Archive for July, 2017

Bitcoin Orgy

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

I was invited to direct a collaboration with poet Johnny Payne for Transmedia Borders. Here’s the text I wrote to introduce the work and two video art experiments I made in collaboration with Bernardo Cubria and Karen Sours Albisua:

Once again I crossed the line. I’ve never done this before, to take the poems written by someone else and have them performed by actors whose only direction was “you’re a head floating in empty space, you’re Siri and you’re Chavela Vargas and you live inside my phone”. Inspired by the poems, I dreamt of a virtual chorus of digital angels floating around me, but I summoned a spectral connection to the society of the spectacle instead. When I pulled out my phone and showed the videos to my friend he said: “this has no narrative purpose. It is purely lyrical”. I briefly experienced satisfaction.

El asfalto de las grandes ciudades me atrae con su olor a casa. De un laberinto a otro se me ha olvidado quién soy, de donde vengo y adónde voy. Intacta, la frontera permanece, pero la noción de origen se disipa con la diáspora. El desarraigo se fortalece. En cada lugar la identidad se traslapa con otras, y todo se ve cada vez más igual, repetido y transnacional. En este ir y venir de construcciones y artificios pierdo el hilo conductor que antaño iluminó mi certidumbre. Sin certeza mi ambición se dispersa. Mi horóscopo dice: grandes cambios se avecinan, y no pienso en otra cosa que más de lo mismo.

It is perhaps because the digital devices hiding in our pockets are slowly replacing our internal monologues with the shallow cacophony of everyone else’s sensorial inputs that I felt compelled to disconnect these voices from any redeeming qualities they might have claimed in the original text. In this world, transformation is monotony, and there is no desire left beyond possession.

El texto es código, recetario y sistema formal, es la materia prima, partitura, programa y punto de partida. En su origen, la imagen es palabra realizada en la mente, y como tal pertenece a cualquier medio. El mensaje no es el medio even when the medium is the message. Para el texto, no hay más frontera que la frontera del lenguaje. Y si quieres un masaje de cabeza nada es mejor que la poesía estocástica de Johnny Payne.

Orgia Bitcoin v4 from blackaller on Vimeo.

Hombre de Puerta Trasera v4 from blackaller on Vimeo.

So long, Instagram

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

International bunny day is a September holiday but Maya decided to celebrate it on July 21st by creating this commemorative drawing.

To me, the picture I took of this drawing with my iPhone commemorates a completely different kind of event. It’s the last image I ever shared on Instagram and it marks the end of Instagram for me. After 7,253 photos on a journey that began in 2010 before Maya was born, I have decided to close https://www.instagram.com/blackaller/ and never use Instagram again.

My motivations for this decision are merely practical. I love Instagram. In fact, I actually love it TOO MUCH. It has come to my attention recently that some of my more compulsive habits ——buying comics every Wednesday, posting pictures and browsing on Instagram, binge-watching TV shows, keeping up with newsfeeds and other iPhone distractions—— are fueled in a great part by FOMO and are actually making it difficult for me to pay attention to my own life.

As part one of my active information detox program I removed all social media, news and entertainment from my iPhone, effectively turning it into a music player camera phone with email, texting, and directions. When you use your iPhone only as a tool it becomes a very powerful resource.

Part two reduce TV watching at night to 1 hour max, and never after 10pm.

Part three quit on weekly comics. Just not yet please 😀

June 9, 2018 update. I’ve now completed all three phases of my personal information detox program and it’s sinking-in great. After a few months I have regained time, clarity and peace of mind. I experienced no withdrawal and I only use twitter now, but only on a desktop computer and I count my twitter time as TV time.