Report on the “light-typing lecture” by Kevin B. Lee, January 14, 2017, silent green

The “light-typing lecture” by HaFI resident Kevin B. Leeat silent green’s Kuppelhalle in Berlin-Wedding introduced a large and attentive audience to the biographical, methodological, theoretical and legal predicaments of a video essayist’s practice in times of increasing pressure of commercializing and streamlining the video essay’s approach to cinema. A brilliant (and moving) lesson of how to navigate a post-cinema small screen reality where watching films has become a multitask, short attention span, data-mined occupation of dealing with the massive availability of parergonal information and the vertiginious referential depths of the internet while at the same time trying to adapt to continuously changing platforms and demands (and sometimes refusing to be adaptive). Kevin’s performative lecture, in which he didn’t speak himself but rather typed away for everyone to see, letting his work speak for him, made tangible the joys and the pressures provided by the desktop as a laboratory and studio environment. Kevin also shared with us the most recent, disillusioning experience with his long-time employer, the film website Fandor, that overnight took down almost 200 of his video essays, for dubious “copyright” reasons. The work of years – vanished from sight (though some of it, thank god, retrievable at Kevin’s Vimeo presence. During the upcoming months, Kevin will investigate the irregular circulation of digital copies and rips of works by Harun Farocki as well as continue (together with Chloé Galibert-Lâiné) research into Daesh’s visual production and its circulation.

Film stills (c) Melina Pafundi

January 16th, 2017 — Residency / 2016
Interface

On Friday, April 6, 2021, at 8 p.m., Akademie Schloss Solitude will host a Zoom event with former HaFI Residency fellowship holder Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible” (2017). Moderated by Doreen Mende. To register, click here.

April 14th, 2021

The magazine MONOPOL currently features an interview (in German) with Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible,” which she conceived and shot during her HaFI residency in 2017.

April 14th, 2021

via Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

November 7th, 2020
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