Andrew Wyeth is not my favorite artist Dali is. But his painting Chistina’s World is spectacular…a picture with a story of unlimited possibilities because it is the sole start of story. Something is waiting for the woman in the house far away. It makes me unsure what her fate or feelings are. Her body seems tied down and cannot leave the area. Is she escaping or recalling the force that draws her attention to the line of sight. The building is dark and lifeless. A piece of cloth hangs from a line and it almost looks like a figure. The whole scene is cinematic and can stir emotions of fear, curiosity, sorrow, and insecurity held together by a bond uneasiness. The dreaminess and scariness all rolled into one and there is no catharsis or conclusion. It is a sad story wrapped into itself. The picture is a point of visual origin for the never ending dramas of the main hero facing against the unknown challenges of an antagonist.
Archive for Michael Chernoff
A lot of my video artwork has been centered around the medium of videogames and as such I’ve looked around youtube for other alternative game experiences. I run my video game content from actual video game hardware like consoles, cartridges, and controllers. I have my games due to years of collecting and saving vinatge items but if you don’t have unique game devices peope tend to opt out for emulators. Personally I don’t use them and don’t have time for them or even the lack of games for it. But along with playing hard to find titles nerds have also started rewriting rom codes to alter the mechanics of 16-bit games. The most popular game I find altered is still Super Mario World probably due to its classic learning curve and landscape.
In turn a new genre of gaming or art? However you want to define has sprouted and its been titled Insane Mario the link is below.
Now I see what I am doing with games and what these cyber creators are doing as two different things. I am keeping games intact and not trying to alter their speed, compostion, or boundaries with code, instead I am remixing the look and feel of games with real time processing and then objective editing to weave a narrative in order to convey my analysis of interactive games. What the insane nerds are doing is trying to recreate the games structure in order to continue a video game experience or it could even be a deeper study of the functions of video objects in the games.
Personally I think there is no study in any of this by the hackers changing the roms. This trend seems to have more to do with insecurities about gaming skill. Due to online gaming it can never be disputed who is better than who at a game thanks to statistics and achievements. Casual and hardcore gamers used to be two separate pools of gamers where it was hard to measure actual gaming difference unless you just wanted to hear about hardcore gamers in forums. There used to be just an air of mystery about if hardcore gamers were actually skilled and now its not certain. In fact I knew many people in public school who could be identified as hardcore due how much time they spent playing but in terms of ability they weren’t always good at the games they undertook. Sometimes I was better than them I played less hours of games than they did.
To be more exact this idea of a hardcore gamer is similar to 4chan’s newfag/oldfag titles in which knowledge is what seperates online personas and one info is shared there is less and less of a clear elite of digital commentators. Ok that was a weird analogy but I hope it made sense. Anyway Mario is a series started by Shigeru Miyamoto and Mario World was released nearly 2 decades ago, a game beaten many times over by many players. Just like any experience in life it has a start and an end and once played the game either be replayed or not it’s irrelevant. But reforming these roms to create new game expereinces seems childish and meek to me.
Firstly these home brewed Mario scenarios are not fun…they don’t look fun…and don’t seem fun, maybe this is what hardcore means, un-enjoyable. Forget about casual gaming because almost no gamer would want to undertake these scenarios because they are so frustrating and if Mario were ever meant to be as hard as these new authors make there would have been a commercial release of impossible mario. A game with such high difficulty like this doesn’t even warrant continues because all these idiots with their emulators just do save states so they don’t have to re walk the stage instead they reappear due to a command encryption. At the end the stage will be completed and then what are viewers supposed to think…these guy has great coding skills or he is a good gamer…what the fuck does this mean?
I liked seeing 8 min cleared Marion right there fun and no cheating.
So what is the point of this? I think it has to do with a desire for new challenge from games but not in the Little Big Planet sense. These are players who can’t get over themselves, they see they are really good at Mario but then go online and see other people just as good as them and it’s not good enough. They have to make something that has no meaning or playable value and show everyone how good they are at game mod that not even nintendo cared enough to do. A game is over when it’s completed and the experience can’t be furthered upon except for a replay. Get over it and play something else or do another activity. Seeing these mods is like if society took fan fiction and published literature. Maybe readers wouldn’t be satisfied enough by On The Road and just decided to stick their own sentences and pages in and expand upon the writing because it was lacking and we wanted more, and then the whole point of the writing would change forever. We’ll call the Jamie Lauren edition of On The Road and Super MarioKevin World. Just like how you change Mario and it has no conclusion or story structure…just obstacles, it becomes a game of mouse in a maze instead of climbing a mountain of achievement.
