glitch [ america’s brokenness ] // data painting [ motel black ]

My ‘data painting’ works are short meditations intended to capture a particular mood or moment. This work, created between October and December of 2015, evolves from my witnessing and considering the public struggle of the American people. We remember. There are significant gaps between objective ideals claimed by the United States of America and the behavior and policies of its agents.

No single work of art can lay claim to all of this space. It can open a side door into talking about what we don’t talk about. [ motel black : 1:15 sample here ] That shadow, whatever it is so many white men and women of generation X are shooting up to avoid talking about. The powerlessness we have witnessing the lynching of Black citizens by agents of the state. The poisoned water supply of one of our cities. It is so much, too much.

Datamosh and artefacting open a hallucinatory, a dreamspace, point to the abrupt discontinuity between the state’s professed ideals and its agents’ behaved reality. Citizens struggle to discover / create / dig up a justice [ the badge discovered by the woman digging with her hands ] claimed by the state in its constitution, while past and present acts of the state directly contradict those ideals [ the human bones discovered alongside that badge by the woman ].

A percussive soundtrack carries the viewer through the dream-journey. Colors and stars indirectly evoke the American flag . . .

digital wabi-sabi

finally found language that accurately introduces the art i make. the work is made inside of computers and displayed with all this technology, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about embracing the human condition.

For Jessica, visible fractures, glitches, and dissonance allow for permeability of meaning and critique of digitally-amplified language (our language). In the elevation of digital artefacts to aesthetic pleasure, she embraces imperfection, playing it back on screens built to display our longed-for perfection.

??? Who wins at the Internet today? [ thisguy ]

IanMartin

we have a winner!

On Memorial Day, when I logged into Flickr, I found my stats had crossed 100,000 views. I have less than 2,000 images in my Flickr stream; still, people are looking. The most popular image? Ungun: Raspberry Ruger. I decided to give it away, via a lottery I ran from June 1 to the 21st!

As I wrote in the post announcing the lottery, when I started making the images that became the ungun project, I put them on flickr. I kept making them in part because of the positive response to the work in the photostream.  At the time I was working full-time in demanding, customer-facing work. Positive feedback from Flickr, and a handful of my customers, was my only encouragement to move the work forward. Their responses were so intense, and so personal, it gave me a huge push to keep making.

So here we are, with the winner – @oxthoughts from twitter, Ian Martin, will be receiving an archival giclee print of Ungun: Raspberry Ruger. The image is sized such that the glitched handgun mirrors that of the ‘real life’ gun.

I have some interesting things cooking for the ungun project. I can’t help but keep making the images, and more representations of broken guns are going to be appearing, in different forms, during 2014.

Thanks to all who signed up for the drawing!

[ ungun (2013) ] animation : director’s statement

I live in an American city where fear of being shot is considered reasonable. I began breaking stolen digital images of guns in late 2012, after the handgun violence victim count in Chicago, IL was 14 people in one weekend.

I went online, and found, stole, and glitch-sabotaged digital images of guns. 5,000+ glitched images of handguns became this six-and-a-half minute animated film, which I completed in February of 2013. I sampled audio from American movies in which guns have roles as important as human actors. Isn’t the sound of a gunshot speech?

A hypnotic, this experimental film presents the broken or decaying and reappearing handgun animation with audio snippets from American film. How do we reckon with our hand-held machine? How do we use it? What does it mean to us?

* * * *

screening history :

04.2013 : VIDEO>transcends [ stream ]

05.2013 : MAGMART VIII, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy [ screening ]

06.2103 : Audiovisioni Digitali/Scicli, Sicily, Italy [ installation ]

08.2013 : Videoholica : Varna, Bulgaria. [ screening ]

11.2013 : Three Rivers Film Festival, competitive shorts program : Pittsburgh, PA. [ screening ]

12.2013 : 8th International Streaming Festival. The Hague, Netherlands. [ stream ]

02-03.2014 : VIDEO>transcends. CUNY QCC Art Gallery, Queens, NY. [ stream ]

 

Internet party! ungun giveaway flickr celebrate

On Memorial Day I logged in to Flickr to upload some video stills and noticed that my stats had passed 100,000 views. I decided to give away archival prints of whatever image had the most views. I’m really glad its an ungun! I make unguns by stealing images of guns from the internet, and using a variety of tools to ‘break’ or ‘glitch’ them.

