Disrupting Narratives - 13th July 2007, at Tate Modern
Curated by Marko Daniel, "Disrupting Narratives" was a collaboration between Tate Modern, London, and the iRES Research Centre at Falmouth College of Art. Kate Southworth, from Falmouth, followed Marko Daniel in starting the day's proceedings, and talked about the ideas behind Disrupting Narratives.
She spoke about counter-narrative and counter-protocol and how the networks were creating an "aesthetic of hybridisation". Counter-narratives, she said, are reconceptualizing content. Also network and media artists are devising new protocols.
First to be introduced was Mark Amerika,who showed some "filmtexts" and talked about remixological post-production. The remixological narratives are hybridised and multiple. Remixological histories and narratives are used to construct the self, which is in a continuous state of post-production. Remixology and post-production are Amerika's use of language, which provides an ontological approach and poeticises the processes involved. Amerika talked about his various authorial selves and read from his book "Meta Data".
The narratives involved become counter in the remix. Despite the multiplicities, something true is intuited, subverting the usual falsifications implied by post-production. Amerika talks about "this sense of not me" and how you "take on the language from within and remixologically inhabit it". This implies that this is as close as you can approximate to the true self amidst the constant flux of data and the "pseudo-biographical narrative".
Next to be introduced was Andrea Zapp, who is interested in interfaces, imaginary residences and installations. Her work takes the form of "networked narrative environments" and often uses surveillance techniques which relate to media cultural issues. She showed documentation of several of her works: "Human Avatars",2005, "The Imaginary Hotel", 2002, and "Little Sister", 2000.
She is interested in dramatic structures and networked imaging. "Little Sister" existed online and was composed of web-cam narratives and had a "small and simple interface". It uses soap opera as a format together with surveillance.
The counter-narrative again exists in the truth/falsity of the information, used to construct drama and a kind of spectacle which might be dull at times. For this reason she created some dramatic events for the user to find.
"unheimlich", uses telepresence and actual actors, linking and visually compositing users and actors. All the works were participatory, encouraging an involvement with the work which is a challenge to surveillance and an acclimatising of the public to the possible future spaces of the network. Both Zapp and Amerika talk about "non-me", which must be like Mcluhan's non-sites, reflecting back the actual site or person.
The final presentation in session 1 was by Kelli Dipple. Her talk took the audience from narrative to protocol. She talked about the "fractured landscape" of curation, and the curation of software and its distribution. She also talked about the difficulties of immaterial work and curatorial strategies - keeping in touch with ideas in Mute, Neural and Furtherfield.
She said it was important not to arrive at conclusions too soon, and asked for flexibility on the part of artist, curator and broadcaster. With new media work, she said, you have to engage at an early stage.
Victoria Halford & Steve Beard