Sunday, April 30, 2006

Yu and the sight of an entire fish

Although westerners sometimes balk at the sight of a entire fish lying on a plate, in China a fish served whole is a symbol of prosperity. In fact, at a banquet it is customary to serve the whole fish last, pointed toward the guest of honor. Part of the symbolism of fish comes from the fact that the Chinese word for fish, yu, sounds like the word for riches or abundance, and it is believed that eating fish will help your wishes come true in the year to come.

Listen to Ming Mei smile to Sam Renseiw in this video and watch the filled aquarium in the background, for Yu, while learning some Mandarin. View it by clicking here or try catching the fish on the right, above (patafilm 155, 00'57'', 4.7 MB, mp4 file)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

About cultural hybrids

As removed from most people's childhoods as globalization may be, there are a fair few of us who grew up in the middle of it. We followed our parents when they moved to new continents and new countries. Third culture kids have incorporated different cultures on the deepest level, as to have several cultures incorporated into their thought processes. This means that third culture kids not only have deep cultural access to at least two cultures, this also means that thought processes are truly multicultural.

As cultural paraphernalia is part of a globalized world, Sam Renseiw caught a few samples pinned up on a board. View them by clicking here, or capture the red pencil above to listen to the viewing ( patafilm 151, 01'08'', 6 MB, mov/quicktime- flash version here)

Friday, April 28, 2006

On the sacred and the mundane

The conveyor belt is regulated by a custom-built computer which moves the coins along, dropping one coin into the box every minute. The device runs for an hour, depositing a total of sixty coins. A form of utilitarian clock, the piece elongates time, provides a minute of reflection between each action. The 2p coins which drop into the box are the same size as the absences in the templates. Although the coins drop randomly onto the sheets, there is an implication that they could fill the absences, replacing one form of currency with another.

A view from the conveyor belt at Chek Lap Kok: Pure poetry captured by Sam Renseiw, on the way to Heathrow, slightly disturbed by some bypassers. Extemporate by clicking here, or enter the slick seating arrangement above. ( patafilm 150, 01'02'', 4.7 MB, mov/quicktime - best viewed on Firefox. and: if on PC, get quicktime)

On Encoding and Decoding

If you go into a bookshop and ask them where to find a book on semiotics you are likely to meet with a blank look. Even worse, you might be asked to define what semiotics is - which would be a bit tricky if you were looking for a beginner's guide. It's worse still if you do know a bit about semiotics, because it can be hard to offer a simple definition which is of much use in the bookshop. If you've ever been in such a situation, you'll probably agree that it's wise not to ask. Semiotics could be anywhere. The shortest definition is that it is the study of signs.

Another short Sam Renseiw video interpretation, muddling the boundaries of referred context for addresser to addressee. View it by clicking here, or decode the message by entering in the sign above (patafilm 152, 00'45'', 3.3 MB, mov/quicktime- flash version here)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Picture you on The Peak

The first rickshaws appeared in Japan around 1868, with the beginning of the Meiji period. They soon became a popular mode of transportation. The identity of the inventor remains uncertain. Japanese sources often credit Izumi Yosuke, Suzuki Tokujiro, and Takayama Kosuke, who are said to have invented rickshaws in 1868. Rickshaws were first imported from Japan to Hong Kong in 1874, peaking at more than 3,000 in the 1920s. No new licenses for rickshaws have been issued for many years, and only a few old men -about 15 as of 1999, and only four as of 2002- still ply their trade, mainly by posing for pictures.

Sam Renseiw met with the last representative of the trade, on the Peak. Listen to the friendly conversation and enjoy the view by clicking here, or touch the green cover on the left of the picture above (patafilm 153, 00'43'', 3.6 MB, mov/quicktime- flash version here)

Tomoko's elegant taxying

Tomoko smiled. A nostalgic, intimate smile, like a treasured old possession pulled out of the back of a drawer. Her eyes narrowed in an utterly charming way. She reached out and, with her long, slim fingers, gently mussed her already tousled hair. It was such a sudden yet natural gesture that I could only return the smile. In the instant Tomoko touched her hair, I fell in love, like crossing a field and bang! a bolt of lightning zapped me right in the head. Something akin to an artistic revelation, grounded in seat 54A.

