transition : from analog to digital // Tony Balko

Last night I got to surprise an artist-colleague, someone I haven’t seen since he left Pittsburgh in the oughts. In the 412, Tony did projected video work. Sometimes he edited together film-like things, sometimes he improvised with multiple 8 or 16mm projectors. Much of it, for me, was threshold-recognition work, immersive stuff playing with the viewers perceptual equipment (i.e. our eyesight & optical processing system). Yes, fear of seizure could be part of the experience, and fear of flashbacks, if acid or mushrooms were ever one’s particular trip. Always I found an engaging sense of wonder in Tony’s work, wonder at playing with the illusions underneath all projected film.

 

”]

Balko packed the equipment for this installation into the pedestal supporting the piece. He created the software that manages the dilating, color-shifting projection using Processing.

I really enjoy watching Tony’s work make the shift to digital instrument creation. In Pittsburgh, I got to audience some of his collaborative video projection work. That content was created with existing video editing software, and was projected with live music performances with bands like Centipede Est. I also got to experience some of the pieces he made with analog projectors. Good stuff.

The leap to Processing deepens the instrumental improvisation. By building software, Tony creates the instrument projecting the work. His prior 8mm/16mm stuff worked, for me, as instrument/improvisation. The software made with Processing allows the art to respond to input during the show, a major departure from edited-together ‘finished films’ built on existing editing platforms.

Concerns with image flicker rate and abstraction unfolding over time certainly remain . . .

 

 

Check the flickr set, including video.

 

 

 

the artist posed as bully

“I hate this song and Eminem. His music is filled with misogyny.” she wrote in a comment.

Each of us makes something of what happens in our lives. We each put our excretions into the world – this is Sufi philosophy.

Eminem argues with himself, his experience, his hatred in public. To answer hate with hate is to dance with him on his terms. That’s a big part of his movie 8 mile – he learns to control his own behavior, chooses to define the terms of the dance in the world, instead of reacting to the other’s provocation.

Eminem seems to struggle with his own illusions of control, addiction, and issues of relational dominance. He makes from that struggle. He sorts through his own shit.

He voices violence against women in relationship to him. If we as women can’t face that down, can’t learn to redefine that dance as we face people like Eminem, what strength do we have in this world? I’m not saying to distract ourselves by arguing with bullies, I’m speaking to something larger …

I like the fight he has, his commitment to making his way.

There are many tricks in his lyrics. He may be tricking himself too. Don’t confuse the entertainer with the mask they are wearing … There are entertainers I know who preach peace but walk in the world with an incredible amount of violence/social dominance. You never know till you meet the person.

 

Will Marion Cook’s advice to Duke Ellington

He [Duke Ellington] had begun to record and managed to sell some of his tunes to the publishers of Tin Pan Alley. But he was still not satisfied, and he confessed his unhappiness to his friend Will Marion Cook, a classically trained conductor and Broadway composer.

During long taxi rides through Central park, the two men talked about music. Cook urged Ellington to get formal training at a conservatory. Ellington didn’t feel he had time for that. “They’re not teaching what I want to learn,” he said.

“In that case,” Cook told him, “first find the logical way. And when you find it, avoid it. Let your inner self break through, and guide you. Don’t try to be anybody but yourself.”

It was advice Duke Ellington would follow all his life.

“Duke Ellington knew how to take what could be and make it what is. He understood what it took to make something invisible visible.”

~

From the second episode of Ken Burns’ monolithic documentary, Jazz.

the process of making : clint eastwood, 1988

Instead of running for cover in a sudden nasty rain a week earlier, he used the downpour to set a somber mood for a scene in Central Park in 1955, using Bird drenched to the skin as a metaphor. ”Ninety-nine percent of the directors I’ve worked with would have been screaming and shouting that they couldn’t work,” says Mr. Valdes.

”Things happen that you can’t control,” Mr. Eastwood says with a shrug. ”If someone throws a scene at me and says you must shoot this scene today because the set won’t be available tomorrow, I won’t say, ‘I haven’t thought about it, slept on it, meditated over it, so I can’t shoot it.’ ” Nothing that has gone wrong tonight will follow him home. He will, he says, ”jump into the shower, brush my chops real good, jump into bed” and be asleep in five minutes.

In Idaho, on ”Pale Rider,” Mr. Eastwood left 50 members of the crew and cast cooling their heels for several hours while he climbed up a mountain with his camera crew to get shots of trees with dying autumn leaves that he wanted for his title sequence. Something in the pit of his stomach warned him that the leaves would be gone by the next day, when he was scheduled to shoot them. ”The next morning, every leaf was off the trees,” says Mr. Valdes.

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/17/movies/clint-eastwood-s-riff-on-charlie-bird-parker.html