Thursday, April 17, 2008

On embodied semiotics and images

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

"Whether or not images are inherently more polysemous than words, it is very common to find (and seek) words around exhibited or published images--titles, labels, placards, guides, "the artist's words" and so on. Classically, however, the words are peripheral to the work and confined to background information and perhaps a few interpretive hints and pointers to notable features of the work. Voodlers are notoriously sparing of words, preferring to let the image "speak for itself."

Continuing the visual investigations of serendipituous footage, Sam Renseiw probes the extent of silent language in cut-up imagery. View the embodied spaces and surfaces by clicking here or on the links above (patafilm # 590, 02'27'', 13.2MB, Quicktime/mov - other versions at

Today's Bonus Lumiere Video features a feed, in a pastoral setting. (Lum# 106,"pastoral bird feeding" 01'00'', 5.3MB, Quicktime/mov)

Today's Patalab Metaphor Video re-play supplement features a fine skate run through Copenhagen, with lots of sights. Enjoy! (classic vlog #6,[19.08.2006 post] 05'39'', 26 MB, Quicktime/mov)

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Anonymous Hekla said...

hej sam, are u not on facebook? ;-)
good to see you are still going strong...have you seen my new webdesign at

Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:47:00 am  
Blogger gurdonark said...

To what extent do the images need context? It's always an interesting question.

In the lumiere, one wishes to know only "where is this?", and exactly the right amount of context is pesented.

In the voodle, the fictive universe of the images do not require that the viewer see the women's faces, or know anything about the tattoo artist, or know anything about the painter.

Perhaps there is a context required, though, because the ironies one perceives or fails to perceive in the work stem from one's own contextual core.

We all live in a world of story--and it is a good discipline to learn to "bring the story to the work"--as with a proper listen to a poem--as with a photograph.

I am also impressed that the herons stood still for a picture--without flying off. Although hunting herons has been illegal in the US since 1910, I fear that race memories of having their tail feathers used in hats leads to a legacy of disappointment thus far in heron/human relationships here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:48:00 am  
Blogger SAM RENSEIW said...

context and story: crucial items indeed...

music has seemingly evolved past this stage, in some ways; moving pictures, probably not yet.

we are still bound by the conventions of representation of the media, or, maybe, the presumed concept that moving images should convey story, message and meaning in an otherwise contextual frame, to gain "access" to the seen.

if an image can say more than a thousand words, a short voodle would amount to almost a short novel.
the question, then, would be: what novel... as it might all be a "projection".

the work with the voodle(s) represents, indeed, attempts of trying to come to terms with notions storyboard, notion(s) of illustration, the pressure of content and message... and hopefully- at some stage- breaking free of these conventions and having the possibility to just enjoying views...
or, as j.l godard used to say: it is just an image, thus, a just image.

i will try to geo-tag the next voodle. to embed it into a "context" in reality.

yet, the imagery would/should still be able to stand for itself: just moving images, conveying the seen, in the way it was seen. (or at least as close to the seen as possible, subjectively)

the fox once said: " the essential things in life are seen, not with the eye but with the heart"...
i try to close in to that view, but it is an arduous endeavour...
mcluhan's "the medium is the massage" is still underway, apparently.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 12:11:00 am  
Blogger gurdonark said...

I remember the first time I used the internet to "focus in" on the hardwood tree in the little pond park not far from my home. It was amusing to go from satellite views of a city to a view of the very tree from which grackle birds shriek when my dogs and I walk by.
I was so impressed--and yet, is the context of a latitude and a longitude so essential?

I believe that the question of context and in particular of the sense of "story" is key and yet unresolved in my mind. Story is essential/story is irrelevant/story is inescapable/story is beside the point.

Story-telling animals, who sometimes wish to tell of a story without a story.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1:09:00 am  

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