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archives begin in 1996


Crossroads 2016 & Experiments in Cinema 11.4

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 13, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


I have some movies showing in upcoming festivals:

Crossroads program 1 Friday, April 1 at 7pm

Crossroads program 3 Saturday, April 2 at 1pm

Experiments in Cinema 11.4 April 510, 2016

The Critique of Digital Capitalism

story © Michael Betancourt | published January 11, 2016 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


My book is now out from Punctum Books, and available on Running 265 pages, this volume collects and expands my critical theory essays pubished over the past decade:

​1​ The Ideology of Automation
​2 ​The Emergence of Immaterial Physicality
​3​ The Aura of the Digital
​4​ The Immaterial Commodity
​5​ The Valorization of the Author
​6​ The Black Box of Past Experience
​7​ The State of Information
​8​ The Demands of Agnotology::Surveillance
​9 ​The Scarcity of Capital
​10​ On Immaterialism

The critique introduced in this book develops from basic questions about how digital technologies directly change the structure of society: why is Digital Rights Management not only the dominant solution for distributing digital information, but also the only option being considered? During the burst of the Housing Bubble burst 2009, why were the immaterial commodities being traded of primary concern, but the actual physical assets and the impacts on the people living in them generally ignored? How do surveillance (pervasive monitoring) and agnotology (culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data) coincide as mutually reinforcing technologies of control and restraint? If technology makes the assumptions of its society manifest as instrumentality then what ideology is being realized in the form of the digital computer? This final question animates the critical framework this analysis proposes.

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Abstract Photographs

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 27, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


I made a series of fully abstract darkroom images between 1989 and 1994 that are available in a book from

They represent an aggressively edited sample of what began as a darkroom experiment with solarization that expanded, to include photograms, but ultimately eliminated physical objects entirely to create complex visual imagery from chemical flows and pure light. The abstract images this process created are unique, produced without the intervention of camera or negative.

Notes on Marginality

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 26, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


The issue is basic survival and continued possibilities for carrying on with what one does. Marginal is thus about displaced actions that continue with neither recognition nor official sanction.

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Defining the Critical Glitch

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 17, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


Glitch may be best known from its role in electonic music and digital composition, but it is equallyand more commonlya part of the everyday visual engagement with computers. The technical aspects of digital technologypixellated images that re/compose reality as a juxtaposition of discrete fragmentssuggests a translation of visual space into a virtuality, cyberspace, that instead of being continuous is instead shot through with errors and failures of various types. Transfers between this digital technology and art have been a continuous part of its history, but the prominence of digtial imagery and digitally-derived forms has become an insistent part of contemporary media since the opoular embrace of the Internet in the mid-1990s. These visual forms of glitch, unlike its musical counterparts, have consistently been grouped with a variety of other terms, prominent among these are post-digital, post-internet and the new aesthetic; in academic contexts visual glitch will often simply identified with new media art, or occasionally video art.

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