:: Thursday, May 06, 2004 ::

Doron Golan recently released two quicktime movies online. The first is the 9th Allegro, a turbulence commission, and the second is The Tale of Crow available on his the9th.com website.

The Ninth Allegro is a "documentary portrait" of Reb. Dan Harpe, a Hasidic Jew. In the beginning of the movie, he is seen inside his home performing rituals. These images are juxtaposed with outside shots of a kid and his mother, a camel, two dogs ready to have sex, and a man starting a fire in the middle of the desert. Throughout the movie the reb. performs juggling tricks while a young apprentice tries to learn from him. The narrative presents an unexpected playfulness especially from the reb. who appears serious in the beginning of the film; and while he's still serious when he starts juggling, this appears to be part of the discipline necessary to perform juggling tricks perfectly. Hearing "Beethoven symphony no.9, Allegro" as the soundtrack imposes a certain Western gaze on to the reb.'s activities, and although skepticism becomes obvious one cannot pinpoint what exactly should be questioned. On a formal level the coordination of the montage to the symphony is really great.

The Tale of Crow presents a man and his crow. Here again we see a film in slow motion. The sound has also been slowed down offering distorted voices that are hard to understand. The man speaks in a foreign language and subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen. He appears with his crow at the beach and inside his apartment. While inside, he talks to a person outside of the frame, asking how to say "crow" in Georgian and in Russian; then the man says "cuervo" which means crow in Spanish. Shortly thereafter he walks out the room in slow motion. Here a piano soundtrack is heard throughout the movie. And again we have a narrative that is unexpectedly playful. The movie focuses on the crow as the signifier enabling us to consider identity (how to say crow in different languages?).

Both pieces deal with serious issues of identity. While grasping the content may not be easy, the careful combination of music and visuals makes the movies aesthetically appealing. These quicktime movies seem to be at home online. Quite a treat.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 ::
FILE the Electronic Language International Festival, now in its fifth year, is making a call for interactive works only for its 2004 festival to take place between 22/11/04 - 12/12/04.

This year the festival taking place in Sao Paulo, Brasil will happen under three principal categories of a Symposium presenting research and practice in digital culture, a Hipersonica featuring "sound installations and real time performances ... presented by a number of groups and collectives" and Games, exploring the form that is rapidly producing "a new mentality and are a gradually widespread cultural phenomenon, becoming subject of studies and research by theoreticians from all over the world".

"FILE 2004 is open for registrations to new media works such as webarts, netarts, artificial life, hypertext, web cam art, computer animation, digital design, tele-conference, virtual reality, interactive films, e-videos, on line robotics and others.

The FILE SIMPOSYUM 2004 is open for new media theoretical papers, work presentation, performances, digital-techno.

FILE HIPERSONICA is open for entry works that explore the electronic sonority: electronic music, erudite electronic music, pop electronic music such as techno; drum'n'bass; trance; hardcore techno; break beat and others, biologic music, genetic music,  sound installations, performances, dramaturgy music and resonant poetry.

FILE-GAMES 2004 is opening for the first time registrations to all the producers and developers (creators) of digital games. FILE-GAMES will be happening simultaneously with FILE 2004, FILE-SYMPOSIUM 2004 and FILE HIPERSONICA."

Deadline for submission to the festival is 15/06/04. For more information please see the entry requirements here

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Monday, May 03, 2004 ::
Got game? Got Politics? then check out agoraXchange, a project with the purpose to engage collectives in global political awareness. Individual participation is also encouraged. I am not sure how successful this piece will be, because in the past many online "collaborations" of this type asking users to input information that eventually becomes an archive of the artwork have proven to be in large part unsuccessful. Regardless, the idea behind the game consisting of "an online community for discussing and designing a massive multi-player global politics game challenging the violence and inequality of our present political system" is worth entertaining, and contributing to.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Sunday, May 02, 2004 ::
Plug 'n' Pray is a cynical look at the principal religions of the world, Christian, Jewish, Buddist, Muslim and Hindu through a falsified product entitled Plug 'n' Pray borrowing from the much used computing term Plug and Play.

With the tag line "Start your own Holy War, change their religion with 'Plug and Pray'", endorsements by religious leaders and switch kits (comparative to language sets in applications) for religious conflict hotspots allowing you to "seamlessly switch from one religion to another". It suggests that religion is these days marketed and sold like a product which can be bought into and that conversion from one faith to another "is instantaneous, smooth and seamless". The 'company' producing the product claim "Religion is no longer a mystical experience or a personal journey to get closer to our transcendent inner dimension - it belongs now to the FCG (Fast Consumer Goods) segment."

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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