[-empyre-] from Peer Bode: bold electronic experimenters

ETC etc at experimentaltvcenter.org
Wed Sep 30 04:41:26 AEST 2015

I have been thinking about photographs, lately. The millions taken of
Pope Francis. The millions taken of the blood moon eclipse. I wonder
whether we can make sense of these millions of images. Why do we all
do this? What is the compulsion? Do we just seek to put ourselves in
the picture? Are we looking to remember?

With all of the wonderful posts by Benton, Maureen, Peer, Murat, Tim,
Jason I am remembering what it was like to make an image with the
early tools. An unprocessed b/w image required a machine weighing over
40 pounds. The original time limit was 20 minutes. And a different
machine was needed to play it back. While there was wonder in the
“ease” of making the images, the systems demanded caution. We
celebrated the new explosion of imagery available to so many more
people; but looking back, it was still on a very modest scale.

Now there are very few restrictions or limitations in using the tools.
They are in everyone’s pocket. An early portable video system weighed
the equivalent of 40 iphones, according to Dave Jones.

We all train our cameras on the spectacles that surround us. We create
numberless visual records of shared experiences, all from our own
vantage point.

The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. The work of art
in the age of electronic reproduction. Is what I am seeing a mixture
of production and reproduction, of copy and  “original”.

The human eye - camera - can be in only one place at one time. That
singularity can be reproduced infinitely. Now I am able to see the
perspectives of friends from around the world as we all view the
eclipse simultaneously. The images each carry different perspectives.
Perspectives ranging from the personal interactions with neighbors as
we meet on the street observing this natural phenomenon, to the shared
experience of viewing the event from multiple geographies around the
globe. Last night I saw the eclipse from the points of view of France,
Germany, Florida, the Southwest US, two miles from my house, and our
back deck. All with images.

And then what. Do we keep all these? Store them? Preserve them?
Watching Pope Francis at one of the masses, I thought about an
exhibition of a single instant in time, of one image from each of the
thousands of cameras pointed at him.  But why?

