written by YosiWanunu based on conversations with and notes by Hiaz
translated BuckyMediaConceptYosiGerman here
In the last few years we have been working with internet protocols as our source material. We generated sound, video and light letting the protocols serve as our ‘notes’. Essentially, the protocols are the manuals behind the programs we use to communicate with each other, and in a certain moment of the group development we have decided to turn them into our main artistic input. Part of it came as a necessity, as the group dispersed all over Europe and the only way for us to keep communication is via the net, our communication became our art.
The other reason has to do with the growing place computers have in our life; the protocols are the ‘ready made’ of our time. It is what Philip K. Dick termed “the humming of the machines”. In our work we try to turn the humming into an audio/visual experience without loosing the complexity of the communication. It is a process of turning ‘abstract’ text (not recognized by the average user) into concrete ‘text’ (sound, visual, light) and then back into abstract artistic input. The artistic input is manifested via different outlet - recording, net-based publication, concerts, video work, installation and performances. The “Bucky Media”-project belongs to the installation part of our work.
The installation form implies by its definition an engagement with the question of space. An installation both defines and contains space, situating, if not controlling, the viewer within it. In addition, installations that deploy such technologies as video and computer devices delineate time; they are constructed with particular concerns about the length of time viewers will stay with the work versus its cycle, as well as concerns about how to get viewers to move in particular ways in the space. Indeed, one could argue that for artists working in these media, control of the viewer in time and space is a primary and inevitable goal. The space of installations is inhabited not by the artist but by the viewers. Hence, as Margaret Morse has written, it is the visitor rather than the artist who performs the piece in an installation. The role of the artist is thus to create the rules, limitations, and context for that “performance”, as well as to create a context in which it can, perhaps, operate in unanticipated ways.
The meaning of the installation is thus created in the moment when a viewer is interacting with it - walking into and through it, standing within it, watching or even touching it. Those installation works that actually acquire the definition of “interactive” are more conscious of the extent to which the presence of viewers completes the work, either in supplying the raw image material for a piece or activating it in some way. An interactive work constructs a complex negotiation with its viewers, both anticipating their potential responses and allowing for their agency in some way.
In the center of our space there is an 80-sided, 5m diameter bucky ball. It is at the same time an audio/video display space and physical interface. By moving the structure the viewers can navigate through different interpretations of real and virtual spaces and time. Metaphorically speaking the big ball represents the globe, the net, and the circular communication of the web. As physical object it is a space within a space, it is an offer of a different type of architecture, one that is circular, expendable and infinite.
The installation is about making oneself available to a continual barrage of meanings and themes, so that one is transformed into a being spread, distributed a different configuration of the self. The composition always implies - no, no the meaning is not here, but elsewhere, spread. The room is always pointing away from itself. Meaning is equally distributed, everywhere. In classical art, everything is focused in on a certain theme, points to the center, each moment cohering. In our work-each moment takes off in a different direction. The unity is the procedural way of turning away from the center. There is displacement, continual replacement of one meaning with another.
The room, finally, must be fed and ‘controlled’ by a multitude of sources, As many as there are ‘sources’ of experience in one’s own life. That multiplicity, acting in concert, becomes the ‘unity’ of the process of continual displacement.
Instead of the One (center) and the Multiple, there are the two types of multiplicity. As Deleuze points out:
“One is represented by space…It is a multiplicity of exteriority, of simultaneity, of juxtaposition, of order, of quantitative differentiation, of difference in degree; it is a numerical multiplicity, discontinuous and actual. The other type of multiplicity appears in pure duration: it is an internal multiplicity of succession, of fusion, of organization, of heterogeneity, of qualitative discrimination, or of difference in kind; it is a virtual and continuous multiplicity that cannot be reduced to numbers”
(Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, New York: Zone Books, 1991, p.38)
In simpler terms, this second multiplicity is pure duration, a flow/becoming of internal mutation that cannot be carved up or segmented into isolatable units, the way, for example, we divide up duration into time units such as years, months, etc. It is what Bergson calls “ a qualitative multiplicity, with no likeness to number; an organic evolution which is yet not an increasing quantity; a pure heterogeneity within which there are no distinct qualities. In a word, the moments of inner duration are not external to one another” (Henri Bergson, Time and Free Will). Virtual and actual subject and object, are no longer posited as inside versus outside, but as attributes of interiority, qualified by this internal process of differentiation. Being differs with itself internally and transforms itself through creative affirmation.
The bucky as a structure appropriates and uses these two types of multiplicity, playing off the characteristics of pure, qualitative duration (as a medium for sound and light) and those of segmented, spatial time (represented by the structuring powers of the apparatus).
We would like to think of the sound we produce in a classical terms. The protocols as musical notes are manuals for a full-blown composition. The composition is written in real time with the viewer/listener in the space, circling the bucky or just observing it from the distance. The bucky, then, is the ‘surface’ for the sound that will surround the room.
A good “classical” melody of a certain sort… spreads us, with its ‘unexpected’ next note, a moment-by-moment development. That energy, present to us in each moment, can either be focused -which is to say ‘used’ and exploited by the hypnotic object or developmental pattern (easing us down the melody with increasing speed and intensity) -or it can become ‘spread’…distributed energy. Awakening, as it was, a whole field of mutually interacting particles.
It is like polyphonic music, you can listen to the melody plus accompanying chords, but that is not the rewarding way to listen. The music is really to be heard as a sequence of chord modulations; one should listen vertically, to the spread and tension of each chord, then succeeded by another spread-of-notes-played-at-one-time ‘chord’, and so on down the line.
So in our sound, it will help to listen to the cell in its complexity and ‘spread’, then succeeded by another cell, and another. The important thing to remember - it’s not the development from cell to cell, but it is thematic modulation, continual thematic modulation…not to carry you deeper into being hypnotized by your own emotional habits and responses…but to maintain a certain sort of mental and ‘feeling’ tension which will keep your faculties ‘spread’ to the optimal degree.
So each moment has a different meaning, each moment a different theme.