Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Play, Ritual and art massage

clck for video: Quicktime / .m4v for iPod / other versions at

“Both are highly social. Both make more than usual use of tension and release, out-of-context behavior, surprise, the manipulation of expectancy and anticipation. Both make more than usual use of the qualities of repetition, exaggeration, imitation, and elaboration. Play is much more concerned with change and novelty, spontaneity and unpredictability that ritual is. Ritual generally tends towards stereotyped, prescribed, and even inflexible activities. Most important, ritual, like play, is concerned with metaphor in that it is saturated with symbolism, the creation of another world in which once ordinary things acquire the potency of standing for extraordinary things. In this world, ordinarily incompatible things may be combined or reconciled into unprecedented and convincing unity.”

While first playfully recording artefacts in space during a ritualised visit to a local art gallery, Sam Renseiw later montaged a crude voodle, toggling between intended and intuitive actions, pondering on the multi-layered nature of message. View the mash-up massage of captured images by clicking here or on the links above. (patafilm # 583b, 02'47'', 15.3MB, Quicktime/mov - other versions for Pc at

Today's Bonus Lumiere Video feature a recent, short and serene moment of extraordinary quotidian, located just opposite (!) the visited gallery. (Lum # 99 "early easter 2008, snow", 00'36'',3.2MB, Quicktime/mov) The Lumiere site caters other's fine videos.

Today's Patalab Metaphor Video is a complementary treat, as it is a previous walk-through the exact same spaces as in the day's voodle post, yet featuring other artists. (patafilm # 442,[21.06.2007 post] 03'10'', 14.3MB, Quicktime/mov)

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Blogger gurdonark said...

I think about the isuse of limitations in creativity.

So many times what I create is not only a function of my vision but also of the limitations of the tools I have to elucidate a given vision.

Yet I think of Conlon Nanacarrow, who circumvented the limitations of pianists by composing for the player piano. Did his outlooks of limitation alter when the piano roll eliminated the limitation of the willing player?

I am not so sure--as the new media gives the user the sequencer, a digital player piano that permits creation without technical skill on the keyboard. The technical boundary of one form of proficiency is eroded. Yet has the result been chaos or mayhem? No. The real boundary--the boundary of creative expression-remains. Though English poetry became "free" in its metier and rhymes, his freedom did not equate to all poetry becoming wonderful.
A limitation of "creative skill" poses a barrier to the full leveling of the creative playing field.

Yet we who seek different ways to experience this media may find this question of technical skill a kind of carnivorous plant like the Venus' fly trap--voracious but ultimately unhealthy for its victims.

Perhaps what matters is not whether an action is intended or fortuitious, but instead whether a mindfulness can be brought to the material which allows transformation and renewal. The means are technological--but the quest is metaphysical. The opoprtunity for salvation, in this view, is universal--it only requires a way of seeing. The narrowness of the path is no impediment, as the pilgrims are few, and in the main patient with the line, and impatient only to see

Monday, March 24, 2008 5:11:00 am  
Blogger SAM RENSEIW said...

yes, indeed.
i just read an article recently about the "melodyne" software by celemony. supposedly it can do the same to music as photoshop to images. deconstruct a whole piece of music into distinct parts that then can be re-composed/altered in any possible way. even though i am not that skilled with music, i can "see" the potential for quite radical transformations and renewal... where notions of "original" and "copy" are obsolete and might lead to quite some leaps in creativity.

expressing something "new", yet with the same "urge" to transcend the boundaries of the given. i suppose that this condition could be equated with the upheaval that the apparition of photography caused, then film, then the Pc, and the whole notion of the "virtual" v/s the "real"

in my own humble work(s) here, i try to tinker with the notions of "stories" v/s images. video footage is just a collection of images. as i record what i might see during my day, it becomes both a collage of data and a subjective diary. all is reality, yet, re-combined into something else. this "else" is the challenge, as i still have not found any reasonable label to categorise it with, except the silly notion of "voodle". A doodle of (video)images, combined with diegetic and non-diegetic sound. a short compression of reality, into something else. yes, in some ways it is a metaphysical quest. i must have had some hunch about it early on, as the "pataphysical" overlay seemed appropriate. going beyond the metaphysical, into something seemingly "absurd", yet mirroring reality.

i came to realise that this "compression" practise is already much more advance in music, but still lagging behind regarding moving images. i suppose that this might be due to the all pervasiveness of TV and movie schemata.

so in many ways, the work is challenging, but first and foremost an enjoyable quest. in this regard i certainly value your work at cc-mixter and negativesoundinstitute highly. it is not only making music. it probes the boundaries of renewed creative endeavours, and fits so well into the combination with images... new ritualised playgrounds.

Monday, March 24, 2008 11:23:00 am  
Blogger gurdonark said...

I've been reading articles on the new software melodyme as well. There's a great set of videos by the creator of the software at I agree with you that the relevant comparison is photo/movie/computer.
Each innovation leaves people convinced that technology has ruined craft and artistry--but in fact, technology gives us the room to decide what is truly interesting, and what is truly dross.

Saturday I spent time with a 12 year old boy. He had a recent birthday, for which I gave him a "can-jo", a kind of simple musical instrument with one string which plays a diatonic scale, using a vegetable can where the "guitar body" (i.e., the resonator) would otherwise be.
He is rather musical, and soon picked up a couple of tunes from the sheet music that came with the gift.

Yesterday I got out my own "can-jo", and made some very short recordings of the instrument. Then I placed the resulting samples into my simple 25 dollar shareware synthesizer. Soon I had a sound that was more like a harpischord than a can-jo. Is the world of creativity diminished because I can change a simple folk instrument into a curious electronic sound? I don't think so.

I think that this notion of a "pataphysical" way of looking at things recognizes that our "technology" of perception of creative work is also able to evolve and change. It's a kind of a search for a new authenticity,
and it is fun to watch this new "technology" evolve. In some ways, I imagine that Jarry's initial conception is less important than using the ideas to search a different set of truths.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:18:00 am  
Blogger bonnie lenore kyburz said...

gurdonark says: "I imagine that Jarry's initial conception is less important than using the ideas to search a different set of truths."

i've been enjoying your audio work at this site, g.

more generally, i enjoy what i see and experience here. the quotes i read: are they referenced in the tags? are they you writing?

i work as a professor of rhetoric and composition and have been developing as a filmmaker, as well. i find in your work a shared vision regarding an appropriate joy of production (joie de faire?) *over* a revered hermenetuics (the role of Literary -- among other -- studies, art "appreciation," etc.) and dare imagine that some of the work i do aligns, in spirit, with what you are doing; see my tiny film, "metro" at i shot this using my cell phone but now use a better prosumer quality digital camera (still, the cellphone footage has a grainy edge to it that i appreciate). i would simply love to spend more time doing this kind of work. i'm glad you do it.

so, most simply, i want to thank you for this motivational and pleasure-inducing site :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 3:15:00 pm  
Blogger SAM RENSEIW said...

thank you bonnie for your kind comments!

re. quotes: bold words in the text are usually links to the provenience of the quotes and other, sometimes oblique, didactic hints.
your metro video is very fine, indeed. just keep seeing!

Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:07:00 am  

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