[-empyre-] Youngmin and things at BIFF

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Fri Oct 11 02:21:43 EST 2013

Thanks Tim for encapsulating Youngmin's session.

One of the themes of the Busan Film Festival Forum has been the convergence
of contemporary cross-disciplinary interests with time-based media and
film. I concur with Tim that the striking absence of new media and
technologies influences is definitely noteworthy.

How dramatically our notion of the screened surface has changed because of
technological innovation and distribution shifts.  The dynamics of screen
size alone has had a huge impact on cinema.  Now we can watch moving images
on hand-held devices as small as our smart phones and i-pads, on computer
screens, or larger format cinema display televisions. That in turn has
affected distribution with venues such as Netflix, HBO, Showtime, even YOU
TUBE in the US.  Today these distribution networks not only distribute
films but also produce them.  The expectations that all movies will come
out on the big screen is not a given.

While the VCR tape and the DVD affected how viewers consumed movies ten to
fifteen years ago, now the distribution networks make it easy to access
material with simply a computer to access big-box film, independent cinema,
TV series, or socially networked moving images.  Many even bypass
legitimate distribution accessing pirated copies.

 The addition of sound technology has also affected the reception of moving
images.  No longer simply a directionally left or right channel but now
sound that is complexly layered to create three-dimensional sound
environments that simulate real experiences.

At this year’s Venice Biennale it was apparent that the moving image and
soundscape was appropriated by national pavilions where cinematic
productions were being screened within the scope of an international art
context.  Entire pavilions were crafted with two, three or four cinematic
screening spaces where the work of artists (and their production teams)
were shown.

One of note was the two channel Ari Sala’s “Ravel Ravel Unravel” a
two-cinematic and sound spectacle.


Ari Sala writes ‘my intention, is to make a space resound consecutively to
the temporal gap between the two performances; to paradoxically create an
‘other’ space in an environment conceived to annihilate he sense of space
(by suppressing echoes)‘.

 One of the things I can’t help think about as a new media artist who uses
both found/archived and new moving images is the impact and power that the
installation space has on the image being screened. While some cinemaphiles
may lament the loss of the revered movie theater, I see the flexible
interplay and manipulation between architectural space, projected image,
directional sound and viewer's response within the space to open up
exciting possibilities.

The consideration of scale is an important one to tease out especially ias
it is relational to budgets and funding sources. New media artist's are
master's at creative fund sourcing.  With the DIY capabilities of Final Cut
Pro film and sound editing can be done by the film maker/ artist  herself.

 More to write about tomorrow but I am hoping that others will see threads
to pick up on.  These are just a few things I have been thinking about
these past few days.

 From Busan, Korea


On Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 10:44 AM, Timothy Conway Murray <tcm1 at cornell.edu>wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hi, everyone, we are so thankful to Youngmin Lee for having taken time out
> from his administrative responsibilities at the Busan International Film
> Festival to post to everyone from Busan.  While his interests in the visual
> theories of Lacan might be familiar to the majority of empyreans, I think
> it's important to appreciate Youngmin's efforts to translate Western
> theoretical thought into the Asian media discourse, which is extremely
> complicated and multilayed by cultural convergences.   I'm somewhat
> suprised not to have heard reservations about some of you regarding the
> relevance of Lacan's visual theories to the new media context -- not too
> late....
> On the same panel today, for example, one Korean colleague translated the
> film, Avatar, as a Buddhist allegory while another addressed very similar
> visual conditions in a Russian sic-fi film in relation to the Foucauldian
> panopticon and procedures of subjugation (for which Avatar has faced severe
> criticism for what some understand as its endorsement of primitivism).
> What's been interesting to me throughout the panels and screenings at
> Busan is how the overall Asian film community seems to be missing the
> opportunity to capitalize on the pluses of new media, from interactivity to
> networked relations to the exhibitional convergence of multiple screens and
> platforms [which is not dissimilar to what would be heard at Cannes, the
> Occidental equivalant of Busan].  While yesterday featured a panel on
> digital communication, this ended up being an endorsement of search engines
> and deep data for advertising and audience development --  a far cry from
> endorsing a convergence of cinematic and new media habits and techniques.
>  While it's understandable that a major film festival would promote
> conventional business models, it's disheartening that the Asian
> "independents" seem to work indifferently to so many of their Asian peers
> who lead the new media arts (and this in the land of Nam June Paik -- one
> of Paik's sculptures even graces the lobby of Seoul
>   airport hotel where we slept off our first night of jet lag).
> Yet, Renate and I have enjoyed two films that seem to thrive on such
> convergences.  The Korean director Bong Joon-ho screened his extraordinary
> film, Snowpiercer, which tells an eerie and violent tale of social upheaval
> in the new postglobal warming ice age, as the survivors circle the globe in
> a hierarchically ordered train, with a marvelous performance by Tilda
> Swinton.  The marvel is how the film successfully cut between dazzling
> animated sequences of the train crashing through icebergs and the
> traditional analogue representation of the diegesis. We enjoyed the
> flipside of this tonight while watching Japanese director Akira Ikeda's
> Anatomy of a Paper Clip (a miminalist sado-masochistic portrayal of class
> abjection in which directing evoked a combination of realist miminalism and
> pared down animation).  While the film contained no animation until the
> credits, the actors every movements seemed to embody the craft of
> top-motion animation as nuanced in the digital scene.
> Today we also enjoyed the dialogue between this week's guest, Youngmin
> Lee, and next week's featured guest, Alex Taek-Gwang Lee.  It'll be very
> interesting to hear how Alex weighs into the discussion.
> Of course, we're very anxious to hear the thoughts of empyreans throughout
> the month.
> Best,
> Tim
> Director, Society for the Humanities
> Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
> Professor of Comparative Literature and English
> A. D. White House
> Cornell University
> Ithaca, New York. 14853
> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [
> empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] on behalf of Renate Ferro [
> rtf9 at cornell.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:40 AM
> To: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: [-empyre-] Fwd:  Welcome to the October Discussion:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre


Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,
(contracted since 2004)
Cornell University
Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
Ithaca, NY  14853
Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu <rtf9 at cornell.edu>>
URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net

Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
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