Archive for the ‘Sampling’ Category

“It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.” - Jean-Luc Godard

Watch this music video from Charlotte Gainsborugh and Beck, it’s directed by Keith Schofield. When I first saw it I was blown away! The video consist of a series of images, every single one telling a unique surreal story. The images are not connected in any way, I was trying to make sense of it, but you really cannot find a connecting concept…because their is none.

When I tried to find out more about the video I got to know that the director works in a similar way I do: He has a folder on his computer where he collects inspirational images from image databases like FFFOUND and other resources. He uses this folder as inspiration and reference when he writes a musicvideo treatment (as I exactly do it myself). So one day he came up with the concept of doing a metavideo about all these amazing pictures in his folder.

“the best music video in the world would be one where it was just a series of incredible, surreal scenes. Each scene would be vastly different, and we would never repeat the same scene.”


In my eyes the video is a meta-commentary on the net as an archive of cultural memory. In the tradition of found footage lots of cultural artifacts pass your way on the net, their origins either unknown or deeply hidden in remixs and remakes. The reapropiration of those visual entities into new contexts is what makes the net a place of a lively discourse, the users now being as literate with image and video as only text was used back in the days.

Interestingly, the director Keith Schofield is insulted to steal ideas from the pictures he used as reference points for his work. You can read the discussion at Antville, it’s very intersting to see such contrary positions on the question of artistic originality. I think is both ridiculous to claim that there’s no artistic originality in Schofields works as it is to claim the existence of artisitc originality at all. Schofield’s video clearly is a piece of concept art, (which is moreover executed stunningly beautiful in terms of props, lighting etc.), the concept itself being the new idea, not the single picture in it. Furthermore you should watch Schofield closely, he publishes all the treatments of his music videos on his website, what proofes that he has nothing to hide, what definately is not common in this industry where good ideas are a hard currency.


But the interesting question here is the one for artistic originality in general. Can any artist today create an unique piece, never seen before? Can a filmmaker create a love scene, without quoting thousands of love scenes he has in his mind? When I develop ideas, images come from my memory, I can’t locate if I they come solely from my imagination or from a movie or a picture or a story or a dream or my FFFFound folder… Who can? The web is the total archive, supplying the artist with the visual history of human mankind - don’t you think this changes the perspective?

If you’d like to dive deeper into the affair between artist, idea & appropriation in the commerical world see this presentation:

One more personal question remains: Why do I feel so emotionally attracted to a fragmented series of images wihtout any connecting sense?

Fred Violas artistic website shows his voice art in different multichannel video arangements. It’s really not explainable, go check it out yourself - it’s so unique and impressive!



The music video for the song ‘Alice’, an electronic piece of which 90% is composed using sounds recorded from the Disney film ‘Alice In Wonderland’. Go to to check it out.

Software takes comand

The brand new book of my favourite digital culture theorist Lev Manovich entitled Software takes command was released today online under a creative commands licence.

The book is the second release of the Software Studies Initiative which was established by Manovich at the USCD as a new field of study to analyse the effects of software on contemporary culture.

I don’t know if we can but at least now there’s hope.

Listen to the clip without the picture, thereby it even get’s more scary.

Via Blowup.

It’s sorta like Erik Natzke’s print works as moving image: Jonathan Caplin uses Flash Re.Drawwer to loop through the frames of a video, looking at the pixel colours and then plot’s the results to a ‘canvas’. After ‘grabbing’ each rendered frame as a BMP with ZinC, he reassembles the output in AfterEffects to n ew versions of the original video footage.

On his blog he shows some more experiments with processing and real time video redrawing :)

Moodstream is a concepting tool. The modern version of the fireplace. An interactive art piece. TV for the future. It’s a website we created for and with Getty Images to showcase all of their offerings – still, video and sound – and inspire interactive creatives. And it’s really, really fun to use.”

via Iconic Turn.

Time is moving fast on the net. The medium changes so fast, that it already has lived through several transitions. For example, can you still remember how the Internet was before YouTube? When was that? Back in the 90ies? Of course not, YouTube went online on february 15th, 2005, so that’s 3 years only!!! Moreover, look at YouTube itself, haven’t there even been several generations of the platform in this short time?

But what role do time and temporality play in a medium like YouTube, when every second 10 hours of video footage is uploaded? You always see a very moment of the history of YouTube, symbolized through the “videos beeing watched right now” feature on the front page.

As the platform is changing it’s content so fast, it’s very hard to witness changes, e.g. the development of certain genres or the influences of videos onto each other. A software mashup called TimeTube tries to make the history of YouTube visible.

When you type in a keyword, the software shows you temporal relations between videos tagged with this word. Although, TimeTube is still missing lots of relations, you can use it to make some interesting observations. I typed in “dove evolution”, a very successful viral, which entailed numerous mashups, remakes and video answers. Through TimeTube I learned that it took 5 month until the first prominent remake (slob evolution) was released. I made another interesting observation on the “lifetime” of YouTube videos. “Dove Evolution” was release on October 6th, 2006. Most of the mashups and remakes were born between month 6-12 after the first release, but there are still reaction to the video after 1,5 years right now.

Ok, so go to TimeTube and become a YouTube historian yourself!

Mashups havent been on my radius so much in the past, by I’m getting into it lately.

The point about mashups is the old story of found footage. If you want to reach a certain level of complexity you need to get to know the material in detail. There seems to be a serious potential in political mashups because there are quite some foundations layed. First, there is a good amount of material available. Second, the material offers a certain density. That results in complex structure of rearanging and quoting.

…check Political Remix Video.

…and if your interested in Sampling Culture check Lev Manovich.

Transmediale is over and has been as always an inspiring experience! One of the most exciting events was the Generator.x project. It’s a project of Marius Watz which deals with the role of software and code in current art and design. The had a very atmospheric performance night, moreover a workshop and an exhibtion. Learn everything about the project on the website or watch the short videofeature I shot.


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