[-empyre-] -empyre- September, 2015, Video: Behind and Beyond

Isak Berbic isak.berbic at stonybrook.edu
Sat Sep 12 08:33:00 AEST 2015

Thank you for the invitation to contribute to empyre this month. I've been
here a few times before ... last time writing from the Middle East, where I
was based for 6 years. These days I live and work in New York ... and
currently I am editing a new video about a 20th century steel mill that is
forced to depart planet earth into outer-space, in search of ore, where the
workers will be able to continue and make pots, pans and automobile rims.
The story is inspired by hilariously absurd anecdotes my grandfather used
to recount about the plant he worked for in the city of Zenica, BiH.

Building on John Conomos' post:
I also work with video as a material of images in time, where my
investigations always seem to return to exploring the limits of
representation, and often in effort to explode mythologies
without sentimentality (I hope).

Tonight, I would like to invite you to view one of my works from 2008: "The
End of History". This piece takes a particular moment in video
history/technology (VHS handheld cameras), and probes the image found at
the periphery of erasure.

Eyewitness recordings of the Yugoslavian war (early 90s) seemed to fade
quickly, as video standards rapidly advanced into digital codec formats.
Even though this war was among the first to be recorded massively
by multitudes of citizens using handheld cameras, the videos seem to be
trapped in their plastic cassette bodies, in people's storage bins, and
dusty bookshelves.

Vimeo Link:    https://vimeo.com/77293548

Digitized analog tapes, computer-generated imagery
SD DVD video, with sound, color
Runtime: 10 minutes

A conversation develops between two personified subtitles:
poet-politicians; one red, the other white. Their subject, persona and
voice are abstracted and confused as they discuss literature, religion,
nationalism and philosophy. Images recorded by people in Sarajevo under
siege, in the early nineties, are transformed into a visceral, poetic, and
dark audiovisual space. The End of History is a montage of this transcoded
appropriated footage. While some invoke iconic images of Sarajevo under
mortar shelling, others are computer generated and the sound entirely

Isak Berbic

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM, Timothy Conway Murray <tcm1 at cornell.edu>

