MachineMachine /stream - tagged with essay en-us LifePress <![CDATA[Essay on Morehshin Allahyari’s Material Speculation & #Additivism]]>

This stunning essay, written by Alexis Anais and Anna Khachiyan, accompanies Morehshin Allahyari’s Material Speculation exhibition, at Trinity Square Video, Toronto: As ISIS has shown, the potential futures that digital technology promises to provoke almost always teeter on the ethically ambiguous—trapped in a crossfire of discourses that vary depending on who’s doing the talking…Allahyari’s work refuses to accept this hypocrisy, which seem to ignore the many number of intimidations put forth by the West. She recognizes that what has traditionally been considered public history is often made vulnerable, subject to possession by organized violence and radical politicking, in which both sides are equally implicated…The concept of 3D printing as symbolic of corporeality and mortality is defined in the Manifesto as “infatuation,” following the idea that the human body desires a cyborgian evolution. ↪ Read the full essay here

Sat, 13 Feb 2016 04:20:38 -0800

I wrote an essay for the publication accompanying Alma Alloro‘s solo exhibition, Apophenia, held at Transfer Gallery, New York – January 4th through 25th, 2014. Excerpt from my essay : Alma Alloro’s machines reel and spin in homage to the kinds of correspondences and affects images can make. In the tradition of Oskar Fischinger’s An Optical Poem (1938), or Hans Richter’s Rhythmus series (1920s) Apophenia is ‘about’ the preponderance of images: about what takes place when images move, but also about the very substance of the static image — a thing we had no need to conceive of until motion had been thrust upon it. Her works are concerned with performing a net aesthetic apart from the rigidity of digital codes and databases, linking her machines through animated GIFs back to… the principal technologies of animation… The machines, devices and contrivances of Apophenia celebrate similar instances when the coming into being of an image traces a noticeable and long-lasting mark in physical space. To be truly confronted with an image is to become aware of one’s own construction as a thing — ‘Here where the world touches’ — something that high-bandwidth, high-resolution and optical speeds tends to camouflage in the clarity of simulation. Download as PDF More info : and

Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:46:25 -0800
<![CDATA[LOOPS at]]>


See/listen to the full ‘essay’ : Gifs - LOOPS, by Daniel Rourke

Thu, 16 Jan 2014 10:52:34 -0800

I wrote an essay released in tandem with GLITCHOMETRY: Daniel Temkin‘s solo exhibition, held at Transfer Gallery, New York – November 16 through December 14, 2013. The publication also features an interview with the artist by Curt Cloninger. Excerpt from my essay : Glitchometry turns away from the ‘new earth’; the milieu of cyphers that constitute our contemporary audio-visual cognizance. By foregoing the simulations relied on when Photoshopping an image Temkin assumes an almost meditative patience with the will of the digital. As with Duchamp’s infra-thin – ‘the warmth of a seat which has just been left, reflection from a mirror or glass… velvet trousers, their whistling sound, is an infra-thin separation signalled’ – the one of the image and the other of the raw data is treated as a signal of meagre difference. Data is carefully bent in a sequence of sonifications that always risk falling back into the totalising violence of failure. Download as PDF More info : and

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 06:51:16 -0800
<![CDATA[New Sculpt]]>

I wrote an essay released in tandem with New Sculpt: LaTurbo Avedon‘s first solo exhibition, held at Transfer Gallery, New York – July 20 through August 10, 2013 Excerpt ::: In the past three decades the term “cyberspace” has come to define a social, rather than a geometric common environment. The term still conjures up images of posthuman projections and vast parallax branes, their cross-hatched surfaces woven at right angles by virtual motorcycles. We hear “cyberspace” and we think of terminals, of cables and an ocean of information, yet the most important means by which cyberspace is produced — namely human social and economic relations — barely registers a flicker. The objects of New Sculpt play between these contradictions.

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 05:32:56 -0700
<![CDATA[Slinky A smooth metallic GIFbite by elixrix Want to take part...]]>

Slinky A smooth metallic GIFbite by elixrix

Want to take part in future episodes? : Submit a GIFbite

Sun, 17 Mar 2013 11:58:11 -0700
<![CDATA[Self-Contained Universe A GIFbite en abyme, featuring infinite...]]>

Self-Contained Universe A GIFbite en abyme, featuring infinite Buster Keaton and the voice of Daniel Rourke.

