and the responses of designers, thinkers and artists on this elusive imagery.

I was one of 8 artist/academics asked to curate a ‘perspective’ on the New Aesthetic using their projection expo tool. Below is the video I recorded for the introduction && my notes + links to the pieces which were projected.

#tag #glitch

“A glitch isn’t inherently ‘New Aesthetic,’ but it certainly becomes that when appropriated. Just like the voxel sculptures, glitch revels in the visual result of a functional system purely for its aesthetic merit.” – -Kyle Mcdonald

The following are ‘glitch’ works/observations I’ve appropriated for inclusion in this expo, thus having tagged them #theNewAesthetic. Some of these glitches have been provoked/composed by artists while others are less domesticated.

The New Aesthetic has been labeled a #movement, a kind of #genre and even a #NewWayOfSeeing. I prefer to label it a #conversation, in that it is less of an organized + manifesto-driven + institution and rather a collection [tumblr blog] of observations && relations [#tags == #glitch being one such tag]. An artist provoking glitches w/in their practice [and by the same token, a glitch naturally occurring w/in a digital system] is not concerned with the New Aesthetic. It is the New Aesthetic [or rather its champions && critics] who are concerned with glitches.

A quick google search for the new aesthetic will land you on tumblr, Gizmodo, Wired, the Atlantic, the Creators Project, etc. It is on this blogroll [and their comments] that the New Aesthetic #conversation is taking place, and where the works of [unsuspecting] others have been collected and offered to the rest of us as insight.

I’ve collected #glitches here for the insights they [may] possess about our digital culture + in being re-contextualized from ‘accidents’ worth discarding [or worse, fixing] to the subject of our attention: sometimes to disturb social [media] order, sometimes to bare witness to [otherwise] invisible systems, and other times… yes, as an #aesthetic.


Kitten Glitches (Jake Elliott)
[ ]
“Kitten Glitches takes images posted to Flickr that Flickr users have tagged w/the term ‘kittens’ + processes those found objects w/a “pseudorandom automatic databending script” then posting to a tumblr account.” [ jonCates, from ‘lists, boards, friends and feeds (PART V)’ on ]. Many of Jake Elliott’s artware projects take the form of an automatic tumblr or twitter bot. These are sincerely considered, yet fun + playful + flippant. “Flippancy is antagonistic to art that prides itself on the importance of criticality. It not only upends the critical, but treats it as no more important than fun, than enjoyment, than entertainment. One could even say that debasing criticality is what flippancy does for its own entertainment.” [ Beth Capper, from a txt message ]

Glitchaus (Jeff Donaldson)
[ ]
The digital made physical + the digital made fashion. For a handful of years artists [ like Melissa Barron ] have been working at the intersection of digital glitches and mechanically produced textiles. Most recently artist Phillip Stearns pre-sold $12,100 worth in glitch textiles [ +a few grand more in donations ] on Kickstarter. Jeff Donaldson (aka noteNdo) has recently launched ‘Glitchaus’, a design house devoted to, ‘glitch as a new paradigm in design.’ Donaldson began hacking [now vintage] game consoles in 2001. More recently he’s begun appropriating from his screen based practice to produce his new line. “Last year Antonio Cavadini, AKA Tonylight, and I worked together on a one of a kind button down for his personal collection. Custom made in Milan, Italy, the print is an 8bit design I created with one of my prepared NES. The same design was knit for the 2011 scarf editions. These are some pictures Antonio sent.” [ Jeff Donaldson, from the Glitchaus tumblr ]

Book of Durrow (as observed by Curt Cloninger)
[ ]
“And so when you see a picture like this [ satellite image of agricultural patterns ], you see pixels, right? Those aren’t pixels. Those are fields. They’re irrigated fields on the border of Namibia and South Africa. But because we expect to see things in a certain world, our understanding of where the border between physical and digital has changed, because we’ve experienced this kind of imagery and these kind of views before, and we’re unconsciously comfortable of them being mixed up.” [ James Bridle, from ‘Waving at the Machines’ transcript ] Similarly, we could look at the entropy of the past [from our digital vector view] and tag it #glitch. “The Book of Durrow is a piece of analog ‘media’ created around 680 A.D. which has gradually glitched over the last several hundred years. Certain parts of it were colored with a pigment that has eaten away at its vellum substrate. This glitch actually follows the contours of the original ornamentation. It is a very slow glitch.” [ Curt Cloninger, from ‘GltchLnguistx: The Machine in the Ghost / Static Trapped in Mouths’ ]

