Post election depression

Phonecall, STANDARD and ANX

  • Hi! What up?

    Heeyyyy! I couldn’t go out yesterday, it was just… The worst thing ever.

    Yeah. I feel like how my mother would look at me and say “I’m very disappointed with you”, that kinda hopelessness. Like a betrayal.

    Did you see the meme of the lady walking a bunch of cats and then someone comes up to her screaming HOLD ON TO YOUR PUSSIES! It’s funny.

    Haha, no, but I saw the one where Melania Trump is meeting Michelle Obama:

    Hi, I’m Michelle.

    Hi, I’m Michelle.

    Haha

    Hehe

    The next post on Facebook is always worse than the other. One article said it was a legitimate election of an illegitimate candidate. Another article at N+1 compared Hillary’s campaign to an idea from the 1960’s where black ghetto families would not get education but special TV-sets showing only scenes from the lives of the middle class. “Anger, loss, economic trauma, and, yes, racism and sexism could be overcome by a genial disposition, an endless national exhibition of proper behavior.”

    If her campaign was this patronizing I can see why someone would turn on her.

    Heh, yes. People explaining things to me as if I am completely clueless really makes me crazy.

    True, there’s something gleeful to his victory, “fuck you bish, who are you to tell me?”

    I don’t know what made people vote this or that, but I know that he is a con-man, a crook, and soon the most powerful man in the world. And I don’t think he’s going to moderate himself or be nice.

    A documentary I saw showed how he’s always been a bully. He would steal candy from the other kids, ruin their sand castles, eat all of the cake.

    On the gleeful note though, the populists cheer for one another, they’re kinda the same across continents, Nigel Farage is visiting Trump, Putin is sending his regards. It reminds me of Siv Jensen’s manic cackle when her party won the election in 2013: “MORNA JENS!” Haha, it was so distasteful and ugly.

    Did you see Clinton’s speech when she mentioned all the little girls?

    Awww, yes, it was her best speech throughout the whole campaign, don’t you think?

    I wonder what she must have felt like, after having lost two elections, and now, to that… guy, she’s never going to be president, even though, she didn’t display any bitterness but warmth.

    On Wednesday I went to a talk about populism, because Trump claims to be the only true voice of the people, which is essentially what all populists do.

    But Trump didn’t even win the popular vote

    Exactly. Still he says this, while also saying that everyone who runs against him are illegitimate, you know: “lock her up!”, he says. Trump decides who belong to the people, and all the others don’t matter. It is a dangerous rhetoric, anti pluralist, anti democratic. And it is encouraging violence.

    Yes, people on Facebook are already reporting on racist, xenophobic attacks and nazi violence. God bless Amerikkka!

    Others are addressing problems with social medias, because how could the polls not predict the outcome of the election?

    Yeah, true. And how the “educated elites” are living in a totally different world – I guess that’s us – oblivious to whatever else is going on around them.

    Which might be true, I, for one, block everyone I can’t stand on Facebook, and I guess I’m only seeing news and articles which interests me. Does social media make us more isolated? I don’t know. Before Facebook, people would be just as selective of where they went, what they read, and who they saw, I bet. But maybe the internet is giving the impression that now everything is more open and democratic, that everyone will be heard.

    I don’t know, maybe, there’s also the thing about “fake news” and post-truth

    Don’t believe everything you read! But what to do?

    Yeah, what to do. Whatever. Talk to you later!

    Siv Jensen. Ivanka Trump and Michelle Obama. Steina Vasulka, LILITH (1987), videostill.

    See you.

