&nbrs;Beyond Resolution

 


“Genealogy does not pretend to go back in time to restore an unbroken continuity that operates beyond the dispersion of forgotten things [...]. On the contrary, [...] it is to identify the accidents, the minute deviations [...] the false appraisals, and the faulty calculations that gave birth to those things that continue to exist and have value for us; it is to discover that truth or being does not lie at the root of what we know and what we are, but the exteriority of accidents.”
- Foucault, Michel. "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History." in: the Foucault Reader, ed. P. Rabinow (Harmondsworth: Penguin) 1984. p.81

[ 0010 ]
Resolution Dispute 0010 : History
While history often refers to the study of lines of descent and origin, the development of families and the tracing of their lineages, in reality, especially in the digital realm, the development of material does not follow any traditional lines of descent. If at all, the ‘historical continuity’ of digital material is one of breaks, voids, bends, forks, in-betweens, legacy, instabilities, ossification, abandonment and turns. In fact, there is no such thing as a ‘technological continuum’. Rather than ‘the history of a digital material’, there are many, parallel, interconnected non-linear, fragmented and overlapping discourses which impact each other in many directions. Thus, digital material, is best described following a genealogical model.

Genealogy does not pretend to go back in time, to restore what Foucault calls an "unbroken continuity, that operates beyond the dispersion of forgotten things". Genealogy is a specific type of history that deconstructs that which once was unified and makes a continuity of discontinuities. It researches the descents and emergences of how systems of affiliation come into play and maps the understanding and meaning of the object accordingly.

Geneology considers the many affiliated, interconnected and (geo-)fragmented processes that build their own discourses: it intends to shine a light on why particular technologies develop a social-political momentum in a specific point in time and how this momentum changes over time. To write a genealogy means to write the stories of emergence of a use or practice; it reveals the pre-existing battles present at the moment of arising. It threads different strands constructed from ambiguous, pre-existing discourses, it (inter)connects or juxtaposes generations of different communities and their working methods, conceptual themes and politics. 

There is no such thing as a complete history. There are only the many stories from different perspectives, derived from uncertain interpretations, that are neither true nor false. The many stories of media technology  are constantly subject to revision:

while their language systems emerge, meanings shift, idioms ossify and vernacular turns to affectual signifiers. 
... and then they change again.

︎︎︎︎︎︎

1. Foucault, Michel. "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History." in: the Foucault Reader, ed. P. Rabinow (Harmondsworth: Penguin) 1984. p.81
. . . 

[ ☰ ethnography of PAL ]
Collapse of PAL (2010)
In "The Collapse of PAL" (Eulogy, Obsequies and Requiem for the planes of blue phosphor), the Angel of History <href: Walter Benjamin> reflects on the PAL signal and its termination. This death sentence, although executed in silence, was a brutally violent act that left PAL disregarded and obsolete. While it might be argued that the PAL signal is dead, it still exists as a trace left upon the new, ‘better’ digital technologies.

PAL can, even though the technology is terminated, be found here as a historical form that newer technologies build upon, in- herit or have appropriated from. Besides this, the Angel also realizes that the new DVB signal that has been chosen over PAL is different, but at the same time also inherently flawed as PAL.

☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰▉

︎ Order and Progress catalogue text by Domenico Quaranta

︎ Collapse of PAL in What is Media Archaeology? by Jussi Parikka 
︎ Collapse of PAL in Angelic Ecologies by Sean Cubitt


This is the rendered version of a live av-performance first done on national Danish television and subsequently performed at oa. Transmediale (Germany) and Nova festival (Brasil).

Nova Roja Collapse of PAL end when Defi destroys the screens.

Nova Roja Trailer / Rosa Menkman - Collapse of PAL 2010-2012



[ ethnography of a compression artifact ]

Corrupt tango
There is not sufficient data. Please enter data
Your file has invalid markers. Enter new markers
Your dimensions do not correspond. Change dimensions
ERROR
Goto data therapy and repair your registry
Your keyframes are missing
Your codecs are not supported
Please respect the software
Now it is too little too late [system shut down]

Dear mr compression
I write a 1000 poems to you
Is this what they call progress?
Warmly yours,
the noxious angel of history

[ geneology of glitch affect ]
A lexicon to the render ghosts’ affect.Every file format consists of a language, or ‘dialect’, according to which it is encoded, often also refered to as a compression algorithm. When we break this organization of data, by for instance glitching or databending, a new utterance or visual expression appears, showcasing the otherwise obfuscated organizations of compression on the surface of the image. These newly emerged images are often directly dismissed as 'garbage' or 'noise artifacts’, but sometimes, the results of these noise artifacts can in fact reveal exciting, unexpected new forms of expression or ‘visual slang’. It is these modes of expression that artists have named the genre of ‘glitch art’. But, to call glitch a genre, means to suggest it is intelligible and follows certain norms or rules.

From its beginnings, glitch art used to exploit medium-reflexivity, to rhetorically question technologies ‘perfect’ use, conventions and expectations. However, paradoxically, over time glitch art has become standardized into a genre that also fulfills certain expectations (oa. to rhetorically question the medium). This reflexive approach inherent in the materiality of the glitch tends to, as Katherine Hayles would assert, re-conceptualize the glitches’ materiality into an interplay between its ‘physical characteristics and its signifying strategies’. But glitch genres perform their reflection on digital materiality not just on a technological level. To really understand a work from the genre of glitch art completely, each level of this notion of (glitch) materiality should be studied: the text as a physical artifact, its conceptual content, and the interpretive activities of artists and audiences
 

The glitch art genre thus relies heavily on the literacy of the spectator (references to media technology texts, aesthetics and machinic processes) and their knowledge of more ‘conventional’ canons of media-reflexive, modern art. Former disturbances have gained complex meaning beyond their technological value; with the help of popular culture, their effects have transformed into signifiers loaded with affect. For example, analogue noise conjures up the sense of an eerie, invisible power entering the frame (a ghost), while blocky-artifacts often refer to time travel or a data offense initiated by a hacker. Works of glitch now prompt the spectator to engage not only with themes, but also with complex subcultural and meta-cultural narratives and gestures, presenting new analytical challenges.
In
the Glitch Moment(um) (Institute of Network Cultures, 2010) I wrote that every form of glitch, either breaking a flow, or designed to look like a break from a flow, will eventually become a new fashion. As the popularization and cultivation of the glitch genre has now spread widely, I believe it is important to track the development of these processes in specific case studies and create ‘a lexicon of glitch affects’. New, fresh research within the field of noise artifacts is necessary. In an attempt to expand on A Vernacular of File Formats, I propose a lexicon that deconstructs the meanings of noise artifacts. A handbook to navigate glitch clichés as employed in popular culture.



[ geneology of glitch affect ]

Glitch Timond, 2014.In A Vernacular of Glitch ‘Affect’, I illustrate my collection of noise tropes from popular culture, where dither is co-opted by the punks, green and black binary code refers to hacker action, macroblocking signifies AI and analogue noise implies the presence of ghosts, to name just a few.

The collage shows a collection of glitch clichés collected from popular culture. These former disturbances have gained meaning beyond their technological value; the effects have became signifiers, pointing to the presence of for instance hackers, ghosts, A.I., 'reality' and lofi or retro 'emotional' technologies.
I chose to frame the chliches in non-square, non-quadrilateral windows, in different x/y/z spaces, as an example of the blindness for other possibilities caused standard resolutions.