Want to take part in future episodes? : Submit a GIFbite

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 04:14:50 -0800
<![CDATA[Jelly A very unstable GIFbite by elixrix (Branch...]]>

Jelly A very unstable GIFbite by elixrix (Branch Immersion)

Want to take part in future episodes? : Submit a GIFbite

Wed, 20 Feb 2013 02:54:50 -0800
<![CDATA[there's a huge noise in the middle of this: the ha[ng]ppenings of Karaoke]]>

[for In Media Res:] Kyougn Kmi and Daniel Rourke [collectively known as GLTI.CH Karaoke ] facilitate happenings where participants are invited to sing karaoke duets with one another. Breaking from tradition, participants are paired with partners halfway across the world, singing together over the Internet. “Using free versions of Skype, YouTube and collaborative web software, we orchestrated duets between people who had never met each other, who didn’t speak the same language, bypassing thousands of geographic miles with glitchy, highly compressed data and a little bit of patience.” [ GLTI.CH Karaoke, from their website ] At these ha[ng]ppenings Kmi and Rourke go to great lengths to avoid glitches + delays + drops [having been present at a few I can attest to this] while trusting in the network’s unreliable signal to not render their name [GLTI.CH] innapropriate. src footage [in order of appearance]: @birmingham: @manchester: @amsterdam: @chicago: @camden:

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 03:40:34 -0800
<![CDATA[Ferris Wheel GIFbite submitted by elixrix (Branch...]]>

Ferris Wheel GIFbite submitted by elixrix (Branch Immersion)

Want to take part in future episodes? : Submit a GIFbite

Tue, 15 Jan 2013 10:55:00 -0800
<![CDATA[121212 Featuring the voice and work of Gretta Louw GIF source:...]]>

121212 Featuring the voice and work of Gretta Louw GIF source: dailygif

Want to take part in future episodes? : Submit a GIFbite

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 10:18:00 -0800
<![CDATA[What Is the "New Aesthetic"?]]>

The New Aesthetic is now subject to discussion and critique on a number of forums, blogs, twitter threads, and so forth (for a list, see bibliography on Berry 2012a, but also Bridle 2012, Kaganskiy 2012, Sterling 2012). Many of these discussions have a particular existential flavour, questioning the existence and longevity of the New Aesthetic, for example, or beginning to draw the boundaries of what is 'in' or 'out' of the domain of New Aesthetic things (See Twitter 2012).[1] Grusin (2012), for example, claims: '[t]he "new aesthetic" is just the latest name for remediation, all dressed up with nowhere to go'. At such an early stage there is understandably some scepticism and, being mediated via Twitter, some sarcasm and dismissal, rather than substantive engagements with the questions raised by a moment presaged by the eruption of the digital into the everyday lifeworld, but also some partial support (for example see, Berry 2012b, Crumb 2012, Exinfoam 2012, Fernandez 2012, Owens 2012). Nonetheless, it is good to see so much discussion and excitement around the concept, however defined.

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:21:06 -0700
<![CDATA[Large study shows little difference between human and robot essay graders]]>

The differences, across a number of different brands of automated essay scoring software (AES) and essay types, were minute. “The results demonstrated that over all, automated essay scoring was capable of producing scores similar to human scores for extended-response writing items,” the Akron researchers write, “with equal performance for both source-based and traditional writing genre.”

“In terms of being able to replicate the mean [ratings] and standard deviation of human readers, the automated scoring engines did remarkably well,” Mark D. Shermis, the dean of the college of education at Akron and the study’s lead author, said in an interview.

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 07:30:19 -0700
<![CDATA[On Victor Tausk's 'The Influencing Machine']]>

Influencing Machines are described by their troubled inventors as complex structures, constructed of “boxes, cranks, levers, wheels, buttons, wires, batteries and the like.” Sometimes these devices are thought to be their doubles, unconscious projections of their fragmented bodily experience. Patients will typically invoke all the powers known to technology to explain their obscure workings. Nevertheless, they always transcend attempts at giving a coherent account of their function: “All the discoveries of mankind,” Tausk asserts, “are regarded as inadequate to explain the marvelous powers of this machine.”

Tausk took his term from an apparently magical device invented in 1706 by Francis Hauksbee, a student of Isaac Newton. His “Influence Machine” was a spinning glass globe, which cracked like lightning when touched, transmitting an electrical spark and emitting a greenish neon light when rubbed—a mysterious luminosity which was called “the glow of life.” These apparently supernatural effects were caused by the introduction of static electricity into a vacuum; it worked like the shimmering vacuum tube of the modern TV. Its psychological incarnation had similarly mesmerizing effects: “The influencing machine,” Tausk wrote, “makes the patients see pictures. When this is the case, the machine is generally a magic lantern or cinematograph. The pictures are seen on a single plane, on walls or windowpanes; unlike typical visual hallucinations, they are not three-dimensional.”