    CERAMICS AND BOOKS

    I was thinking about all of this as I went to see art. At STANDARD they were having a sale on all of their artist books, many are published by the gallery itself, which must costly affair, or an investment in art history. And I wonder what artists will make the cut. “Team STANDARD” soccer jerseys and trophies are also for sale, a water bottle formed like a bottle of ketchup, team pictures from the soccer field. Artist merchandise are popular nowadays, to make ends meet, or to make ironical statements about not having to make ends meet. In the next room, they’re having a show with the german artist Michaela Meise, she is displaying ceramic sculptures on top of black plinths. They look like religious figures, some of them in prayer, one reposing in a yoga-like position, a couple is smiling and embracing, some are adorned with coins and symbols. The show seem more generous than their recent ones. The sculptures are all hand made, one is wearing a cape like a monk, its texture is really nice, as if someone combed it with a fork. Some have glazed surfaces, some are more roughly shaped, almost clumsily, careless, but delicate. All of them look very expressive, their faces especially. Solemn, introverted, displaying love and affection, thoughtfulness, or slight disturbance. Others are stuck in awkward poses, like the figure in blue shorts who is half sitting, half standing, as if he got an itch on his back, or just realized he seated himself in something wet. The press release is no longer posted on Facebook, however, it is addressing refugees en route across the ocean; and it makes me think of the question on where to direct help: at home or closer to the war zones?

    SIGNALS

    At ANX they’re showing “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SIGNAL” video art by Steina and Woody Vasulka. The Vasulkas were pioneers in early video art, and ANX is showing 17 of their videos plus interviews spanning from 1970 to 2005. One of them is NOISEFIELDS (1974) a very loud and very flickering video projection. Video art can be very boring. But I really enjoy this show. In Art of Memory (1987) landscapes in sunset, forest covered hills, Grand Canyon-like valleys, are used as backgrounds for other pictures of sculptures which in turn are used as canvasses to display yet other pictures – inside the picture. These are scenes from the Spanish civil war, nazi-Germany, the atom bomb over Japan and so on. The peaceful landscapes are disrupted by scenes of war and unrest. Peaceful are also the way in which the pictures slide across the screen, some come folded like film reels, other fill the screen in circular movements, some casts long shadows, while others appear as if tearing a sheet of paper. These transitions could look like my dad’s Powerpoint slideshow, but more smooth and elegant, never glitching or lagging. Art of memory makes me think of Jacob Riddle’s videos of floating carpets and fabrics at Rod Bianco in August, but this 30 year old video actually look better. In another video, LILITH (1987), an old female face is mixed with trees, leaves and grass in golden hues and autumn colors. Vasulka is using “luma keying” to cancel dark parts of the face, those shadowed by nose, ears, wrinkles, and other facial features, to make use it as a screen for projecting the forest motif, while the brighter parts remains those of the face. Back home on my laptop LILITH looks very silly, like a bad low-budget movie from the 80s, but in the gallery she’s like a nymph from an enchanted forest, both human and tree, distorted by the digital interference.

    In many of the other works, The Vasulkas are turning the video equipment on itself, making the video camera record its own monitor to perform a kind of self surveillance. The recorded video does not become a recognizable image, however, but new shapes, lines and patterns in constant motion, emerges. This loop of feedback is creating entirely new images, a kind of visualization of the electronic video signal. By further distorting the signal using syntezihsers, the technology produces a seemingly infinite range of shapes and patterns, beautiful, mesmerizing to look at. In another video, lines make up the shape of a hexagon and its surface is like a terrain of hills and valleys, an ocean of signals and rolling waves. When video technology can make these patterns on its own, is it conscious? Does it have some sort of “life”? Whatever it is, Vasulka intercepts the video signal before it reaches the TV before it creates conventional images and content. Usually we can’t see electronic signals, but here the video signal becomes tangible, and the technology perceptible to the eye.

    The portable video camera broke the film industry’s monopoly on moving images, it promised to be more democratic: now “everyone” could record and produce videos. Social medias are perhaps not such an watershed event like video, but it too is a technology which promises everyone an opportunity to be heard and seen. But heard by who? With social medias, the public conversation seems to be more fragmented, what appears on your feed is filtered through what you want to appear on your feed, while it at the same time gives the impression of having access to everyone – “all the world at your finger tips”. Facebook is posing as a medium for open conversation, while it in fact helps circulate false news and separate bubbles; perhaps it instead is making broad public conversations across divides more difficult? In these times then, experiments with social medias might be called for, but maybe they would have to disrupt the usual flow of information and content. Maybe they would have to be in the tradition of the Vasulkas and intercept the signal before it materializes as likes and comments. Maybe experiments with social medias would have to alter the information before it reaches the conventional interface, in order to visualize the potential and short comings of the technology.