CONTENTS

 
   about
   MICHAEL BETANCOURT NEWS
   movies: AESTHETICS
   movies: NEWS & REVIEWS
   movies: SHOWS & SCREENINGS
   random art notes
   random how-tos
   research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES
   research: MOTION GRAPHICS
   research: VISUAL MUSIC
   theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS
   theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM
   theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL
   theory: working notes

 

SOCIAL

 
Instagram
 
LinkedIn Profile
 
The Visual Music Village


PORTFOLIO

 
Movies by Michael Betancourt

 michaelbetancourt.com
 Going Somewhere
 exhibitions [pdf]
 updates
 books
 contact

 




 

SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  

About Making Dancing Glitch

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 11, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

OtherZine 25 has my article on making Dancing Glitch where I discuss how recognizing glitches depends on the audience, not what was done to/in making the work.






 
on Lardani's Titles

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 23, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: MOTION GRAPHICS

My new article discussing the titles for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is online today at Bright Lights Film Journal.

The glitch and other details of his first on-screen credit distinguish Lardani's title card from the rest of the sequence in a very dramatic way unlike the other titles, which are immediately obvious as credits, it is possible to miss his credit entirely, a strange distinction to choose given his role and, according to his son, complete freedom in creating the design. It is almost as if his title card is hidden in plain sight.






 
ZXX and Cryptographic Typefaces

story © Michael Betancourt | published July 3, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS

ZXX is a computer 'font'--a group of typefaces for digital use--created by artist Sang Mun that currently result in illegible printed material when scanned by OCR technology that existed when it was initially produced. This qualification--when it was produced--is actually very significant to this kind of project because the various letter forms are (as with any typeface) 'set' and so will remain constants even though their size, arrangement and contents will inevitably vary from use to use: because these letter forms are a finite value, and are generally known, it would be relatively easy for a high powered OCR system to have this 'font' simply become one of the things it scans for, then error corrects so the contents become machine readable.




read more



 
Autonomous Tools (a fragment)

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 22, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

While the "Luddite Fallacy" clearly applies to some kinds of mechanization--the implementation of machine tools and automated processes which amplify and create efficienciesthe creation of autonomous tools raises fundamental questions about the assumption that new technological innovations that eliminate human labor necessarily simply shift it to other sites within the economy. This assumed validity for the Luddite Fallacy remains true if and only if the invention of autonomous tools do not function in a fashion similar to slaverythat the robot (a word derived from the title of Karel Čapeks 1920 play which means in Czech serf labor")does not displace or entirely replace human labor because it is a conscious agent capable of performing the same essential rolethe intellectual component of facturecurrently held exclusively by human labor. This agency is the difference between an automated process and an autonomous one: the automated process requires the oversight provided by human agency, an autonomous one, by definition, does not (autonomy means there is no required oversight).






 
Bitcoin and the Political Economy

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 18, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

My analysis of Bitcoin has been published on CTheory.

What is apparent in Bitcoin is a dramatic reification of capitalist ideologies and valorization of commercial exchanges as the currency itself (new Bitcoins are mined through the exchange of existing Bitcoins) in a direct expression of the capitalist imperative to expand into new domains: the valorization of social activities -- such as friendship circles, browsing in a bookstore, or shopping without purchasing -- becomes valuable as the "authorship" already present in social media is taken to its logical conclusion as the Bitcoin.