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello, -Empyreans-,
> Now that the US holidays have passed and the heat of the summer has
> finally settled into Upstate New York, it's time to look to the fall
> startup of the 2015-16 season of -empyre–.  We look forward to a a
> wide-ranging discussion throughout the remainder of September of "Video and
> Beyond."  Information about the topic and this week's guests is below:
> *September, 2015 Video: Behind and Beyond*
> Moderated by Tim Murray (US) and Renate Ferro(US) with invited discussants
> Week 1 September 8-13: Andrew Deutsch (US) Kathy High (US), Sherry Hocking
> Miller (US), Renate Ferro (US), Tim Murray (US) Isak Berbic (US),  John
> Conomos (AU), Carolyn Tennant (US)
> Week 2 September  14-20: Megan Roberts (US), Raymond Ghirardo (US), Lynne
> Sacks (US), Alan Sondheim (US)
> Week 3 September  21-26 Maureen Turim (US), Benton C Bainbridge ( US)
> Week 4 September  27-30  Sarah Watson (US), Gabriel Menotti (BR), Anca
> Rujoiu (SG)
> In celebration of the legacy of the Experimental Television Center,
> -empyre- dedicates the month of September to discussion of “Video: Behind
> and Beyond.”  For over forty years, the Experimental Television Center in
> Owego, New York, was one of North America’s preeminent residencies and
> funding sources for video art, fostering a community for creative and
> innovation in technology.  Through its residency program and practical
> research program artists worldwide passed through its doors.  The
> Experimental Television Center was founded by Ralph Hocking, in 1971, who
> collaborated with Nam June Paik and others in the creation of innovative
> tools used by ETC artists for experimental creation in and around video.
> Throughout the years both Ralph Hocking and Sherry Miller Hocking have
> provided support and services to the media and technology community by
> encouraging electronic media technologies and honoring independently
> creating moving-image history.  They have single handedly initiated
> projects that encouraged partnerships for research, education, and
> preservation.
> During the month of September, we encourage discussion of the early days
> of video art and its movement beyond the analogue into pairings with
> digital technologies.  ETC fostered and encouraged these pairings from the
> very beginning.  In addition to hearing from international guests with
> specialized artistic and critical interests in video art, we will be joined
> by many of the artists and technicians who have been affiliated with ETC.
> The month’s discussion coincides with a major exhibition, opening
> September 24, at the Hunter College Art Gallery in New York City with the
> collaboration of the Rose Goldsen Archive for New Media Art, which holds
> the ETC archive.
>  the center over these past several years to celebrate the history and
> heritage of ETC during Week 1, to examine the affect of the center’s
> influence beyond the scope of a regional video center to an influential
> player in the digital and internet age nationally and globally during
> Week 2 and 3, and finally during Week 4 to discuss the Center’s
> preservation and archival drive for the future.
> <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
> http://lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/
> *http://empyre.library.cornell.edu <http://empyre.library.cornell.edu>*
> Biographies:
> Moderators:
> Renate Ferro (US) Renate Ferro’s creative work resides in the area of
> emerging technology, new media and culture. By aligning artistic, creative
> practice with critical approaches to technology her work broadly spans
> installation, interactive net-based projects, digital time-based media,
> drawing, text, and performance. Her artistic work has been featured at The
> Freud Museum (London), The Dorksy Gallery (NY), The Hemispheric Institute
> and FOMMA (Mexico), The Janus Pannonius Muzeum (Hungary), and The Free
> University Berlin (Germany).  Her writing has been published in such
> journals as Diacritics, Theatre Journal, and Epoch.. She also is the
> founder of the Tinker Factory <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/> Lab. Ferro
> is a Visiting Associate Professor of Art at Cornell University.  She has
> been on the moderating team for -empyre soft-skinned space since 2007 and
> is currently the managing moderator.
> Tim Murray (US) Tim Murray is Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New
> Media Art, Director of the Society for the Humanities and Professor of
> Comparative Literature and English at Cornell University.  A Moderator of
> -empyre-, he sits on the Executive Committee of the Humanities, Arts,
> Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC). Author of Digital
> Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (Minnesota 2008) and Zonas de
> Contacto: el arte en CD-ROM (Centro de la imagen, 1999), he is completing
> two books on Virtual Archives and Media Art in Asia, and editing volumes on
> Jean-Luc Nancy and Xu Bing.
> Weekly Guests:
> Week 1
> Isak Berbic (BA) is an artist primarily working with photography, moving
> image and performance. His recent artworks reimagine popular narratives,
> crossing them with social and personal histories, often appropriating
> anecdotes and myths, politics and contemporary issues, environmental and
> economic ecologies, art history, cooking, migration, humor, tragedy, the
> global circulation of images and the limits of representation. Reflecting
> on contested histories, he uses fiction and documents, found and primary
> material, exploring the image and the literary in the construction of his
> pieces. His work takes on different forms of presentation, including
> image-text-object installations, photographic prints, videos, actions,
> texts and publications.
> John Conomos (AU) is an artist, critic and theorist who exhibits
> extensively both locally and internationally.  He is an Associate Professor
> at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney.  His art practice
> cuts across a variety of art forms-video, new media, installation,
> photo-performance, and radio-phonic art—and deals with autobiography,
> identity, language, memory, post-colonialism and the ‘in-between’ links
> between cinema, literature, critical theory and the visual arts. Conomos is
> a prolific writer and artist. He is currently working on three new video
> projects.
> Kathy High (US) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator working with
> arts and biology. In the early 1980's she studied for her masters in film
> and video at University of Buffalo with media pioneers Hollis Frampton,
> Steina Vasulka
> and Tony Conrad. She has received awards including Guggenheim Memorial
> Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and NEA. Her art works have been
> shown at Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Science Gallery,
> (Dublin), NGBK,
> (Berlin), Fesitval Transitio_MX (Mexico), MASS MoCA (North Adams),
> Videotage Art Space (Hong
> Kong). High is Professor of Video and New Media in the Department of Arts
> at
> Rensselaer. She was co-editor of The Emergence of Video Processing Tools:
> Television Becoming Unglued with Sherry Miller Hocking, Assistant
> Director of the Experimental Television Center, and Mona Jimenez,
> Associate Professor of the Moving Image and Preservation Program, In
> Cinema Studies at NYU, a two volume anthology about the history of video
> imaging tools, Intellect Books
> (UK)/Chicago University Press (IL), 2014.
> Sherry Miller Hocking (US) has worked since 1972 with the Experimental
> Television Center, which until 2011 served the media arts community by
> providing an international residency program, educational opportunities and
> sponsorship for independent media and film artists and projects. For over
> 40 years she helped administer the artist in residence program, inviting
> over 1500 artists to create new works. She also worked to support
> individual artists’ projects; ETC helped raise almost 2 million dollars in
> direct funding to media artists. For 22 years Hocking directed the
> Electronic Arts Grants Program, providing funding to individuals and arts
> organizations. In 1994 she designed and continues to direct the Video
> History Project, an online informational research database for media
> scholars worldwide. She has helped organize a number of preservation
> conferences, notably the *Video History Conference* at Syracuse
> University.  With Kathy High and Mona Jimenez, she is co-editor of *The
> Emergence of Video Processing Tools: Television Becoming Unglued*(Intellect,
> 2014). The archives of ETC are in the collection of the Rose Goldsen
> Archive of New Media Art at Cornell University.
> http://www.experimentaltvcenter.org
> Carolyn Tennant (US) has been a champion in Upstate New York of
> collaborative efforts to digitize and preserve video.   The Director of
> Archives and Migrating Media at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, in
> Buffalo, New York, Carolyn has been a primary consultant in efforts to
> archive the collections of the Experimental Television Center, Hallwalls,
> and other New York experimental venues.
> Timothy Murray
> Professor of Comparative Literature and English
> Taylor Family Director, Society for the Humanities
> http://www.arts.cornell.edu/sochum/
> Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
> http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu
> A D White House
> Cornell University,
> Ithaca, New York 14853
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