Key artists on which we should make research are Ed Atkins, Laure Provost, Oliver Laric, Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, Mark Lackey, Camile Henrot, Chris Marker, Simon Martin, Elisabeth Price etc.
Through a practice that involves layering apostrophic text with HD Video, Ed Atkins makes work in which “The suck and the bloom of death and decay are channeled through technological tools at the height of contemporary image management”.
Atkins’ video is composed largely of stock footage and computer-generated imagery avatars that are animated using motion capture and dramatic, commercial sound. Many of these videos feature a computer generated avatar as an isolated protagonist, whose poetic talking to oneself intimately address the viewer. This protagonist, often surrounded by generic stock images and cinematic special effects, has been noted as capable of procuring the robotic effect.
‘Us Dead Talk Love’ it’s a 37 minute two-channel video work where the avatar speaks on finding an eyelash under their foreskin, a confession that sparks ‘a meditation on authenticity, self-representation, and the possibility for love’.
Atkins consciously produces the majority of his work on a computer and he is known for his probing of the material structure of digital video. He is interested in the technological possibilities of new media. Atkins’ video works are often derived from writing.
Laure Provost’s work combines installation, film and collage.
‘I think misunderstanding makes you use your imagination more’ says Laure Prouvost.
Prouvost’s unique approach to filmmaking, often situated within atmospheric installations, employs strong story telling, quick cuts, montage and deliberate misuse of language to create surprising and unpredictable work. She says ‘The viewer decides what they want to believe, what they want to see, what they want to get. The viewer is boss.’
‘Oliver Laric’s ongoing Versions (2009-2012) reflects the conditions of our digital world: how original and copy, thing and thought, event and document, are collapsed in a flattened information space where everything is a click away from everything else. Laric’s sculptural and online-based practice—including the website VVork—addresses how information networks afford new logical, epistemic, and affective patterns of experience and understanding. Described by the artist as “a series of sculptures, airbrushed images of missiles, a talk, a PDF, a song, a novel, a recipe, a play, a dance routine, a feature film and merchandise,” Versions confronts the mutability and variation of images.
Laric’s work evinces how images and objects are continually modified to represent something new, from Roman copies of Greek sculptures, to doctored and augmented images, remixes, and gifs. The differing versions of Versions themselves address this ongoing history of iconoclasm and copyright. Laric’s exploration of the nature of images and objects in digital space reveals the internet as not merely a space of representation, but of direct experience, as the real world is increasingly mediated by screens, and knowledge is replaced by searching.’
Hito Steyerl’s principal topics of interest are media, technology, and the global circulation of images.
‘Steyerl’s films and essays take the digital image as a point of departure for entering a world in which a politics of dazzle manifests as collective desire. This is to say that when war, genocide, capital flows, digital detritus, and class warfare always take place partially within images, we are no longer dealing with the virtual but with a confusing and possibly alien concreteness that we are only beginning to understand. Today the image world, Steyerl reminds us, is far from flat. And paradoxically it may be in its most trashy and hollowed out spots that we can locate its ethics. Because this is where forms run free and the altogether unseen and unrecognised toy with political projects at the speed of light. It is where spectacle and poverty merge, then split, then dance.’ – Brian Kuan Wood
Harun Farocki (1944-2014) was avant-garde German filmmaker and video artist whose work examined the ways images are used to inform, instruct, persuade and propagandise. Harun Farocki made more than 100 films, many of them short experimental documentaries that explored contemporary life, and what he saw as its myriad destruction — war, imprisonment, surveillance, capitalism — through the visual stimuli that attend them.
Mark Leckey is a British artist, working with collage art, music and video. His found art and found footage pieces span several videos, most notably ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ (1999) and ‘Industrial Light and Magic’ (2008), for which he won the 2008 Turner Prize. He likes the idea of letting “culture use you as an instrument” but adds that the pretentiousness that artists sometimes fall into is destructive to the artistic process: “What gets in the way is being too clever, or worrying about how something is going to function, or where it’s going to be. When you start thinking of something as art, you’re fucked: you’re never going to advance.”
Camille Henrot is a French artist who lives and works in New York. Henrot works in many formats, including digital media, video installation, and sculpture. Her work explores human bodies, information media, and layers of meaning.
Chris Marker was a French writer, photographer, documentary film director,film essayist and multimedia artist.
Elizabeth Price is best known for her video ‘The Woolworths Choir of 1979’ which she showed in the Turner Prize in 2012. Her earlier works take in photographs, sculpture, drawings and screen-prints.
In the video ‘The Woolworths Choir of 1979’ she connected: powerful choir of women in the church, cut-up video footage of Sixties girl groups (The Shangri Las, dressed in black PVC); and television reports of a fire in a historic department store in Manchester in 1979 – very different pieces of footage and set to a soundtrack interrupted by finger clicks and loud handclaps.
I like this video as it’s alluded to a class consciousness, the powerful voice and handclaps that are mysterious, gloomy images,text with whole dramatic composition. I love that she also using the same gesticulates from different performances to compose throughs video editing single choreography.
Elizabeth Price stated: “I can’t see myself making movies. There are no people in my films, except in archive footage. I don’t work with anyone else. I don’t always know what I am interested in. I think you have to be a much more assertive person than I am to have people hanging around for hours and hours and not have them say, ‘Oh, what you’re after is this,’ to keep that control.By yourself, it doesn’t matter if it’s all s—, it doesn’t matter if I look an idiot while I’m doing it. I can spend days just drifting around shooting, listening to the radio.”