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Other Visions: Czech Video Art

Thursday, April 26
6:00–9:00pm

Plexus Projects is pleased to host Other Visions. PAF, Czech cultural platform for film and contemporary art based in Olomouc, Czech Republic (www.pifpaf.cz), presents its 2017 selection of latest moving images from the area curated by one of the most influential Czech curators, Michal Novotný. 

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Other Visions CZ 2017

The theme of this year‘s Other Visions selection emphasized by the names of selected video works, such as Shattered Epistemologist, Knot Capital, Blind Bidding, Ethnographic Study of Algorithms, Mind Goes Numb at Times Like These reflects on how quickly the euphoric experience of the Internet has plunged into a dystopian vision of a controlled reality.

This manipulation, which we cannot see because it is implanted as part of our own perception, is reflected in the thematic content of the selected works: the notion of post-truth as a visually and emotionally impressive structure, rather than a coincidence of claims about reality; the accuracy of algorithmic calculations in predictions of our apparently “free” behaviour; chatbots, programs able to imitate human conversations and contributions to social networks and Internet forums, generating, among other things, automatic political propaganda; changes in the concepts of labour and capital in the attention economy, where we pay for “free”social networks by investing time and effort, generating a certain content, in which logic is increasingly subject to the concept of capital in erasing the differences between consumption and production. We also have “the burning fortress of Europe”: collisions between the seizure networks of nation states for those “elected“ in an increasingly interconnected world with deepening economic differences, often in itself a contradictory mixture of economic, religious, moral and other components, moreover contributing to the general sense of loss of control, unexpected danger and the absence of traditional authorities, who would ensure the “correct“ solutions to crisis situations.

This sudden, painful loss of the now obsolete user’s guide to the world – the horizon of the ground underfoot and the sky overhead, the onslaught of commercial, political and automatic messages into our senses, emotions and reason, and ultimately our minds, their understanding and the calculated anticipation of our reactions – all reflected in a certain disorientation of the camera, in sedimentation and erosion, and in a gradation and fragmentation of the image in sharp contrast to its otherwise completely professionally managed quality, editing and 3D animation. The programmed inconsistency and ambiguity of the narrative line, its skipping, genre and style changing are associated with the loss of content, excess and accessibility of information leading to amnesia, an inability to choose, and a paralyzing anxiety over the inability to make decisions. Emphasized, on the one hand, is the charismatically amateur found material, the often misused mark of truth, its graininess and shakiness, combined with super-realistic resolution and the glossy mirrored surfaces of 3D computer graphics. The emotional musical background alternates between anxiety and noise, the silence of the professional dubbing of anonymous actors, or a machine-generated, computer-generated voice. For the first time in the history of Other Visions, all the selected videos are in the global language – English. However, there is only uncertainty, ignorance, impenetrability and disbelief.

In the hypercirculation of digital images, which were always bound to the context of their production, in the evolutionary war of “picture” photo-banks of these images, which will survive in the flood of information from user clicks and continue to “multiply” in a declining spiral of dizziness from their own increasingly brave patheticity, the photo and the induced, the manipulated and the totally computer generated film all become more like a skin, the envelope behind which, in another dimension, invisible and incomprehensible and as subject to our own laws as the nucleus of an atom, is concealed the reality that is seen only in some magical traces and in the reflections of invisible passing particles.

~ Michal Novotný


List of Videos

Jiří Žák
The Shattered Epistemologist
17′55″
2017

Jozef Mrva
Knot Capital
5′40″
2017

David Přílučík
Blind Bidding
18′38″
2017

Johana Novotná
Youu
7′25″
2017

Dalibor Knapp
Ethnographic Study of Algorithms
5′18″
2017

Romana Drdová
Sand
5′18″
2017

Markéta Magidová
Mind Goes Numb at Times Like These
8′30″
2017

Oleksandr Martsynyuk
NBA2K17
4′18″
2017

Ladislav Tejml
Everything‘s Gonna Be Alright 3
5′01″
2017

Daniela and Linda Dostálková
Extensions
6′25″
2017

Earlier Event: April 20
Greenpoint Gallery Night