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Indeterminacy, Score, Performance

Publication data:

Lev Manovich, text about Halo installation by Kimchi & Chips, in MMCA Performing Arts 2021: Multiverse (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul: 2021).

Installation info:

From the article:

The mechanical, electrical, and electronic media of the industrial era standardized creation, distribution, and presentation of cultural works. The motor of a film camera, film projector, gramophone, record player, magnetic audio tape player, and other media machines runs at a constant speed. This standardization enabled new media such as cinema where images are sampled at regular temporal intervals and played back at the same speed. So unless we are dealing with certain experimental films (e.g., Outtakes from a Life of a Happy Man by Jonas Mekas), every showing of a film on a single film reel lasts exactly the same time and not a second longer or shorter.

Industrial machines such as the motor did not only enable new “media arts” in a direct material way. They often became the subjects of the arts. Between the First and Second World Wars, many modernist artists and filmmakers celebrated the new beauty of moving machines in their works that featured machine tools, airplane propellors, and the rotating wheels of trains and trams.

Halo belongs to a different era. Today our feelings about modernity and industrialization are often ambivalent or negative. Ruthless exploitation of natural resources, environ- mental degradation, and climate change are among the undeniable consequences of industrialization. Instead of admiring the machines we made, we now want to pay closer attention to nature, which is more rich, complex, interconnected, and variable, but also apparently more fragile. However, nature in itself is not the subject of Halo.

Halo does not contain a detailed depiction of nature, framing it for our contemplation or admiration like classical Western landscape painting. Nor does it follow the tradition of East Asian ink and wash painting, which aims to convey the “spirit” of the subject without depicting all its details. So if Halo does not represent nature or our impressions of it, what does it do?

Article  2021