These is just a personal outlook on another work method of reinventing games, but emulators have not warped understanding of games only the extreme power of difficulty it has and how pointless that difficulty without real boundaries and limitations.
My senior BFA Sacred Mediums was recently completed this Saturday and then dismantled this afternoon. Along with the building and development of the show I decided to produce a book and DVD compilation of images, writing, and video work from my show. The DVD was especially important in the package because I had decided not to place any of my final compositions onto the internet. Accordingly I also blocked access to my Master videos on youtube and vimeo making them unviewable because they were on the DVD too. In short I’ve made access to the artwork from show limited and exclusive.
A week before the show I notified any reader that I was removing these videos from the internet and that they should see the videos before they were gone. Some of my contemporaries thought this was a poor decision since I am denying a possible audience on the internet by reducing my work. But why should I show my work for free? Is it because I am afraid it will be stolen? Absolutely not I have no problem with media appropriation. In fact I think it’s ridiculous that music companies have a right to sue people who purchased music and then use it another work. Music is artwork and you should own that artwork as your personal copy and property and it’s yours to do with just like any other consumer item. If someone buys my DVD and decides to rip files from it and appropriate it I have no problem with that as long as I received payment for a copy of the work. And on the other hand putting all your work out does document achievement but it also opens yourself to be overtaken by competitors who can take your ideas and use them for their own gain and leave you dead in the water creatively.
The internet is an easy way to display videos because of its ubiquity and format friendliness that is passive and unforced viewership. But the idea that everything should be seen and given to all as free material isn’t utopian it’s thoughtless. Pirating material I feel will lead to some harsh repercussions in the future because real value is being lost on these items and I don’t mean retail value. If we all received videos or music for free a consumer is happy. But if an video or music item is owned in secret it discredited and made obscure by unknown number of owners. It also hurts artists not only financially but how can we ever truly know if our work is appreciated without forums? On youtube you can see a number of views, likes, and comments but what value can they really give to the video except viral popularity or to be unrecognized. Personally the internet has yet to bestow gold onto me and it’s rare for it to happen to anyone. In the end everyone will want every media file they can get and how can that increase the cultural appreciation of such art?
As for an audience I have none after I leave college so I didn’t see any harm in removing videos because they received the views from an audience that will be gone, the venue has closed. Instead I want to try what Matthew Barney has done with Cremaster and generate value through the demand of viewership not an option of viewing. Barney charges large amounts of capital for his films to be screened but it is due to demands of institutions and galleries who operate has temporal venues for him and then create an audience for his work. My own DVD and book are 12 copies currently made. 4 copies are in the hands of the other people and the others will probably end up in foreign hands one day too. Of course I’m only selling the documents for 35$ not thousand$ of dollars, and I do think the document is worth 50$. I am trying to control the value and destiny of my work like diamonds in a warehouse. But I am doing this to be elitist I am doing this because I am not 20th century fox…I am not a millionaire.
Just now Victor Franco told me about the new sequel to Tekken Tag a game that was released in the gap between Tekken 3 and 4 and I watched the trailer too. Of course it looks fun and flashy and that’s what I really see this as…fun and uninspiring. Tag was a fun instalment but it was non-canon and just a fanboy money maker. After a decade a sequel is being made and along with other games like Street Fighter X Tekken, and Mortal Kombat vs DC it seems like fighting games are trying to stay alive desperately. Out of all the genres I’ve seen in gaming it seems like many PS1 and Dreamcast titles that seperated from 2D fighting standards have stalled.
There is no where left for them to. The fundamental health gauge, and combos system, and super meters have just created an endless recycling of fighters that they are nearly like constant installments of Madden, FIFA, and MLB Pro. All that changes are bigger rosters and better video graphics and sound. Tekken 4 didn’t have those and the title flopped with Tekken fans.
The entire system behind these games is archaic and nearly relatively the same since the 1990’s. Why do all the characters have equal health guages and unlimited stamina? Gamers are given an equal playing field in which their mental reactions are key to winning but then character choice really has more to do with aestheics and combos than tactical desires. If game sprites had differing health meters, stamina amounts, speed, power, defense, blocking, all in variation depending on the sprite then players would have to make deeper deicisions about their choices. Do you want a character that had more health but less offensive damage, or more speed but weaker blocking. Soul Calibar to its credit has done this to a degree but even their standards have gone stale.
Now I’m not a UFC guy but I have played the games based on the spectacle and I don’t find them fun or exciting. But there is no health meter and stamina and accuracy is what matters in the game. Becasue the game has more physical restrictions it is more challenging and intense. Instead most fighters have to use the same bravado of speed and color that has more to do with Sonic the Hedgehog than actual combat.
