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   avant-garde movies, motion graphics, and theory

a note on 'The Fantasy of Equivalence'

story © Michael Betancourt | published July 9, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Digital Capitalism

The capitalist conception as labor value being wholy dependent on the amount of time required for production, described by Karl Marx as a foundational principle of his critique, depends on an assumption of equivalence between not only differently skilled labor, but on the products of that labor. This fantasy authorizes the valorization of intellectual labor and production regardless of its validity within the database: the precession of agnotology around this apparent relativism depends on the same beliefs in equivalence, a reification of abstract principle as instrumentality. Marxs analytic reveals this fallacy precisely in setting aside the issues of distinction between labor in order to advance an abstraction of that productive processhis disregard for the material differences between skilled an unskilled labor mirrored the labor-intensive productive processes of the period when he developed his critique: the concern with the productive capabilties of unskilled labor as a constraint on production provides a literal limit on the production work performed, for example, by child labor.






 

My History With Glitching

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 29, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Glitch & Postdigital

This collection of historical notes, written between 2012 and 2017, about working with and on glitches has been floating in the either/or for a while. Since there's mot much history of any kind about glitches before the late '00s, I'm posting this personal narrative. I just realized I haven't done anything with it, so here it is. These are some general historical notes about my own experiences with glitches and their use in my work starting in the 1990s.


Still from Year (2003)

I am not sure when I first specifically called this kind of work glitch, but the concept and the work it produced have been continuous features of my work since 1989. I know I was using the term by 2001, and I did a bit of writing with it in 2003 for the Miami Art Exchange when it was the only publication engaged with Miami Art on a regular basis (this was before Art Basel Miami Beach). The deployment of accident (chance) within carefully prescribed frameworks enabled the uncontrolled, chaotic features of glitch art to develop organically from my technical and technological process focused on using the looping methods learnt from video feedback as the protocol for making all my work: iteration, revision, recursion.




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Cliche Interests, An Artistic Statement

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 29, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



Aesthetics

The artist's statement is an exercise focused on a variety of basic ideas, all concerned with the tactical manipulation of their reader's later engagement with the artist's productions. They're about shaping iinterpretations. These statements are an essential part of how an artist creates a context for their work and creates a meaningful relationship to work of the past. These statements are part PR and part polemics. Producing a statement to accompany individual works is an essential part of the exhibition process. Artists use these statements for several overlapping, but discrete purposes:

  • Context: how they want to be seen in relation to current trends
  • Stage Setting for specific ways they want to be interpreted
  • Distinguish their work from similar or related works
  • Claim a specific history their work might not be related to otherwise
  • The production of ambiguity and the production of meaning are essentially exclusive procedures: to create a meaningful statement requires a discursive structure where ambiguity is radically reduced; in contrast, while definite meaning emerges from limitations upon ambiguity, the meaningful statements of art are (paradoxically) those where the ambiguity (or, more accurately, multivalence) plays the strongest role. It is through the production of multivalent formsworks where several potential meanings simultaneously emerge in a work, sometimes at differing levels of interpretationwhere ambuiguity enables an instability of interpretation that require more careful consideration and demand critical insight for their coherence.




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    Synchronization and Title Sequences - Now Available!

    story © Michael Betancourt | published May 17, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    Betancourt

    You can now order my new book Synchronization and Title Sequences: Audio-Visual Semiosis in Motion Graphics!

    It's part of the Routledge Studies in Media Theory and Practice series, and proposes a semiotic analysis of the synchronization of image and sound in motion pictures using title sequences as its focus. It is the second volume in Michael Betancourt's study of semiotics and cinema using the title sequence as a critical focus, allowing for a consideration of fundamental theoretical issues apart from both the issues of narrative and realism common to commercial media. Through detailed historical close readings of title designs that use either voice-over, an instrumental opening, or title song to organize their visuals--from Vertigo (1958) to The Player (1990) and X-Men: First Class (2011)--author Michael Betancourt develops a foundational framework for the critique and discussion of motion graphics' use of synchronization and sound, as well as a theoretical description of how sound-image relationships develop on-screen. The resulting study of synchronization is both a critical analysis and a theory of visual music in cinema.






     

    Glitched Video and/as Found Footage

    story © Michael Betancourt | published March 2, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    Glitch & Postdigital

    My article "Glitched Media as Found/Transformed Footage: Post-Digitality in Takeshi Muratas Monster Movie" on the relationship between glitched videos and found footage is now available in Found Footage Magazine #3.




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