A short, lingering glimpse of flight attendant Tomoko, during taxying at Heathrow, after an 11 hour flight from Chek Lap Kok. View it by clicking here or enter the fuselage interior above. (patafilm 149, 02'14'', 9.6 MB, mov/quicktime or flash version)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Erin Zhu married Blixa Bargeld

"...She and I sat in the dark watching the glittering Hong Kong skyline, and spoke of our disparate rememberances of the past. Left unspoken between us was the fact that neither of us could think of any happy memories of my childhood. She told stories of me as a baby; I told her small pieces of triumph from my more recent past; the long years that stretched between age three through sixteen went untouched, bypassed with a shake of the head and mutterings of "there were historical reasons"...

A stunning, yet quiet ,Sam Renseiw chinoiserie night skyline compilation, seen from the Royal Hong Kong yacht Club's terrace; View it by clicking here or enter the waterfront above. ( patafilm 148, 01'19'', mov/quicktime)

Friday, April 21, 2006

The re-tellings of Mercedes Ibenholdt

"...The monochrome phenomena recordings of the artist,are warmth, ventilation and insanity on every floor. Plumbing just outside walls !Panoptically, a douche that takes one up through the rooftop. Radiating. Tub Class"...

Recording phenomena, and pluming the depths of outside installed plumbing , Sam Renseiw caught a glimpse of a back-yard in Hong Kong. View it by clicking here or clik on the pipes above (patafilm 146, 00'51'', 3.6 MB, mov/quicktime)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On the loop capacity of modern airplanes

The lift generated by the "elevator" is located at some distance from the center of gravity of the aircraft. The change in lift created by deflecting the elevator generates a torque about the center of gravity which causes the airplane to rotate. The pilot can use this ability to make the airplane loop. Or, since many aircraft loop naturally, the deflection can be used to trim or balance the aircraft, thus preventing a loop.

A stunning Sam Renseiw documentary ! Watch flight CX 252 perform a perfect outside loop, somewhere over the North sea, bound to Asia, from Heathrow. A quiet sensation -seen through passenger window, from seat 57K. enjoy the ride by clicking here, or loop in the planewing above (Patafilm 145, 00'40'', 2.3 MB, mov/quicktime)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

To grasp the full implications of the yin-yang

For the Chinese, a thing is always “becoming” itself, and at the same time changing into something else. Hence, their emphasis on “relations” and organizing principles according to which parts unite in wholes. The key word in Chinese thought, is “order” or “above all pattern and organism”. The Chinese word is Li meaning “principle of organization” or a tendency toward order, associated with the “within” of matter, of Ch’i.

As Sam Rensiew, next week, will focus Patalab02's videos on matters chinese, here is an attempt at ordering in chaos, while serendipity brings along more amazing artefacts: View the pattern by clicking here or touch B3 in the checkboard above. (pataflim 140b, 00'59'', 3.8 MB, mov/quicktime)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Homage to Storm Bugs's body of work

"...Storm Bugs are an anomaly. How could such sounds, radically challenging the accepted texture of electronic music, have been recorded over 20 years ago? And how come nobody has ever heard of them? The tracks on Let's Go Outside and Get It Over... exhibit Storm Bugs' spacious, reverberating grittiness. Howled vocals shift from front to background in the midst of industrial pounding percussion loops, urgent echoing monotones and an array of tinny sound effects..."

