Monday, May 23, 2016

tomorrow's whirl tomorrow swirl

"Art of Memory is a major work, an original and mature articulation of Vasulka's inquiry into the meaning of recorded images. Constructing a haunted theater of memory from a spectacle of filmic and electronic images, Vasulka collapses and transforms collective memory and history in an enigmatic space and time. The monumental landscape of the American Southwest is the mythic site onto which he inscribes newsreel footage of war — ghostly images that become malleable, sculptural forms through constant electronic transmutations.

In this metaphorical vision, the recorded image becomes a monument to the past; history becomes cultural memory through photography and cinema. Vasulka locates the trauma of 20th-century history in filmic images of violent events, including the Spanish Civil War, the Russian Revolution, World War II and the advent of the nuclear bomb. Presided over by a winged creature of conscience, history and memory are seen to be manipulated by the history and memory of images. In a breathtaking conjoinment of the apparatuses of war, history and the media, Vasulka achieves a poignant, ultimately tragic memory theater.

With: Daniel Nagrin, Klein. Voices: Doris Cross. Videotools: Rutt/Etra, Jeffrey Schier. Collaboration: Bradford Smith, Penelope Place, Steina, David Aubrey."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

a genre-less generation

"Last summer, a survey by “millennial insight agency” Ypulse surveyed 1,000 young adults. When asked about their favourite artists, many respondents couldn’t answer, not through ambivalence but because, it was concluded, “this generation is interested in so many music genres and artists”.

It found that while millennials are passionate about music (76% within the 13- to 17-year-old bracket said they wouldn’t be able to last a week without it), 79% of 13- to 32-year-olds said their tastes didn’t fall into one specific music genre. Just 11% said that they only listened to one genre of music. “It seems,” Ypulse noted when it published its findings, “that millennials are a genre-less generation”

--- from Guardian article by Peter Robinson, "Pop, rock, rap, whatever: who killed the music genre?", March 17 2016

(via Rubberdingyrapids at Dissensus thread on what the generation after millenials are into and whether music matters to them)

Robinson also writes:

"The 1975 have just scored a transatlantic No 1 with an album whose influences range from Yazoo to David Bowie. If you look at and key in, say, Lana Del Rey, you’ll find her listed under “pop, indie R&B, indietronica, chamber pop, synthpop”; she’s all of those, a bit, but at the same time not completely any of those. All are representative of a strain of artists who are post-genre. They now straddle, or exist beyond, genres that seemed set in concrete as little as 10 years ago. They represent a cross-pollination that makes it harder than ever to definitively state that you like or dislike one genre or another."

The founder of the pro-pop blog Popjustice, Robinson concedes:

"Clearly, different styles of music continue to exist. Fleur East’s blood-curdlingly bombastic Sax is clearly not the same thing as Slaves. You cannot argue that grime isn’t a scene, or that Little Mix aren’t a pop band. But the days of pitting one against the other, or dismissing one because it’s not the other, are coming to an end. Different styles of music still exist but, increasingly, nobody cares."

But argues that music, no longer to subject to the costs of financial investment or psychological investment, has become unshackled from identity-formation:

"It’s obvious, but still curious, how much more likely one is to try out a new album if the cost of doing so is zero pence.... in 2016, there is no financial imperative to stick to what you know you like. Perhaps, in the age of endless ways to express yourself, it’s also less necessary to define your identity in your teenage years by clinging to genres."
Missing from the piece is costs-benefits/ costs-downsides analysis of the death of genre and identity-formation through music. 
"What we’ve seen in the past 15 years is that consumption methods have broadened attitudes, music has changed to reflect that, and attitudes have then changed even further."
When you "broaden attitudes" that much, though, what disappears is attitude - the idea of taste-as-stance, choice-as-statement. 
"Music scenes may historically have appeared, disappeared and reappeared in a regular cycle, but it’s hard to imagine music fans moving on from this new sense of freedom."
Poptimism's victory = the End of History.