On Extra Credits thay discussed games beside WOW diving into the MMORPG’s. Meaning sports, figthers, and shooters should be the focus instead of creating virtual lives. Players are going online and challenging each other but their actual stats are pretty much the same. People have speaciliteis and weaknesses and that should be apparent in combat games. Instead game characters are like cartoons, they never get tired, always get up fast, and have unlimited energy. Maybe Fight Night and DBZ games should be getting more coverage at EVOlution.
So this week on Tuesday my Alfred Televison Program was aired for the first time. The program is title Video Dust or the Video Dust Showcase. I made this show in order to expose student produced videos in the fields of a visual design, dance, and theater. So far the following is small and the entries are little but the first show featured myself, Sondra Perry, and Tory Keith from Alfred’s Expanded Media Program. The videos were Dance Aches, Tonguing, Purple Lerp, and Where it All Goes.
The show airs at 5ish? everyday and hopefully will receive another time slot. The second episode will airing soon and will and more diverse videos. Watch if you are on campus otherwise go on youtube.
I was just in the shower removing the dirt from yard work this morning and swimming yesterday. It must have been after I put some new body and hair conditioner that my mom unexpectedly bought for me that a vision sprouted inside me. Before the shower and during the previous school year I considered having my senior show formatted as a cell encased environment. In my sophomore year I saw Elena Grajek’s show and it was her video and print work spaced out with furniture and decorative objects. She won best show at Alfred for her class year. Ever since I have wanted to produce a space without the usual white walls and pedestals of most senior show exhibits. That type of display screams commercial intentions and it is not a goal for me to focus on selling work. There is no point in making a gallery display if your not selling. Former graduate Ben Hyland told me I should be looking for a way to surprise my professors…pushing my work past their expectations.
A lot of work gravitates towards weird mental obsessions or playing. A big obstacle in my time is escaping mundane waiting, WAITING. For example if I’m not driving a car and am a passenger and don’t want to look at the scenery, I open a book. Using waiting time for self gratification or growth is a plus for me. But people are always stuck waiting for something. More of our time seems eaten by getting there than doing it. And it struck me, a waiting room. But not just a waiting room a semi-antithesis of a waiting room and the feelings encased in a waiting room expressed on walls, chairs, floor, decor, and devices in a waiting room space. Most of the work I imagine will be video, photo, and print work. With this new development I think I want sculpture as well; after seeing Picasso and Miro’s bronze cast sculptures of objects integrated to produce a new object I felt disheartened. Sad that I had given up on sculpture in Alfred because of the dogma of clay. I want hand building and foundry now, I’ll probably have to infiltrate the foundry some how because I want to make models resembling humans waiting in chairs.
I cannot say for sure what the work will be…I intend to spend the fall semester working on material art instead of the environment. I think I may want my own walls also instead of the schools. I may ask Eric to make them instead of building them. So much planning I can’t wait to put this all into action. More details will follow on the site.
It is reaching close to the point where I must deicide what I am doing for a photography project in Barcelona. I keep looking to the negatives and jpegs I have shot all being people, objects, and landscapes mostly urban. I keep trying to shoot architecture but eventhough I enjoy looking at buildings the results are rarily what I want. I need cititis with wide areas and busy activity and Barcelona is calmer than other places I have been in.
So landscape seems to be out of the picture and then I started thinking about my past work and what photos I enjoyed seeing everyday and putting on this blog. originally I thought these photos were nudes and cerebral photography. I put these labels on the pictures because I thought it would to be formal or traditional to just call them what I realised they are. I make portrait photography…I use human bodies and thought a portrait is someone standing staring into a camera or sitting for a painting. But not everything I make is a document of person even if the project is not supposed to identify with their persona…inevitably it does because mannerism reveal themselves in modeling.
Having people lift shirts over their heads and being covered in string made me believe that the material covering bodies was the focus. Instead I should be considering these photos indirectly as portraits. So are my friends models or portrait subjects. Well I am done guessing what I am doing here. I should be taking portraits of people…in color and black and white film. Digital is fine for walking around the city and capturing architecture, but persons will be devoted soley on T 400 Kodak film and Tri-X.
Also I really am into photographing advertisement around the city. Some light glares and reflection looks great and other times poor. This another route I could take too in the project. I’ll have to see what is well received tomorrow.
In this last year I feel that my photographic skills have improved simply because I concluded technically I was dumb when it came to shooting photos. It seemed like dumb luck was on my side with 35mm…now I feel competent again and coming to Barcelona has made acknowledge what photos could be instead of are.