The serendipitous path led Sam Renseiw to Storm Bug's amazing soundscapes, still available. An humble picturesque homage to a wonderful body of work, two decades ahead of its time. View it by clicking here or by entering the space above; Remember to dig into the links in the text. ( patafilm 142, 01'51'', 6.1 MB, mov/quicktime)

On silence and synchronicity in vlogs

At first blush, synchronicity and intuition seem to be separate phenomena. Synchronicity happens "out there": against the odds, something in the Universe seems to swing into place to answer an inner need we have. Intuition happens "in here": it’s an inner knowing, an ability to tune into knowledge in a nonrational, nonlinear way. We know something but we don’t know how we know it.

If a picture equals 1000 words, why then, the constant urge to compulsive babbling in videos posted on blogs, called vlogs asks Sam Renseiw, inserting this wordless video into patalab02's blog. View it by clicking here or enter on the quiet image above (patafilm 141, 01'57'', 8.7 MB, mov/quicktime)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On the dichotomies of vlogging

The Exterminating Angel is a visually stunning, richly symbolic, and subtly allegorical tale on the nature of human behavior. Through a claustrophobic examination of masters without servants, Luis Buñuel strips the façade of all social pretense and exposes the fundamentally base, instinctual, and primal behavior innate in the human soul.

What separates man from beast? According to Sam Renseiw, the answer lies in the freedom of the animals. The same might apply for video blogging. View the tame attempt by clicking here , re-view an older version of testinomials, or tickle the feathers above. (patafilm 138, 00'42'', 2.8 MB, mov/quicktime)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On the slowness of composing

Consider the Dutch philosopher Spinoza, whose work prefigures modern neuroscience in his emphasis on emotions and feelings and his refusal to separate mind and body. Spinoza not only unified mind and body but also proposed a key role for emotions in human survival and culture.

In Looking for Spinoza, Sam Renseiw draws on Spinoza’s innovative research and on his experience with weird video sequenses to examine how feelings and the emotions that underlie them support human survival and enable the spirit’s greatest creations. View the attempt here or click on the owl above. (patafilm 137, 01'08'', 4.7 MB, mov/quicktime)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The flattening of space in the classroom

For his first colour film, Il Deserto rosso, Antonioni abstracted reality. Effects trick the eye: the flattening of space by telephoto lenses; the strange scale, placement, and colour of objects; out of focus foregrounds and backgrounds. He implements a faster, sometimes disorienting, cutting style and emphasises the aural qualities of industry.

Although the faster cutting is missing in Sam Renseiw's latest video, the disorienting strange scale of flattening space might be present in the classroom. View it here or click on the character above (patafilm 136, 01'01'', 3.6 MB, mov/quicktime)

Monday, April 10, 2006

K.F Schinkel's and J.P Lenné's complementarity

There is not a maison de plaisance in the world more delightful than Charlottenhof in the Park of Sanssouci at Potsdam (1826), nor an Italianate villa more ingratiating than the nearby Court Garderner's House ("Hofgärtnerei,"1829).The remarkable relationship of these houses to the surrounding landscape is something more genuinely architectural than with most picturesque villas, where the conception is literally pictorial-to provide something to look at rather than utilize.

From the inner of Charlotttenhof's villa, the ability to step out from any of the main rooms directly into the P.J.Lenné's english garden, is here featured in a short video by Sam Renseiw. View the slow unfolding here or click on the curtain above - the park is behind the curtain. (patafilm 135, 01'50'', 7.6MB, mov/quicktime)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

On the nature of corridor and organ

Language seems a privileged metaphor for expressing the mediated character of art-making and the art-work. On the one hand, speech is both an immaterial medium (compared with, say, images) and a human activity with an apparently essential stake in the project of transcendence, of moving beyond the singular and contingent (all words being abstractions, only roughly based on or making reference to concrete particulars).

This dual character of language — its, abstractness, and its "fallenness" in history — can serve as a microcosm of the unhappy character of the arts today; Thus, Sam Renseiw recorded a short cantata, performed in a corridor in Helsinki's Swedish theatre, near the internal cantina. Listen and view by clicking here or enter the corridor above (patafilm 133, 02'04'', 4.5 MB, mov/quicktime)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The transcendent nature of the meditative

Ordinary thought is verbal, and hence, consists of words. These words consist of letters. These are not physical letters, but mental, conceptual letters. These conceptual letters, however, are built out of `Voice, Breath, Speech'. Hence, in meditating on these concepts, one is actually contemplating the very roots of thought.