$23 Quadrillion Charge (Visa)
[ ]
“A technical snafu left some Visa prepaid cardholders stunned and horrified Monday to see a $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge on their statements. That’s about 2,007 times the size of the national debt. Josh Muszynski, 22, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was one Visa customer aghast to find the 17-digit charge on his bill. Adding insult to injury, he had also been hit with a $15 overdraft fee.” [ Jason Kessier, from ‘Glitch hits Visa users with more than $23 quadrillion charge’ CNN News ]. “Muszynski is still a customer of the bank, but now he checks his account balance every day. As another result of this incident, he has shifted his spending behavior to a more old-fashioned approach: ‘I now pay for things using cash. I used to rely on my debit card, but it’s just easier and safer for me to go to the bank and take cash out for what I need’” [ Jeff Papows, Ph.D from “GLITCH the Hidden Impact of Faulty Software”]

GLTI.CH Karaoke
[ ]
Kyougn Kmi and Daniel Rourke [collectively known as GLTI.CH Karaoke ] facilitate happenings where participants are invited to sing karaoke duets with one another. Breaking from tradition, participants are paired with partners halfway across the world, singing together over the Internet. “Using free versions of Skype, YouTube and collaborative web software, we orchestrated duets between people who had never met each other, who didn’t speak the same language, bypassing thousands of geographic miles with glitchy, highly compressed data and a little bit of patience.” [ GLTI.CH Karaoke, from their website ] At these ha[ngs]ppenings Kmi and Rourke go to great lengths to avoid glitches + delays + drops [having been present at a few I can attest to this] while trusting in the network’s unreliable signal to not render their name [GLTI.CH] innapropriate.

[ ]
Glitchr is the online [ facebook, tumblr && twitter ] handle of #NewMediaArtist + #SocialMediaInterventionist, Laimonas Zakas. Glitchr has made it his mission to find + exploit bugs + wholes w/in social media systems. His most notable works are perhaps the ‘hacks’ he has ‘exhibited’ on his facebook fan page. Comments + text that spill out of their frames and windows that feedback infinitely inwards are among the behaviors his page exhibits, but only temporarily–every hack Glitchr ‘composes’ facebook ‘fixes.’ “I have counted more than ten Facebook employees from FB HQ, not to mention those from international departments [as fans], […] They probably like Glitchr to detect bugs. Don’t know how much truth is there, but by now, the following bugs, that I have used in my posts, were fixed: Embedding animated pictures in notes, sharing animated pictures in thumbnails, unlimited extension of text in the post to the right side and some others.” [Glitchr, quoted by Alexia Tsotsis on techcrunch ]

join the GLI.TC/H 2112 Working Groups!

GLI.TC/H 2112 is nearly a month away! But you can start participating now by signing up on the Working Groups and joining the conversation!

  • Working Groups, similar to Internet Working Groups are formalized/structured spaces for open/participatory development of GLI.TC/H threads (+related projects). The Working Groups are an online space for conversation + collaboration + planning leading up to the days of IRL activity (on Dec 6 – 9). Log-in, Dial-up, and Dig-in…

Understanding Remix: an open letter to Brad Troemel

Dear Brad,

Having written an article entitled The Word “Remix” Is Corny and publishing it on the Internet (home of the remix, in the contemporary sense of the word) I’d imagine you were hoping to incite some rebuttal, so I’ll take the bait (apologies for not having launched this flame war sooner… but it’s tough to find the time for these things). First, a disclaimer: this is an area of serious research for me + I have written + lectured quite a bit on this subject + have developed and taught classes on these histories, concepts, techniques and politix (namely Video Mash-Up and Video Remix for Marwen + Piratical Practices for SAIC)… I wanna make my position/bias real clear, i <3 remix

At the start of your essay you generalize “mashups” to be “…one bad song combined with another to create the short-lived thrill of hearing them simultaneously…” I assume you’d include in the category of “mid-2000’s bloghouse mashup bands” the artist Jordan Rosemen (aka DJ Earworm) and his piece No More Gas in your list of dismissible trax. Take a moment (approx  40 seconds) to listen to the thought that goes into this “perfunctory process.” Now, there’s this thing called pop music, it’s catchy, derivative and fun, and yes DJ Earworm works within this genre towards (more or less) the same (dance club) goals as the original work. Yet, in doing this he’s able to make something that I’d argue has value beyond the thrill of simultaneity. One could make a conventional argument here: by [re]combining these pop samples he’s creating political commentary on consumption culture… but I’m less interested in that. What’s really vital here is how it stands as a testament to a very important kind of literacy (let’s call it media literacy); it’s fun, playful, critical and irreverent. This is the kind of  work my middle school students produce.

Before addressing media literacy I wanna debunk your argument a bit. It would really help if you backed some of this shit up with links/references. You’re making some outrageous claims full of historical inaccuracies and reductive reasoning… I could link every statement in paragraphs 2 – 4 out to it’s own rebuttal, but instead I’ll try to touch on a few major issues.