I started making unguns on my commute to work, in response to a particularly bloody weekend in Chicago, November 2012. I posted them to Flickr, where they got an initial audience. I am thankful for that audience, and its feedback and support.

Conversations with non-artists has shaped the ungun project. After seeing the images, people have told me personal stories about guns, their complicated relationships with them, what they mean privately and publicly. I heard about the first time he was given a gun and what that meant to his family relationships. She told me of her fear of walking in isolated public spaces, since Illinois has a concealed carry law. A former US soldier told me about their utility, when he was serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He also told me about the horrors they created.

raspberry-ruger-web

 

ungun : rasberry ruger

Limited edition print : 16″ x 13″ giclee print on archival rag
Image sized to match that of the actual handgun, a Ruger LCP pistol in Raspberry.

ungun, the animated short film, has screened in Bulgaria; been installed as a three-channel installation in Sicily, Italy; and screened in Naples, Italy. Last year it was featured in Pittsburgh Filmmaker’s Three Rivers Film Festival, in the Shorts competition, and has been hosted in several venues as part of the show, VIDEO>transcends.

The raspberry ruger image has almost 2,500 views on Flickr, and the most favorites of any image in my photo stream. This limited edition print has a paper size of 16″ x 13″. Printed giclee on archival rag, the image is sized to match that of the actual handgun. Lottery closes on June 21, 2014. Scroll down & sign up! Winner will be announced on June 24.

When I sell ungun prints*, they retail for 1/4 the retail price of the model of handgun the image is sourced from, since they are based on a stolen image.  In this case, the value of the print would float between $80 and $133, depending on the location of the purchaser. Because the way guns are priced depends on so many things.

Would you like the chance to get one? Provide your name and your email address to be added to the lottery! Tell me how you found this contest, and if you want to subscribe to my email list. The lottery has closed; if you would like to sign up for my email list, you can use this form, if you’d like.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’How did you find out about this party?’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’twitter,smoke signals,flickr,google+,email list,referred by a friend’/][contact-field label=’Yes! Sign me up for the email list!’ type=’checkbox’/][/contact-form]

Lottery closes on June 21, 2014. Winner will be announced on June 24. Currently planning to give away just 1 print. If over 100 people sign up, I will give 2. More than 250, I will give 3. Thank you! And, tell the world!

*I have not sold this print.

 

i.thou [ final cut ] [ 2007 – 2013 ]

they found the dvd in the sand under her body. i don’t know where she is.

agency // archetypes // authority & doubt // caged bird // certainty // cult of the dead girl // data-altered video // deconstruction // doctrine // durga // epistemology // film // hallucination // pathoshadenfreude // social identity // the [ tomb ] empty [ womb ] // voyeur culture // witness //

experimental digital video.
visuals : avidemux, ffmpegx, quicktime 7 pro, final cut pro 6-X. audio : apple logic 9.

all production : jessica fenlon

view the first movement here. screenings / exhibitions tba

i’ve never been one to worship the church

 

it’s not the god its what you do
in the name of your god

i see them mouth the words
later, the words became more important

than the people the words were meant to instruct

then it became not about the words themselves
but what we claimed the words said

the words as much a cudgel as fists

like bullets
words take lives

*

sometimes  a brush makes an image
sometimes a machine makes a moving image

what experience do you have of the images
that experience                            that’s yours
the only held thing

i can point you towards your experience
by giving a name to the little movie
to the images i put before you
that frame around the window
to some aspect of yourself you may not have
met before

this world asks  a lot of our time
thanks for taking yours to give to this

why should i tell you what it means
that would be stealing

 

 

artist statement : we are all doors (2013)

Artist statement : we are all doors (2013) 6:40 : digital video for gallery projection.

Meditation : The body as container for consciousness. The act of dreaming our compass as we navigate inner space. How do we occupy our bodies?

Source images for the work made available to the artist by creative commons copyright support, a language of consent for content-sharing on the internet. Crowdsourcing implies, how does the royal we support the individual? How do we dream together? How does sharing support the creative mind?

 

 

 

Video dedicated to Aaron Swartz (Nov 8, 1986 – Jan 11, 2013) who assisted in establishing the creative commons in spirit and legal reality. Links posted at http://station-number-six.com/swartz.html connects source content provided by over a hundred and fifty photographers and videographers.

http://creativecommons.org explains what this artists statement (and work of art) cannot, about their approach to facilitating the movement and exchange of created content.