As there is visible matter and invisible matter, Sam Renseiw set forth to capture a short Aleph meditation. View it by clicking here or enter in the primary matter above ( patafilm 134, 00'56'', 4.1 MB, mov/quicktime)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Dance floor blues

Rather than an ontological bifurcation, the distinction between an agent and the world is more like the distinction between a knot and the rest of a rope, which is itself an interweaving of both organismic and environmental fibers. One can easily point to the knot and to the rest of the rope, but it might be difficult to specify where the knot begins and where the rest of the rope ends. In the case of an agent in the world, unlike an ordinary knot in a rope, various transactions and changes of perspective occur from one set of circumstances to the next which make a clean boundary between the two even harder to locate (as if the knot were to be incessantly changing size, shape, and position on the rope).

The different frames of a system describe the scene from different viewpoints, and the transformations between one frame and another represent the effects of moving from place to place... a Minsky's analysis of perception-dynamics by Sam Renseiw. View it here or enter the frame above

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Little more than a puppet show

Existential doubts of all sorts, including the fear that we may be little more than a puppet show for some good-humored deity, are softened by the witty image of time as a maitre d', with an implicit carpe diem message--make the best possible meal, for the bill will invariably be too expensive. Ashbery's description of the setting is extremely apt here. De Chirico's "drama of objects" needs a stage, and Ashbery's typically untypical scenario is very much like a stage-set, an "open field of narrative possibilities...

The discovery of automatic filming compensated for the lack of consistency in this short film bleu essay by Sam Rensiew. View it by clicking here or enter via the corner on the blue facade above. (patafilm #131, 00'50'' 3.4 MB, mov/quicktime)

On street stilettos and pumps


".... From that spot, it was a brisk walk past Flora Fountain, where, plumb opposite Akbarally's, were Bistro and Volga, the two most popular haunts of the younger set. Seby Dias held court at Bistro, with my school friend Johnny at the piano and a hugely talented young lady called Ursula at the mike. She was the daughter of one of India's best known orchestra leaders of the big band era..."

A case of simultaneity, somewhere between Bombay and Berlin. Another Sam Renseiw street glimpse. See it here or click on the stiletto above.( patafilm 130, 01'06'', 4.6 MB, mov/quicktime)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The formal structure of practice

"...It may be supposed that these operations-multiform and fragmentary, relative to situations and details, insinuated into and concealed within devices whose mode of usage they constitute, and thus lacking their own ideologies or institutions-conform to certain rules. In other words, there must be a logic of these practices. We are thus confronted once again by the ancient problem: What is an art or "way of making"?...

In order to grasp the formal structure of these practices, concealed within devices, Sam Renseiw carried out a simple video investigation, to trace the intricate forms of the operations proper to the recompositon of a space. It might concern the element of chance, located by reference to hypotheses remaining to be verified....View them here or click on the concealed device(s) above. (patafilm 129, 01'16'', 4.5 MB, mov/quicktime )

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The babbling grandeur of Isidoro Funes

"Conceiving abstract structures and patterns is something essential to mathematical thinking, but most writers would find it not suitable to literature. It is curious to realize that one of Raymond Queneau's most popular books arose from such an idea. Exercices de style is a collection of 99 short-short pieces which recount, in different styles, the same banal incident: in the bus, the narrator bumps into a man with a long neck, and later sees him on a train station in the company of a friend who fixes a button on his coat."

With Queneau's Les fleurs bleues (1963) in mind, Sam Renseiw deploys a pairs of characters in the present video, who are virtual Döppelgangers to each other, yet subtly hidden in the conveyor belt's steady advance... View the drama unfold here or click on the image above ( patafilm 128, 00'57'', 3.6 MB mov/quicktime) / relinked 02.10.15

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