Video Weekly Programme #4

I . R. L*

*Abbreviation for "In Real Life." used in internet to let people you are talking about something in the real world.

with Johannes Büttner, Caroline Delieutraz, Léo Fourdrinier feat Marbre, Randa Maroufi, Robertas Narkus, Sarah & Charles, Emmanuel Van der Auwera, Siniša Radulović

by Aurélie Faure

Dear Watcher,

Hope you are well.

I accepted the Hestia invitation because video is a medium in which I believe and I used to support, defend, and curate. I refuse to use this time as an “opportunity” and prefer to use it to focus on what I trust (believe) and defend it more than ever. I do radio also, always with this same need, as a curator and an author, to share and diffuse artists works which are about political sciences and the mechanisms of society which make our world, or rather, burn it.

This proposal is a response to the growing use of our phone in these times. It’s a fact.

Internet became kind of unescapable. Everything is more and more digitalised. Everyone (almost) has a smartphone. People who don’t, ”Resist”. That means a lot. Our IP became our ID. We are People. We are on the Internet. We are Profiles. Profiles is Data. Data is Information. Information is Money. Everything is about Money. And not about People. It’s a shame.

Today, our solution to stay in touch in the current world, to work and to get social interactions is mainly via Internet. Our digital identity is taking more and more place in the reality, through our use of social networks and applications. These (new) habits and behaviours produced by the Internet have their impact. This video selection highlights how things which sounded as fiction become true with economic, social and environmental effects on humans and the Earth. It’s real.

Our connection time has considerably increased during the confinement period while the governments are developing control methods and surveillance tools from new technologies. These practices are rising the risk of abuse through liberticide laws and the use of our personal data. The speech aimed at reassuring us, recalls that of multinationals such as GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) – which do not respect the laws – which increase economic and social injustices, especially now. It’s obvious. It’s real.

I trust in you and in these videos to draw my purpose. I am not talking about anything new, unfortunately. We are aware of it. So, please, consider my approach more as a witness than a curator, someone who shares with you a short inventory of impacts from Internet on Life. It’s my duty.

Everything we do has consequences. It’s real.

Good luck.
Sincerely, A.

  • Johannes Büttner, The Factory, 2020, 16’48

«The so-called ‘gig economy’ is an economy in which temporary work is the norm and in which self-employed workers are temporarily hired. Permanent jobs make way for short-term ‘gigs’ and independent entrepreneurs replace permanent employees. This climate informs a labour market that will be less and less characterised by permanent employment or by sustained relationships with the same employer. The growth of the gig economy leads to countless questions—there is a lot of uncertainty about its size alone. It also proves challenging to determine the legal position of gig workers. In The Factory Johannes Büttner searches for ways in which the digital working class can regain power. Based on an U.S. patent, in which a method for manipulating human consciousness by low-frequency electromagnetic fields from computer and TV screens is discussed, digital workers—almost unnoticeably—rebel against the status quo. For The Factory the artist employed digital workers from all over the world. Through the creation of a sci-fi narrative, co-authored with digital workers from China, Indonesia, India Nigeria and Tunisia, Büttner asks how labour power carries the potential for transformation in a context where the supply and demand of work is mediated by a digital platform.» – Suzanne Wallinga

  • Caroline Delieutraz, Aurélien (Monologue, 6’05 – Odyssey, 3’56 – Flammables, 6’28), 2019, Courtesy of the artist and 22,48 m², Paris

« Based on a series of interviews with a certain Aurélien, as well as the contents of his hard drive, Caroline Delieutraz is able to draw the digital portrait of a particularly effective troll, having operated in the years 2000 and 2010. Through the use of masks and avatars, she develops a form of documentary writing which drifts from a virtual space (albeit one with very real implications) to a sort of bitter dreamscape. The artist explores the strategies deployed by the self-proclaimed “king of trolls” as a game of attraction/repulsion. She depicts the pride-tinged confessions of a self-professed sociopath using elements which are made ambiguous by the very act of trolling and its assumed anonymity, thus straddling the line between pieces of evidence and trophies. These fragments of Internet’s recent history reveal the paradoxes of a socially inadequate world, in which harassment is interwoven with rhetoric and play, and in which one’s intelligence is used to harm others for “fun”, randomly striking at “what’s public but devoid of greatness” ». – Philippe Bettinelli

  • Léo Fourdrinier feat Marbre, Burning The Old Home, 2019, 5

/ectothermic organism rebirth/
« Burning the old home » is a video and sound experience in which the protagonist makes his own transformation into a humanoid reptilian in order to no longer be subjected to human emotions. The soundtrack, created by the synthetic and hybrid duo MARBRE, is an alternative version of “clusia” track from their last album “Offshore” (2020).

