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

 
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The Visual Music Village


PORTFOLIO

 
Movies by Michael Betancourt

 michaelbetancourt.com
 Going Somewhere
 exhibitions [pdf]
 updates
 books
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SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  

Going Somewhere - reviewed by David Finkelstein

story © Michael Betancourt | published July 12, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



movies: NEWS & REVIEWS

David Finkelstein wrote a review of my movie serial Going Somewhere for Film International called "Recombinant Modification of Sci Fi Going Somewhere (2015)" that's available online:

Something fascinating and strange is going on in Going Somewhere, an ongoing movie serial by Michael Betancourt, with individual episodes which are all 7 minutes long. The source material for these digital mini-epics comes from a variety of science and science fiction materials: old Grade Z Sci Fi epics, civil defense films and WWII documentaries, NASA footage. Betancourt uses sophisticated datamoshing and databending techniques to completely transform these materials. These techniques reach inside of the numbers which store digital video and mess up the data in more or less controlled ways that morph one image into the next. They allow Betancourt to radically change the original colors and forms.

Also available as a [pdf] for download






 
'Glitch Art' as a Movement?

story © Michael Betancourt | published July 10, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

Recently, I was asked during the Q&A after a talk if I think glitch art is a movement. The problem with calling the amorphous collection of people working with glitch art a movement is precisely its shapelessness: the things being done and called glitch art have been around and in use by artists since the late 1970s and first started to become prominent during the 1990s, emerging more-or-less independently in places as diverse as London, Chicago, Oslo and Miamiall places also associated with the use of glitches in electronic and avant-garde music. This plurality of origins makes any suggestion of a movement highly questionable: there were no manifestos, no proclamations that circulated across all these origin-sites. Instead, the use and embrace of glitches appears to have happened more or less simultaneously, as a result of the faults and failures of digital technology in the 1990s, especially the vagaries and interruptions common to dial-up internet access and the slow speeds of download that would often result in partial and damaged files. The embrace of glitch by this initial collection of artists (whose work from 2003 and earlier was collected in the Glitch: Designing Imperfection book) was highly dispersed geographically and aesthetically, even if they shared formal similarities because of the technologies involved.




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a note on 'The Fantasy of Equivalence'

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



theory: 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



theory: 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



movies: 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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