Poetry written and performed by the artist, recomposed and expanded slightly for the soundtrack. Audio mixed in Logic 9, video composited in FCP X, prepared for DVD with Compressor 4, authored for DVD in DVDSP.

Ultimately, the work will reside on the internet. Until then, I’ll be submitting it to screenings and gallery shows.

Jessica Fenlon

 

artist statement : the ungun project

I’ve been making unguns. I steal pictures of guns and make something else with them. Yes I’m trafficking in stolen guns when I do this. Aesthetic vandalism. Wasn’t the Matrix trilogy founded on that image of ‘bullet time’, the old Native American ghost dance promise that we could stop bullets?

The act of aesthetic vandalism neuters the image of the gun. The images become ~ if they were actual objects, were they actually fired, they would misfire, fire into themselves, or not fire at all.

Humans can express a nourishing connection with each other using guns only by relinquishing them.

I started working with still images, which I ‘broke’ using databending techniques. Then I started making gifs.Then I decided to make a longer video, pushing the image into word-definition space. The dance of illusion, projection, metaphor. I sampled audio from popular entertainment that uses guns so much in their narratives that, as a friend once put it, the movie is really “gun goes on adventure, gun beats the bad guys, gun gets the girl, gun gets revenge” . . .

I’m witnessing illusions of “political ramifications of ideas about guns” shatter social relationships between otherwise reasonable people. Histrionic reactions to the object, in many directions, prevent people from having reasonable conversation. The object, and whether or not or how it is regulated, shatters our ability to discuss the thing sanely.

trigger quilt

 

sketchbook : guns

sketch : glitched & composited image of a handgun

 

My frustration with guns managed by making art that neuters them, turns them into beautiful objects that if actually fired would fire into themselves, or metaphors for fabric ~ something that connects in a nourishing way, a property humans can express with guns only by relinquishing them.

 

assault rifle blanket pattern (glitched)

 

Glitched the source image, an AR15 assault rifle. Then composited it into something that reminds me of a blanket pattern. Then discovered the reds in it by cutting into the jpeg code a little more.

refreshing the the poetics of annihilation

Sometimes the mistake comes from seeing it all the way through to the end, without having begun.

The ease of overplanning facilitated by computers kills work the cradle. Once the imagination knows what the trip is going to be like, it doesn’t want to take it.

The drafting process is the first third of the path to having the work exist outside the mind/body. Editing is the second third. The audience meets the work, ‘publication’. The last third.

Each stage has its own demands, its own peculiar kind of sweat.

 

I live in a culture steeped in violence. There is violence in the work. Or there is consideration of recovering from violence, contending with it. I have made work that is psychologically or spiritually violent, yet I sit on it. Right now, I do not want to inflict it on an audience.

I am an American. Like other Americans I walk around with the blood of indiginous people on my feet, with the blood of slaves on my feet, with the blood of domestic violence on my feet. History soaked our nation’s birth with blood. We consume images and stories soaked with violence.

We can create peace. How do we create peace from a violent fabric? How does the transformation happen? Does it start with forgiving the past we have inherited, in order to simply let it drop, in order to make something new?

The poetics of annihilation are my name for looking at the violent stories of the 20th century, looking at our inheritance, and figuring out what to do with those stories. There is so much: the US government infecting african-americans with siphilus. The German government killing millions of civilians. The US dropping atomic bombs on Japan. The hundreds of millions of acts of war that individuals perpetrated at the behest of their governments.

How do we choose to witness this? We have our methods of recording, our films, our books, our internet. How can we face the weight of that violent fabric woven by those who went before us, and move forward without re-making that?

How can we, the talking monkeys, see, but not do?

sparks

Its funny, the whole concept of failure is related to judgement coming from outside of the self, some consequence of rejection come from the other. And when it comes down to it, the evaluation of our work is not left to us. Even its value socially. Even this capitalist-materialist notion of social status or competition between artist is an incorrect notion of failure.

That’s not the function of art, it does not compete; rather, it speaks. Good art has voice.

We have to let go and trust that the spark that the universe has placed in our chest is fuelled by the process of making. Trust that the work will find its way into the right other person’s hands and coax more fire into their spirit, too.

Milton Glaser on Creativity and the Fear of Failure