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This is a research blog for my MA in Visual Effects @ Ravensbourne, UK.

PG01 | Manifesto

As my manifesto, I wanted to create an object that would represent not just my opinion and my perception of the world, but something that would reflect ironically more about the world itself, making people think. More important than that, it had to be something I could spend some time doing and having fun.

On the last weeks I’ve been researching many different topics. Somehow, I’ve become specially intrigued by Zygmunt Bauman ideas and his concept of liquid modernity. Whilst I was getting more acquainted with his reflections about our times, I came across an apparent antagonic term, “now-ist”. The term is apparently coming more popular and I’ve found very interesting to observe the idea of liquid modernity and now-ism as two opposing but complementary terms to understand the society we live in.

First thing, my manifesto had to be physical, as opposed to liquid. In our current digital information age, newspapers are quite symbolic in a way and I thought it would be very representative. Obviously, the newspaper had to behave in an unusual way, more visual and modular and less linear. So, I’ve created a series of posters exploring this “dead” format - or perceived as dead by the futurologists - in a way that regardless of the order you decided to “read” the paper, the manifesto would make sense and at the same time exploring the lack of linearity or “liquidness”.

Click on the images below to enlarge them:


Page 1 (Glitch art front cover - Hand back cover): The fist page shows “the dead hand of the past” opposed by an “glitched” image generated by a process called data bending. Glitch art is the aestheticization of digital or analog errors, such as artifacts and other “bugs”, by either corrupting digital code/data or by physically manipulating electronic devices (for example by circuit bending) (Wikipedia). The original image was corrupted using a simple text editor. More about glitch art and databending: here, here and here.


Page 2: An explosive celebration of contradiction: the idea of being free to determine our own destiny or accidental destiny, a subtle irony regarding our inefficient and abstract idea of being free. I reckon contradictions are a necessary and fundamental element in a flexible or liquid reality. No one can become free submitting to a rapid changing society without contradicting himself/herself.


Page 3: We impose the necessity of the now… In an era characterised by anxiety motivated mostly by questions concerning the excessive amount of data, environment, energy, religious fundamentalism, terrorism: freedom is now, the future is anxiety. Also interesting to notice the popularisation of “neuroenhancing” drugs.


Page 4: Evoking our memories is an act of idealisation of the past, whether they’re good memories or traumatic ones. This process is based on our personal belief and interpretation of the environment that surround us, a process not necessarily and always precise. And what I mean with not precise is how our memories can be shaped and transformed by the time and by the way we live our lives. This image was taken at my in São Paulo, Brazil.


Page 5: I’ve come across a very interesting essay about social photography:

All bad photos are alike, but each good photograph is good in its own way. The bad photos have found their apotheosis on social media, where everybody is a photographer and where we have to suffer through each other’s “photography” the way our forebears endured terrible recitations of poetry after dinner. Behind this dispiriting stream of empty images is what Russians call poshlost: fake emotion, unearned nostalgia. According to Nabokov, poshlost “is not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive.”

This page is a reference to “The Unbearable Lightness Of Being”, updated to a liquid time of excessive images and Instagram “Add nostalgia” filters. The picture was taken in Cambridge.


Page 6: No… I don’t believe in Futurists.

I agree that the manifesto has a lot of references and citations. One of my intentions was trying to bring a bit of the remix culture spirit, by combining and editing different ideas and graphic styles and coming up with something interesting. The manifesto was printed by the Newspaper Club in London, UK and can be downloaded in full resolution here (CMYK colour model - print version - 21 mb).

This work was produced for my Research unit at Ravensbourne and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Bibliography:

CrimethInc. (2002) Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink for Beginners. CrimethInc.
Kundera, Milan (1999) The Unbearable Lightness Of Being. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
Poshlost - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The underground world of neuroenhancing drugs - The New Yorker.
It’s Still the ‘Age of Anxiety.’ Or Is It? - NYTimes.com.
Pinkhassov on Instagram - Dappled Things.

- Posted by rrraul on 13/11/2012 | PG01 |