Sherry Hocking

On Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 4:02 PM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Nam obviously was a good sleeper.
> M.
> On Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM, peer bode <peerbode at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Nam June Paik commented that one of the actions he like to carry out in television studios,  was to lay down in front of the studio equipment and take a short nap. The purpose of which was answer the question,  who is the boss ?
>> Nam June vacuumed in the ETC studio when Shuya Abe  was there with him working on building the Paik Abe Colorizer Synthesizer.  Shuya thought the studio was too dusty. David Jones should tell the story. At the ETC Hunter opening David added to the story of Nam Jun vacuuming by saying that Nam June had the vacuum cleaner on and running to sound like he as cleaning while in fact he was napping.
>> Eating and sleeping with the machines is what we all did. It was, no doubt,  more important than we realized.
>> Peer Bode
>> > From: tcm1 at cornell.edu
>> > To: empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:20:01 +0000
>> > Subject: Re: [-empyre-] from Peer Bode: bold electronic experimenters
>> >
>> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> > Following up on Maureen's recollections of Kuntzel's time at ETC, I asked
>> > him a decade later what it was that he enjoyed about Ithaca (which is 20
>> > miles north of Owego, the location of the ETC studio, and the site of many
>> > restaurants and bars). He looked at me, baffled, and said, "what is
>> > Ithaca?" All I wanted to do was remain in that loft where I could eat and
>> > sleep with the machines!"
>> >
>> >
>> > 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
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On 9/28/15 12:14 PM, "Turim,Maureen Cheryn" <mturim at ufl.edu> wrote:
>> >
>> > >----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> > >I love that Peer Bode remembered Thierry Kuntzel's visit to the ETC. I
>> > >remember chats Thierry and I had about the difference in working at the
>> > >ETC from that of working with the technicians at INA l'Institut National
>> > >de l'audio-visuel) in Paris, when he was a fellow there. At INA the
>> > >technical staff resisted any play with the image, and were hard to
>> > >interest in the kind of experimentation he aimed to do. Deregulating
>> > >their standard imagery registration was not part of their customary
>> > >practice. So I know that his interaction with Peer was a pleasure for
>> > >him.
>> > >________________________________________
>> > >From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > ><empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Timothy Conway
>> > >Murray <tcm1 at cornell.edu>
>> > >Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2015 7:23 PM
>> > >To: soft_skinned_space
>> > >Subject: [-empyre-] from Peer Bode: bold electronic experimenters
>> > >
>> > >----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> > >Hi, everyone, I am forwarding this posting from Peer Bode:
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >The ETC allowed many of we next generation young artists to participate in
>> > >the adventures of electronic video thinking and making. When I think of
>> > >making work at the ETC, I come back to the notions of experimentation,
>> > >process and performance. There were the array of evolving electronically
>> > >modified and electronically designed and built tools handed over to each
>> > >artist, commonly for five days, in a space and location that had great
>> > >ambience of comfort and particularly in Owego, great natural beauty, the
>> > >Susquehanna river etc. The artists were given a fast workshop in equipment
>> > >and system details by myself and in later years by Hank Rudolph. They were
>> > >then left alone to explore and work. I was taken by Kristin Lucas¹s
>> > >comment of how many tapes and recording she had made at her ETC
>> > >residencies. Multiply that by the number of artists who worked in the ETC
>> > >studios and you begin to see the sheer enormous scale of work, now
>> > >history, that was made at the ETC. That is a cultural heritage, a huge
>> > >virtual archive across many artists.
>> > >
>> > >The thinking regarding my personal video work at the ETC goes something
>> > >like this. There was electronic learning and experimenting, process and
>> > >performance. Having studied the New American Cinema in Binghamton and also
>> > >being inspired by the New Music richness, including electronic music, wow,
>> > >that was internalized as an understanding, a striving and teasing out a
>> > >set of electronic practices, atmospheres, certain qualities, textures,
>> > >certain rhythms and durations Šparticular occurrences and discoveries Š
>> > >ways of opening a thinking space, a kind of breathing, a speeding up and
>> > >slowing down. There was this electronic vibratory easing, the moving image
>> > >and sound going from glancing to a being sticky. The point being, reactive
>> > >spaces, processes and dialogues. Reflective surfaces to see, to
>> > >electronically re-network and to internally discover and reinforce.
>> > >
>> > >All of this was in combinations with linguistic concerns. They were both
>> > >influences bumping up against each other. The linguistic together with the
>> > >direct intangible states, realisms, materialisms and art. We also had
>> > >artists Ralph Hocking, Larry Gotham, Ken Jacobs, the dance artists Arnie
>> > >Zane, Bill T, Jones and Lois Welk and the writer and theorist Maureen
>> > >Turim to spar with.
>> > >
>> > >The actual moving image and sound makers are in fact the great fans, the
>> > >experimenters, the researchers of the electronic moments. Video artist
>> > >Shegiko Kubota came to the ETC several times. I very much liked Shegiko¹s
>> > >writings, including she writing that video was ³the vacation of art². And
>> > >there was also ³video as the vengeance of the vagina². Video as a
>> > >vacation of art Š interesting. In that vein, we are free, if only
>> > >intermittently and yes heroically, free of arts historical and critical
>> > >burdensŠ open spaces, a kind of freedom.
>> > >
>> > >As still a new form, even now, video and electronic arts are free to be
>> > >used to experiment and work in those often contested strange and wonderful
>> > >regions, those spaces and durations of the unassigned. The photographer,
>> > >filmmaker, videomaker and digital artist Hollis Frampton also considered
>> > >and speculated in these ideas. He, by the way taught, early in his career,
>> > >at Hunter College. Hollis suggested in a moment of humbleness or not,
>> > >that film art (the moving image and sound art) was superior as the single
>> > >art that incorporated the codes of all the other arts AND that film art
>> > >was 20 years ahead of the painting and sculpture arts. I still like his
>> > >conceit. Maybe it is in fact 40 years, including the 20 years the
>> > >electronic arts have lost using commercial software, that forever renewing
>> > >commercial redesign product. As we get through this period and as hardware
>> > >and software settles around useful structures and systems, (open sourceŠ
>> > >new hardware instruments) interested people, young media artists, will
>> > >move quickly and deeply into more personal investigations using electronic
>> > >materials, tools, instruments, ideas and cultures.
>> > >
>> > >The years of my engagement with the facilities of the Experimental
>> > >Television Center and the remarkable people guiding and participating in
>> > >its adventure have convinced me of the importance of pushing back, of the
>> > >value of alternative thinkings, practices and communities. Nicholas Ray
>> > >had thoughts about alternative cultures. Nicolas Ray, American auteur film
>> > >director, who we in Binghamton had the opportunity experience as filmmaker
>> > >and mentor and who together with Binghamton film students made a multi
>> > >image electronically inspired film had thoughts about alternative
>> > >cultures. Nick made video synthesizer recordings at the ETC. The
>> > >multi-frame narrative feature film ³We Can¹t Go Home Again² offered the
>> > >suggestion for a 1970¹s generation of young people to ³find your
>> > >communities and take care of each other.²Not bad. The film and the
>> > >accompanying documentary film, ³Don¹t Expect Too Much²by Susan Ray is
>> > >distributed by Oscilloscope films.
>> > >
>> > >The French theorist and artist Thierry Kunztel came to the ETC in Owego,
>> > >via South America in 1981. In conversation I asked him if there was
>> > >something singularly important that he learned studying with Christian
>> > >Metz and Roland Barthes. His response was quick. He said it was the
>> > >importance of making actual media image and sound work. Given that Thierry
>> > >himself was such an important and celebrated writer, his comments
>> > >concerning the importance of making media work was a surprise. I agreed
>> > >with him. I would add on today Š make the media work and make the
>> > >situations to see and hear and reflect on the media work. Look at the
>> > >work. Listen to the work. Keep looking and listening to the work. Keep
>> > >being in dialogue with the work.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >The ETC experience Š wow Š. Fortunately the ETC studio and programs¹
>> > >closing have not put an end to it all. Although many of us are still
>> > >trying to get over it. The Experimental Television¹s immediate
>> > >organization children, the Institute for Electronic Arts (IEA) Alfred and
>> > >Signal Culture, Owego continue the experimental electronic arts
>> > >imagination and outreach today.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >Thank you Š Bests, Peer
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >_______________________________________________
>> > >empyre forum
>> > >empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > >http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> > >_______________________________________________
>> > >empyre forum
>> > >empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > >http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > empyre forum
>> > empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
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Sherry Hocking
Assistant Director
Experimental Television Center Ltd.
109 Lower Fairfield Rd.
Newark Valley NY 13811

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