Went to Resfest on Friday... just Cinema Electronique, because we were up at Sugarloaf rest of the weekend. Is it just me or has Resfest become WAY more commercial this year? Everywhere I looked there were advertisements. Everything was sponsored. Even the fucking artist retrospective was for this guy, Jonathan Glazer, who's worked heavily in advertising. That's no big deal-- artists have to make money somehow-- but it means that a lot of the pieces being shown in his retrospective are just advertisements! The show listing looked like "Nike ad, 1997. Diesel ad, 2001." Even in the program notes and intro speech, they were going on about how this is such a great opportunity for hot companies to partner with artists blah blah blah.
I don't know, nobody else I was with seemed to mind that much, but the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not naive enough to think art has ever free of patronage, but when it gets this overt, I feel like I'm being brainwashed. It's the same problem I have with the Sony Metreon-- it's like your entire environment is one big ad. It's a perversion of communication; I know you're selling me something and it puts my guard up. Is there no other way for digital film festivals to happen? I will pay the ticket price, just don't bombard me with brands and logos everywhere I look! The gradual dissolution of public space and encroachment of branding into every sphere of life continues apace, and though it may be inevitable, it will never stop bugging me. (At Sugarloaf Nick and I hit upon a grand idea: have sections of the park trails sponsored by companies. Why not? Relieve the public sector of the financial burden of park maintenance, have corporations pay for it. Just put up little signs saying "this scenic vista brought to you by Diesel." Everybody wins.)
Anyway, all that being said, there were some cool videos this year. One of my favorites was Bogdan Raczynski's "renegade platinum megadance attack party"-- it's online, check it out. Their budget was probably $15 and a box of Crackerjacks, but I like that DIY feel. Breakdancing polygons... nerd chic innit.
I remember back in high school, me and my friend Scott used to be fascinated with beakers and bunsen burners and other chemistry equipment... I remember I would go to his house a lot, and we'd make batch files and revel in the magic of operating systems