(condescending wonka meme)

“Remixing is no longer a stand against normative ideas of authorship; it’s the embodiment of it.” The sole impetus behind remixing is not to be “bad boy cool” as you suggest. Yes, it’s true that remix does have its radical forms. Artists have plundered and détourned for political reasons in the past, and these kinds of (what I call) piratical practices are still alive t0day, but these practices are just variations on the theme. To imply that it’s all about litigation is reductive. You are right that remix has become a symbol of the Copyright Wars (though I wouldn’t phrase it exactly like that), and this is a GOOD THING, like John Sulston (who won the Nobel Prize for leading the effort to map the human genome) said, “We in Western society are going through a period of intensifying belief in private ownership, to the detriment of the public good.” One can only hope that remix (at a pop scale) continues to have a proactive effect on “normative ideas of authorship”

Another issue with your argument is your narrow theoretical context (Barthes, Huebler, Laric). Remix exists across many spheres, this is more than just an Art World conversation (much more). You’ve misunderstood the Everything Is A Remix (EIAR) argument, but if you get art references let me put it this way: it’s less about post-modernism, it’s more like post-production (Bourriaud). Since the time folks generally refer to as the Enlightenment, our understanding and [en]framing of authorship + the creative process has been evolving. The EIAR argument complicates the creative process (beyond the remixVSoriginal binary you suggest) + explains we’ve been living in a state of cultural cryptomnesia for the last century + that new culture can be understood as undiscovered public knowledge as Don Swanson’s scientific research suggests. It’s not about nihilism, it’s about understanding how creativity works (here’s a clip from an Alan Lomax interview with Muddy Waters + another clip from an interview with John Coltrane which may help illustrate this point).

“Media scholars take great interest in the ways memes are produced while ignoring or apologizing away the content of the process they are describing.” Which media scholars? Who’s apologizing? Jenkins? Lessig? Benkler? Shirky? Here’s where I’ll return to media literacy, to quote a childhood hero, remix is like, “a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of that heavenly glory!” Sure, from a fine art perspective a lot of remix culture’s artifacts may seem banal… but they are not trivial. (Again, I’ll explain w/references you can understand) Walter Benjamin suggested that with mechanical reproduction (and the death of the ‘aura’) there lay the possibility for mass participation in art and politics. He looked to Soviet cinema as an example… sadly that moon was eclipsed and we got hollywood’s aurific stars. Yes, mechanical reproduction brought art to the masses (now even the proletariat could ‘consume’), but they couldn’t exactly participate. Lawrence Lessig wrote a book called ‘Remix’, it’s an incredibly influential book on the subject which has come to define the term as a cultural phenomenon regardless of what you think this word means. He explains that youth today not only consume media, but take it, remix it, and share it online. He claims that anyone with access to a $1000 (far less now) computer and the Internet can take part in this new kind of culture. “Thus, the distinction between author and public is about to lose its basic character. The difference becomes merely functional; it may vary from case to case. At any moment the reader is ready to turn into a writer.” I’m quoting Benjamin here, not Lessig. Remix has changed our relationship to culture—demystification accompanies the death of the aura—this is media literacy.


Your last paragraph perhaps reveals something about your motive for writing this in the first place. You wouldn’t by chance place yourself in this ‘progressive versioning’ category? Do you consider your own mode of production to be “more current and able to reflect the time we live in.”? It’s interesting you’ve chosen this word, ‘versioning.’ I’m familiar with Laric’s use of the term + safe to say he himself has borrowed it from others (mayhaps from dub music, where it was used to describe remix, before the term ‘remix’ was a thing). What’s maybe even more interesting is the connection to ‘versioning’ in an open-source software context (a label you dismiss as a “meaningless” fad). If you don’t know, ‘versioning’ is a system for keeping track of revisions (as well as branches) made to a project along with the who/when/where nfo for each individual change. It makes tracing back ‘sources’ trivially easy + attribution is built into the system.

An issue which often comes up with students who are skeptical of the copy-left ethic is attribution—the fear that if they ‘open-source’ their art they forfeit attribution. There is a difference between quoting and plagiarizing, between a remix and an imposter. I’ve been criticized before for not being ‘open’ enough in some of my organizational (think curatorial) efforts. This criticism often comes from a similarly confused position: open does not mean structureless. Versioning (in the open-source community) solves the attribution issue + exemplifies the difference between openness and structurelessness. As artists we could learn a lot from this open (yet structured) system of remixable (yet attributed) production.

The tension caused by this confusion is an issue/dynamic you (ever so slightly) hint at towards the beginning of [5] before you derail into this false distinction between ‘remix’ and ‘progressive versioning’. What you’re calling ‘versioning’ is really just the creative process (again I refer you to this Alan Lomax interview with Muddy Waters + this clip from an interview with John Coltrane) and this is what Kirby Ferguson means when he says Everything Is A Remix, not that ‘it’s all been done before’ but rather, ‘this is how it’s always been done.’ The key to a mode of, “production that is more current and able to reflect the time we live in” is in understanding this.

(I’ll end w/a diagram too, img screen grabbed from Everything Is A Remix part3)