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:21:41 -0700
<![CDATA[Digital Autonomy]]>

“Is an ephemeral image, a moment in a streaming video, a thing? Or if the image is frozen as a still, is it now a thing? Is a dream, a city, a sensation, a derivative, an ideology, a decay, a kiss? I haven’t the least idea.” Extract from David Miller, Materiality : An Introduction [1]

In A Thing Like You and Me, Hito Steyerl plays out her ongoing obsession with the copy, skirting briefly over her wider, yet more implicit concern: the digital. Echoing the work of Bruno Latour, Steyerl acknowledges the materiality by which images are created, scarred and destroyed in order to get to a much deeper, ontological question about autonomy. Avoiding the kind of subject/object purification Latour warns about, Steyerl asks us to consider images as something we can participate in, even model our autonomy on. Is it possible to become a thing? And where does Hito Steyerl get off calling us ‘things’ in the first place? Continue reading this essay here…

Sat, 11 Jun 2011 04:02:00 -0700
<![CDATA[The Art of the Accident : Institute for the Unstable Media]]>

Failure and malfunction are inherent in all technological products. In The Art of the Accident, the concept of “accident” contains not just the idea that each machine brings with it its own form of disaster but also the suggestion that in a world of network technologies the old distinction between timeless form and time-dependent processes is becoming increasingly unclear.

Ars accidentalis recognizes the creative potential of the accident, the fall, and the instability of digital media. The book maps the transformation of space, time bodies, machines and architectures through the conceptual and noninstrumental use of the computer.

Sun, 15 May 2011 06:04:52 -0700
<![CDATA[Biomathematics: The formula of life]]>

Biology used to be about plants, animals and insects, but five great revolutions have changed the way that scientists think about life: the invention of the microscope, the systematic classification of the planet's living creatures, evolution, the discovery of the gene and the structure of DNA. Now, a sixth is on its way - mathematics.

Maths has played a leading role in the physical sciences for centuries, but in the life sciences it was little more than a bit player, a routine tool for analysing data. However, it is moving towards centre stage, providing new understanding of the complex processes of life.

The ideas involved are varied and novel; they range from pattern formation to chaos theory. They are helping us to understand not just what life is made from, but how it works, on every scale from molecules to the entire planet - and possibly beyond.

Wed, 11 May 2011 03:32:59 -0700
<![CDATA[Credit in the Straight WWW: "DDDDoomed", Berger, and the Image Aggregator]]>

[ED: Nearly all of the text in this post is taken from R. Gerald Nelson's independently published, occasionally problematic but more often brilliantly concise treatise DDDDoomed. Anyone concerned with issues of and methods pertaining to digital image dissemination, authorship and context should make an effort to purchase and read this chapbook. I cannot recommend it enough.]

"With new blogs springing up every day, beautiful images & words are springing up with them. I try to credit everything I put on this blog. I know sometimes I fail. Many of the images I feature are scanned by me from an extensive library- I only scanned them. They are not mine to claim. I am always surprised, amused, dismayed when I see bloggers paste watermark images over images they have scanned, or even more surprising- claim ownership of images from magazines, the content of magazines barely having even reached subscribers- by adding footnotes to their blogs like:

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 08:01:21 -0700
<![CDATA[R. Gerald Nelson’s DDDDoomed essay]]>

R. Gerald Nelson’s DDDDoomed essay has been making the rounds lately and it sparked a healthy amount of curiosity and note-taking on my part that I felt I wanted to share with some reactions. The essay is published as the first volume of eight in Nelson’s Making Known Img Ctrl series based out of Minneapolis. The image heavy text is “crafted as a speculative fiction that unfolds from the perspective of a future commentator reflecting back and theorizing about the factors that brought about the dysfunctional state of the contemporary image world.” The highlights and corresponding notes aren’t presented in their original linear order, but instead I’ve decided to skip around. As a way of introducing the text, Nelson formulates a biting critique of how web-based image aggregators (abbreviated to “IA” henceforth) such as and tumblr are constantly undermining the cultural task of curation. Nelson points to several projects

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 07:59:20 -0700
<![CDATA[F/X PORN: David Foster Wallace]]>

What's the difference between a Hollywood special-effects blockbuster like "Terminator 2" and a hard-core porn film? Very little, claims novelist, essayist and footnote fetishist David Foster Wallace.

1990s moviegoers who have sat clutching their heads in both awe and disappointment at movies like "Twister" and "Volcano" and "The Lost World" can thank James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" for inaugurating what's become this decade's special new genre of big-budget film: Special Effects Porn. "Porn" because, if you substitute F/X for intercourse, the parallels between the two genres become so obvious they're eerie. Just like hard-core cheapies, movies like "Terminator 2" and "Jurassic Park" aren't really "movies" in the standard sense at all. What they really are is half a dozen or so isolated, spectacular scenes -- scenes comprising maybe twenty or thirty minutes of riveting, sensuous payoff -- strung together via another sixty to ninety minutes

Tue, 18 Jan 2011 03:57:21 -0800