Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Are Our Bodies Mediums of the Digital?

One of the theses that Hansen supports in “Between Body and Image” is that the digital needs our bodies to exist “an embodied aesthetics of the digital” and that this is the newest of the new media. Ones wonder: is he claiming is that the human beings are the mediums of the digital? Can a dog be also a medium of the digital? This is pretty intriguing for me. First of all it seems to be radical, because when we cease to exist or just when we are not there the digital expires? Secondly I find this statement opposite to Frampton´s, who defined film as a thinking entity by its own.

I am not convinced about Hansen´s postulate I not quite convinced that our bodies are the materiality of the digital media. Any way a Brazilian artist gives me some elements to think further about it.

Luiz DuVa in his audiovisual installation “Suspensao” plays with the elements that Hansen is highlighting. DuVa performances as a VJ only occurs once, each exhibition of the same images will be different, since he works with real time cutting of the images. According to the artist this installation goes one step further that his previous experiments with video and embedded sound. It has two video channels and sound in four channels that is mixing or aggregating in real time until the moment of the suspension of one body. The sound comes from the samplers embedded in the images. He explains that the computer “hears” the sound that the moving images produces and cuts from one image to another. In short, he works with the video and the cuts are executed by the sound that the images produce. It makes me think about an hybrid human- machine and in some extend supports Hansen’s arguments “Suspensao” only exists in that specific moment when the artist is mixing, and when the audience is experiencing it. But at the same time it exists in the image of the images of this performance, and in the idea of the author that is not necessarily our bodies or his body.

Other elements link this author with the idea of the embodiment and the digital image. The scene has bilateral screens and the author in the middle, as part of the image, as an extension of the image. DuVa Claims that as VJ he wanted to create “an atmosphere with expanded image and distended time and space” he experiments his multilayer screen trying to transcend the limits of the screen borders, and trying to explore the space between the eye and the screen.

Interview to Luiz DuVa at:

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