Networked_Performance

Define Your Terms (or Kanye West Fucked Up My Show)

Define Your Terms (or Kanye West Fucked Up My Show): Paul B. Davis (Beige) :: May 27 – July 4, 2009 :: Seventeen Gallery, 17 Kingsland Road, London.

Paul B. Davis’ probing, contemplative second solo show at Seventeen represents a bold step forward for the artist… though not necessarily one he expected to take. It was instigated by a semi-voluntary rejection of a practice that, until very recently, was central to his creative output and figured prominently in his debut exhibition at the gallery – Intentional Computing (2007). A curious turn of events led to this unforeseen repudiation and redefinition of practice:

“I woke up one morning in March to a flood of emails telling me to look at some video on YouTube. Seconds later saw I Kanye West strutting around in a field of digital glitches that looked exactly like my work. It fucked my show up… the very language I was using to critique pop content from the outside was now itself a mainstream cultural reference.”

Contentiously dubbed “datamoshing” (or “compression aesthetics”, as Davis prefers to describe it), this practice ultimately emerged out of artefacts inherent in the compression algorithms of digitally distributed media. Davis seized upon the glitchy pixellation that is often present while viewing YouTube clips or Digital TV, and repurposed it as a tool of cultural rupture. Alongside other artists such as Paper Rad, Sven Konig and Takeshi Murata, he engaged this effect as a tool for aestheticized intervention, a fresh framework for analysis, and a new visual language.

In contemporary culture, mainstream media pilfering of independent artistic production is expected. Moreover, it’s a generative force – renegade practice and/or methodology is forced into evolution by the appropriation of its pioneering techniques. But for Davis this perhaps inevitable incorporation by Kanye West, the self proclaimed “voice of this generation”, served as a trigger to directly engage his growing concern that current artistic methods for grappling with digital culture — hacks, remixes, and mash-ups among them — are ill-equipped for sustaining serious and self-reflexive critical examination. As Davis has commented, “These methods generate riffs… restatements or celebrations of existing cultural behaviours, and artists who use them are seemingly unable to either offer incisive alternatives or generate new cultural forms. I was one of these artists, making these riffs, and I’d come to realize their limitations.”

Define Your Terms (or Kanye West Fucked Up My Show) concerns Davis’ attempt to understand, react to, and depart from this crossroads. The works in the exhibition, many of which disavow his previous modes of hacking or mashing-up existing digital artefacts, have all been produced in the past two months, and will instead propose some alternate strategies for provocatively getting under the skin of Civilisation 2.0.

In Codec (2009), Davis created his own proprietary video compression/ decompression algorithm, free of now-standardized templating and presets. This algorithm is — defiantly — unavailable for commercial use. With Critical Space Headgear (2009) a head-mounted video camera is fed to a head-mounted display, the resolution of camera output and viewed input being reduced to 320 x 200 pixels thereby creating a self-mediated “reality” that’s flattened in real-time to the same dimensions as YouTube. In The Symbol Grounding Problem (2009) Davis simultaneously ingests a bacon sandwich while defecating in a perspex box as philosopher Luciano Floridi narrates the viewer through what they see onscreen as the interaction of dynamic informational entities. Floridi asserts that as we move closer towards the singularity — the future point in which human consciousness merges with the consciousness of our machinic progeny — our own experiential trajectory in the physical world will become secondary to the interaction of informationally-modeled simulacrum. This inevitable futurity is reinforced while experiencing the most base, mundane of bodily functions — simply taking a poo.

In this way, the works in this show are built. They are constructed out of whole cloth. There are no naive uses of technology here as they turn away from seemingly arbitrary, uninterrogated appropriation of digi-cultural artefacts and seek to offer alternative strategies for taking on the protocols of new media. In essence, Define Your Terms (or Kanye West Fucked Up My Show) is an exhibition about Davis breaking free from his own creative paradigm and setting forth a revivified agenda. Through radical reevaluation of his process, Davis has offered some new approaches for tackling the hovering questions that are relentlessly generated by this – our age of over-caffeinated cultural cycles, empty signifiers, and supreme technological oversaturation.

Kanye West’s recent video for his track Welcome To Heartbreak (2009):

YouTube Preview Image

Compression Study #1 (Untitled data mashup) by Paul B. Davis [BEIGE] and Jacob Ciocci (Paper Rad), 2007:

YouTube Preview Image

Compression Study #4 (barney) by Paul B. Davis [BEIGE], 2007:

YouTube Preview Image

Paul B. Davis lives and works in London, UK. He founded the BEIGE Programming Ensemble with Joe Beuckman, Cory Arcangel and Joseph Bonn. While still in college in the late 90s Davis pioneered the use of hacked video game cartridges as an art practice. His Nintendo work was premiered in 2000 and subsequently BEIGE members used hacked NES systems to create a distinct body of work that has been shown internationally. Davis created The BEIGE Cassette Jockey Championships, the world’s only cassette tape-based performance competition, and performing as DJ Spin-Laden is the only DJ to ever get thrown off stage at the Technics/DMC World DJ Championships. Recent projects include solo exhibitions in Milan and Chicago, performing music and wizardy in a duo with DJ LeDeuce [Thrill Jockey] known as The Potions, and DJing in the elevator of the Akademie der Kunste, Berlin. Currently a lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, working on his Ph.D, and producing beats for St. Louis rapper “Wonton”.


