Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On voodling at level eight_0.8

click for video: Quicktime / .m4v for iPod/iPhone / direct streaming for PC

" The close up is the soul of the voodle. It can be brief because the value of the photogenic is measured in seconds.[...] It imposes a decoupage a thousand times more detailed that of most videos. Even more beautiful than a laugh is a face preparing for it. The mouth which is a bout to speak and holds back, the gesture which hesitates between right and left, the recoil before the leap,and the moment before landing, the becoming, the hesitation, the taut spring, the prelude, and even more than all these, the piano being tuned before the overture. The photogenic is conjugated in the future and in the imperative. It does not allow for stasis. [...] I have never understood motionless close-ups. They sacrifice their essence, which is movement..."

Concluding the very last episode on The Oracle's Boat amazing performance, Sam Renseiw paraphrases Epstein once again, wondering what sort of work the docu-soap actually is, and how the work could , eventually, be labelled, categorised or interpreted. View this last, short episode, in which Sam, curious as always, does indeed trespass boundaries, while close-up voodling climbing a staircase: Click here or on the links above. (patafilm # 715 [The Oracle's Boat/Level: 08/0.8], 01'56'', 28.8MB, Quicktime/mov - other versions at Blip.tv)

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Blogger SAM RENSEIW said...

Dear viewers:

This post concludes the 8 episodes docu-voodle-soap from a more than 5 hour embeddment in "The Oracle's Boat".

Editing the footage was as exiting as the capturing, yet, in may ways, more thought-provoking; The footage does do document my involvement, as active "public", immersed into the performance's development of ever changing events.

Yet, it was not a classic documentary: I had no clear idea, at any given moment, of what did happen, or would happen next, and when to record, or, what might actually be of interest to record, with the few GB of memory...

In this state of intense participation - where tension first is eased after eight or ten hours,as I had experienced in "The Circle Camp" in 07 ( see archives), what one does see and experience can often be somewhat different from the memory or the re-collection of the experience.

As i do my best to try to record discretely, without any permission from SIGNA in advance (I did get some sort of discreet, indirect permission to voodle on by Signa and Arthur), the ensuing gaze is thus very fascinating for me to re-discover.

As the "eye" is actually in my hand, ( my small contax performed well, yet getting old and out-dated) it is as if some other entity is present recording, while I also seem to participate, somewhere in the frame.

Although I did embed Susan Sontag's seminal essay " Against Interpretation" as a link in the text(s), I would nevertheless very much welcome critical commentaries and, possibly, longer interpretations on how the docu-soap voodles is perceived...

Is it a work with any slight sort of significance, and if so, what does it do? How are the episodes actually consumed, interpreted, understood in the Vlog context or as stand alone imagery...
Would, could the work be presented somewhere else, out of web context? etc....

Best regards,


(And: thank you so much for following my "absurd" work at patalab)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:53:00 am  
Blogger Steven Ball said...

Hello Sam,

I had noticed The Oracle's Boat but, being immersed in projects myself, hadn't taken the time to view it, until last night. I was very much looking forward to seeing it as I had enjoyed the Circle Camp voodles and am a fan of the serial form. However, as I hadn't been viewing them as they were posted, I viewed them in sequence in one sitting, as, as it were, a single piece. So my impressions may be just what you mean by whether it could be presented elsewhere, out of web context, as I downloaded the videos and watched them full screen. There are a few comments that I would make about this.

One is that while I was obviously aware of the web source of the work, being just shy of 30 minutes taken as a whole, it is long enough to become more immersive than a more fragmented, episodic experience might be - where sequences become like small intense vignettes. I did think about editing out your credits to make the experience more continuous, but didn't. This might have made a small difference. Watching it full screen I think is quite a different experience to watching it as a small QuickTime in the middle of the browser. This is in no small way due to how it is shot, the mostly waist-height capturing and the restless camera, at full screen is more intense, it seems to enhance the sense of surreptitiousness, a furtive collusion in the event of smuggling images out. This characteristic is to be found in many of your voodles; in this case, in full screen, it seems to emphasise your dubious status as observer and occasional participant - perhaps this is fundamental to the experience of voodling.

This leads me to comment about the nature of this relationship, that of the viewer to your recording of an event. The event itself (what might once have been referred to as the 'pro-filmic') is, shall we say, 'strange' enough. Which is to say, not just a site-specific theatrical performance, but also one that seems, from your capturing, to paradoxically simultaneously invite participation while maintaining a vaguely hermetic, almost Brechtian, distance from the audience. This is my impression anyway. So we as viewers become as co-conspirators in images smuggled out, as well as occasional vicarious participants in, the event. The almost-hidden-camera approach makes this an interesting, and interestingly problematic, relationship. Problematic because, one is not quite sure of ones status as viewer. This combined with the oneiric nature of the performance itself, with its obsessive, claustrophobic internal illogic, makes the whole experience, to use a cliché, dreamlike.

So as to whether it could be presented out of a web context, I would say yes, in purely formal terms, as a 'stand-alone' piece. This begs the question 'where?', but also 'why?', and, by extension 'why not?'!


Saturday, August 22, 2009 9:37:00 am  

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