  • Randa Maroufi, Le Park, 2015, film, 14’, Production: Le Fresnoy

« In her minimal and gripping film Le Park (2015), a camera meanders in a disused amusement park, walking through groups of motionless young people —in fact, they were squatters occupying the location in Casablanca— frozen in postures of expectation and altercation. The camera moves amongst them like it would in a photograph, reframing it, giving various points of view and highlighting our position as viewers. This work drew its inspiration from viral images of groups of armed young people, a trend that sparked a series of discriminatory controls in Marocco. » – Marine Relinger

  • Robertas Narkus, Prospect Revenge, 2019, video, 8’, courtesy of the artist and KIASMA museum collections Helsinki, 2019

“Prospect Revenge” is a work by artist Robertas Narkus which deals with anxieties and struggles of society unable to achieve the change. Robertas Narkus describes his practice as ‘management of circumstances in the economy of coincidence’. He brings together the ordinary and the absurd to explore notions of economy, desires and obsolescence. The Work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms EMARE program at FACT with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.

  • Sarah and Charles, In The Hands Of Puppets, 2019, 9min’, courtesy of Sarah & Charles and Gallery Cinnnamon, Rotterdam

A computer-animated hand puppet has a conversation with several artificial identities about their feelings and social relationships. The film addresses how we relate to the virtual and share our intimacy with it. It foreshadows what could happen when artificial intelligence becomes more human-like. This animated conversation, both literally and figuratively, is based on interviews with patients and care providers at a psychosocial hospital. Later the artists asked friends and colleagues similar questions. The format of the ‘online chat’ is used to address subjects like self-analysis, personality and anxiety.

  • A certain amount of clarity, 2014, 30 mn, courtesy of the artist and Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels

A certain amount of clarity is a film made from internet found footage describing the spreading in the community of teenagers of one viral video showing a real murder. Between morbid passion, terror, defy and curiosity, each teenager captures its own emotional response in order to expose it on internet. In this perverse play where the off-camera horror clones itself in the face of the viewer, the image is reflecting itself like a ricochet up to another viewer, who attempts in his reactions to decrypt the nature and the meaning of a chain evoking the motif of the “mise en abîme”. The phenomenon of « reaction videos » is reflecting to the extreme the contemporary condition of the viewer, thorn apart by the asymmetry between the undefinable character of a world transformed into a flux and the impossibility of the viewer to adopt the position of witness. It raise question on how our identity establishes itself in relation to what reflect of ourselves society is sending back to us. The film attempts to capture the very moment of a metamorphosis; the one, more general, of a change in the paradigm in the relation to oneself and to the image of the world, metamorphosis of the perception engendered by the current industrial revolution in the domain of communication tools and new technologies.

  • Siniša Radulović, How to Completely Delete Yourself, 2019, 6’30

“How to Completely Delete Yourself” questions the very nature of what we consider to be “real”, while immerses the audience into a meditative state that both erases their identity and upgrades their personality, thus forming a sort of antithesis, in whose gaps we can find answers to what it means to be human. Video only presumes humanity and re-examines the existential essence and the ontological realities of the modern capitalist world, where the borders of virtual and physical are becoming less and less visible. The created ambience is completely dehumanized (the surface of the moon), the voice of the narrator is actually an artificial voice created by the computer and followed by the rhythm of metronome. Simultaneously, viewers are instructed on how to delete themself from the internet and how to become successful and progressive through the repetition of affirmations.

Many thanks to all artists for their participation.
All videos are courtesy of the artists: Johannes Büttner, Caroline Delieutraz, Léo Fourdrinier feat Marbre, Randa Maroufi, Robertas Narkus, Sarah & Charles, Emmanuel Van der Auwera, Siniša Radulović.

Video Weekly Programme Archive