May 13, 14:24
Trackback URL

Leave a comment

Tags


calls + opps performance livestage exhibition installation networked mobile writings participatory locative media augmented/mixed reality event new media video interactive public net art conference virtual intervention distributed second life sound political technology narrative festival tactical lecture art + science conversation social networks social games history surveillance dance music workshop urban mapping collaboration live upgrade! reblog activist wearable immersive public/private data architecture platform body collective aesthetics environment systems city identity film visualization culture telematic wireless web 2.0 site-specific ecology place webcast open source tool software text research intermedia space community audio radio nature hybrid 3-D avatar e-literature audio/visual responsive presence pyschogeography interdisciplinary media object interview physical global/ization ubiquitous theory theater biotechnology relational play code archive bioart generative news DIY robotic light place-specific hacktivism synthetic p2p cinema remix education agency interface language im/material live cinema algorithmic labor copyright simulation mashup animation perception image free/libre software multimedia artificial motion tracking voice convergence streaming reenactment gift economy machinima emergence webcam cyberreality glitch DJ/VJ tv censorship ARG nonlinear tag transdisciplinary touch recycle asynchronous fabbing semantic web hypermedia chance synesthesia biopolitics tangible app social choreography gesture unconference forking 1
1 3-D activist aesthetics agency algorithmic animation app architecture archive ARG art + science artificial asynchronous audio audio/visual augmented/mixed reality avatar bioart biopolitics biotechnology body calls + opps censorship chance cinema city code collaboration collective community conference convergence conversation copyright culture cyberreality dance data distributed DIY DJ/VJ e-literature ecology education emergence environment event exhibition fabbing festival film forking free/libre software games generative gesture gift economy glitch global/ization hacktivism history hybrid hypermedia identity im/material image immersive installation interactive interdisciplinary interface intermedia intervention interview labor language lecture light live live cinema livestage locative media machinima mapping mashup media mobile motion tracking multimedia music narrative nature net art networked new media news nonlinear object open source p2p participatory perception performance physical place place-specific platform play political presence public public/private pyschogeography radio reblog recycle reenactment relational remix research responsive robotic second life semantic web simulation site-specific social social choreography social networks software sound space streaming surveillance synesthesia synthetic systems tactical tag tangible technology telematic text theater theory tool touch transdisciplinary tv ubiquitous unconference upgrade! urban video virtual visualization voice wearable web 2.0 webcam webcast wireless workshop writings

Archives

2019

Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2018

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2017

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2016

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2015

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2014

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2013

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2012

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2011

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2010

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2009

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2008

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2007

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2006

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2005

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul
Jun | May | Apr | Mar | Feb | Jan

2004

Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | Jul

What is this?

Networked Performance (N_P) is a research blog that focuses on emerging network-enabled practice.
Read more...

RSS feeds

N_P offers several RSS feeds, either for specific tags or for all the posts. Click the top left RSS icon that appears on each page for its respective feed. What is an RSS feed?

Bloggers

F.Y.I.

Feed2Mobile
Networked
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.
New American Radio
Turbulence.org
Networked_Music_Review
Upgrade! Boston
Massachusetts Cultural Council
New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency
Thinking Blogger Award

Turbulence Works

These are some of the latest works commissioned by Turbulence.org's net art commission program.
[ openspace ] wilderness [meme.garden] A More Subtle Perplex A Temporary Memorial Project for Jobbers' Canyon Built with ConAgra Products A Travel Guide A.B.S.M.L. Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence (AVAIR) (2007) Awkward_NYC besides, Bonding Energy Bronx Rhymes Cell Tagging Channel TWo: NY Condition:Used Constellation Over Playas Data Diaries Domain of Mount GreylockVideo Portal Eclipse Empire State Endgame: A Cold War Love Story Flight Lines From the Valley of the Deer FUJI spaces and other places Global Direct Google Variations Gothamberg Grafik Dynamo Grow Old Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments html_butoh I am unable to tell you I'm Not Stalking You; I'm Socializing iLib Shakespeare (the perturbed sonnet project) INTERP Invisible Influenced iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses iSkyTV Journal of Journal Performance Studies Killbox L-Carrier Les Belles Infidles look art Lumens My Beating Blog MYPOCKET No Time Machine Nothing Happens: a performance in three acts Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise Oil Standard Panemoticon Peripheral n2: KEYBOARD Playing Duchamp Plazaville Psychographics: Consumer Survey Recollecting Adams School of Perpetual Training Searching for Michelle/SFM Self-Portrait Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China ShiftSpace Commissions Program Social Relay Mail Space Video Spectral Quartet Superfund365, A Site-A-Day text_ocean The Xanadu Hijack This and that thought. Touching Gravity 2/Tilt Tumbarumba Tweet 4 Action Urban Attractors and Private Distractors We Ping Good Things To Life Wikireuse Without A Trace WoodEar Word Market You Don't Know Me
More commissions