Archive for the 'action' Category

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.

Fast Ride on LifeVR

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Time-Life just launched their LifeVR app featuring a 360 video piece I directed called Fast Ride. A few months ago I spent a day with my colleagues from Wevr in a race track in Laguna Seca where the Mazda racing team took out all their vintage cars for a spin like they do every year. J. H. Harper wrote an in-depth piece about the event for The Verge that explains everything about this amazing cars.

The following picture shows pilot Jeremy Barnes tagging along for a fast ride with himself just after he finished his real-life lap. It was a lot more intense for him to be the passenger in VR than to be the pilot in real life 😀

jeremy barnes vr

Celebrating Muntadas

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

I just came back from MIT after an amazing weekend participating in the public space? lost & found — symposium and exhibition to celebrate the twenty five years of Muntadas at MIT. Muntadas was my teacher and mentor during my Media Lab years, and has remained a great friend after that, and I was honored to be part of this exhibition with my work on surveillance in the Red line of the MBTA subway system called The Red Line Tour.

It curiously snowed upon my arrival, even though it is almost May, and the city of Boston was in a state of disarray due to the preparations for the 2014 edition of their famous Marathon, but the weather cleared up beautifully and my constant delays didn’t stop me from having a fantastic time hanging out with old friends and making new ones, both in the categories of human friends and place [or location] friends.

I stole the following images from the symposium blog. The picture with the circles shows where I was and where my artwork is. If you are in Cambridge Massachusetts before October 30th this year, please don’t hesitate to visit this exhibition in the MIT Media Lab. The featured Public Art projects are all extremely interesting, and the Media Lab itself is a mind-blowing experience anyway, so just do it, ok?

base

publicart

detail

Black Magic Pocket

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

black-magic

I just obtained my own Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera from Black Magic Design. What a beauty. In spite of all it’s limitations, and how difficult it might seem to achieve The Perfect Shot with it, I have been completely seduced by the detail and depth of RAW video, and what it does in combination with hardcore professional optics.

davinci-resolve

In addition to this, I learned that Black Magic Design offers a free version of DaVinci Resolve, their state of the art color correction software. This has kept me awake more than a few nights lately, and I suspect it will continue to do so.

I can’t help but find it fascinating that extremely sophisticated digital technologies like RAW video and high end color correction software have already become available to the average consumer. This is nothing new; in the past ten years it’s happened all around us in all aspects of industry, but I still stand in awe every time a new digital milestone has been reached. Coming from a background in film, and having personally struggled with digital post production technologies through the nineties, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I can sit in a coffee shop and run software like DaVinci Resolve in my little laptop while I enjoy my espresso.

I will be uploading Black Magic Experiments to my flickr feed on a regular basis.

Branches

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I recently went to Wales, where I gave my friends from DorkyPark and NTW a helping hand in combining Dance Performance with Public Art and Digital Communication Systems. The director Constanza Macras —which I met at MIT— asked me to help her transmit a dance performance from a forest in North Wales to the streets of Cardiff. She wanted us to find a way to let people in Cardiff interact with the performance using their cellphones and potentially other gadgets. I came up with a metaphor to overlay the forest and the city as signal spectres over each other, using real-time mobile data and reciprocal video transmissions. So cameras in Cardiff would transmit people’s expressions to televisions in the forest, and a crew of filmmakers would transmit the performance event live to a screen located in a populated street in Cardiff. Additionally, passers-by in the city were encouraged to inject text messages into the stream they were watching via SMS, and this same texts were made available to the performers in the forest.

To me, this combination enabled the kind of feedback loop that I hold dear to my heart. Performers are exposed to audience participation, and in exchange, the audience is forced to accept the intrusion of performance in a space not dedicated to it.

TheBlu in Times Square

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Last month, I worked on the design and implementation of a system to connect mobile phones with a custom version of theBlu client that ran on the NASDAQ screen in Times Square. This was part of a celebration put together on May 4th by Wemo Media to introduce theBlu to the world. If you’d like to see how it went, Wired has published a video covering the event.

After extensive research, I chose JQueryMobile to build the mobile web app. I had never used JQueryMobile before, and I was happy to find it accessible and robust. It’s a good mobile UI framework if you ever need one.

Also, I got my first iPhone to use for development purposes (yeah right). As an all time iPad user, I always thought I would never appreciate an iPhone fully, and for the longest time pretended to be happy with vintage cellphones where texting is a task only possible for people born after 1990, but after half a month of iPhone bliss, I find myself using the iPad a lot less and texting like a superhero, using Instagram like there is no tomorrow and finally having a reasonable replacement for my lost iPod. I’m not too happy with the camera though—I think it’s a bit dumb.



Gira TelmexHub UNAM

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

@Nachotl de PaseUsted me invitó a participar en la Gira TelmexHub UNAM, donde impartí una conferencia enfocada en el tema de La Experiencia Narrativa en La Era Digital. Básicamente propuse la misma linea argumental con que participé la vez pasada, explorando la intersección entre comunicación social, teoría de la información y cultura, pero más interesado en el espacio en que contamos y consumimos historias, en lugar del espacio del arte en general. Como era de esperarse, el resultado termina poniendo más atención a la industria del entretenimiento que al sistema del arte.

Me llenó de gusto tener la oportunidad de compartir mi trabajo y mis ideas con los estudiantes de la UNAM –mi alma mater– y haberme encontrado con una Cultura Digital vibrante, llena de propuestas y preguntas.

Al igual que cuando estuve en Puebla, la Gira TelmexHub demostró reunir una buena colección de talentos, entre quienes tuve oportunidad de conocer y convivir con el educador e inventor Raul Gutierrez, el cineasta experimental Jacob Krupnik y su productora Youngna Park, y el poderoso taquero electrónico Redmarker, a quien ya conocía por cierto.