How to represent the subjective experience
of a person living in a global information society? If
daily interaction with volumes of data and numerous messages
is part of our new "data-subjectivity," how
can we visualize this subjectivity in new ways
using new media - without resorting to already familiar
and "normalized" modernist techniques of montage, surrealism
and the absurd?
GUI series investigates a few approaches towards
answering these questions. The narratives that drive the
movies come from GUI (Global User Interface), a collection
of short stories I have been working on since 1998. The narratives
take part in the present that has been put through a light
science fiction filter.
The visual language of the series tries
to represent contemporary "global" identity in a
different way by using multiple windows. The particular asymmetrical
layout of the screen has been influenced by various sources
including financial TV programs, layouts of video surveillance
screens, and Mondrian paintings.
Video clips which form the database used in
this series have been recorded by me while in Berlin,
Tokyo, Riga, Tokyo, San Paolo and other locations since 1999.
The keywords which describe the location of each
clip are used by software in assembling the movies. (Note
that in the process of logging the clips many of them were
mis-labeled - for
instance a clip shot in Berlin was labeled "Los Angeles," and
Each video clip in the database follows Dogma
95 rules: it was shot in continuous takes without edits using
a hand-held camera. Some of the clips are simulated - i.e.
a still image was animated to look like a video shot on location.
Each story takes place in a different location:
Texas, Hamburg, Kiev, Mongolia, etc. (In writing the short
stories, I tried to follow the principle that they can only
take place in locations that I have never visited.)
Typically, a story have been divided into a
number of sequential parts, each part becoming a short movie.
At the beginning of each segment, the software generates a
new screen layout, which can be comprised of two to six different
windows. Software also selects which video clips and animations
will play in these windows and in what order. This process
is repeated for each part of the narrative. Following the
same modular logic, in some editions different voices are
used for different parts of each story.
The small window that appears in the bottom
left corner identifies the part of the story currently playing
(for instance, texas_01.txt, texas_02.txt, etc.) A narrow,
horizontal window which appears sometimes presents scrolling
sentences selected from the same story