<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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>> Peter Kubelka, "Arnuf Rainer", 1960

Although this is an analoge film, it references digital principles and uses a binary system by only having cadres of black or white. Printed out frame by frame, you can see the highly conceptual quality of Peter Kubelka's score for "Arnulf Rainer":

Sequences in "Arnulf Rainer" reach from one single frame up to 24 frames.
If you have only one frame, there are just two possible sequences: black and white
For two frames there are already four possible sequences, white and white, white and black, black and white, black and black. (= 2²)
With three frames, the number of sequences reaches 8 (=2³) and so on.

Oppositional factors in that film not only include black or white, but also sound (white noise) and silence (in reference to white noise: black silence).

In "Arnulf Rainer", Kubelka uses sequences of 1,2,4,8,12 and 24 cadres. He uses 576 cadres altogether, which is what he calls "the square of a second" - given that to fill one second of film, you need 24 cadres, so the square is 24 x 24.

peter kubelka's "arnulf rainer" (1960) as an analogue execution of a binary code = set of instructions --> compare to vera molnar's "machine imaginaire"

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.