Cool Editing Protocol

“Spatial montage represents an alternative to traditional cinematic temporal

montage, replacing its traditional sequential mode with a spatial one. Ford’s

assembly line relied on the separation of the production process into a set of

repetitive, sequential, and simple activities. The same principle made computer

programming possible: a computer program breaks a tasks into a series of

elemental operations to be executed one at a time. Cinema followed this logic of

industrial production as well. It replaced all other modes of narration with a

sequential narrative, an assembly line of shots which appear on the screen one at a

time. A sequential narrative turned out to be particularly incompatible with a

spatial narrative which played a prominent role in European visual culture for

centuries.” -Manovich (2001)

#WhiteElkTracer is artistic research exploring virtual space as the site of creative production; rather then uploading inferior representations of our lived experience it is about contructing new digital realities, mythologies and culture.

Traditional photography process is based on the strict adherence to a prescribed sequence. This research examines the sequence; Appropriate, Decimate and Disseminate. Adding daily entries to the blog for five weeks the process became refined into an editing protocol using Photoshop and free android photo editing applications, Cymera, Glitch! and Glitchr. This sequence creates cool looking photos and shall be called the Cool Editing Protocol or CEP.

If virtual space is public space then the camera of the virtual tourist is, right click, save to desktop, a term for this type of photography is appropriation. To take a snapshot of the virtual world you can take a screen shot or right click and save to desktop or point your camera at the screen and take a picture. Use Photoshop to create a montage of images.

 Share the image to android photo editing app like Cymera to apply Cellophane filter, an analogy of the Harris shutter. The effect is produced in analog photography by re-exposing the same frame of film through red, green and blue filters in sequence generating a prism around anything moving within the frame. The android filter simulates the effect and applies a soft black border to the image which suggests the CYMK color modal, an early development in offset color printing. The visual references to the history of mechanical image reproduction is part of what makes this protocol cool, it is rooted in media.

Next, add a “touch of glitch.” using android application Glitch! developed by Luca Grillo. The app gives a glitch alike effect, mostly in the form of horizontal tears and shifts in hue and saturation. Tappity tap the tablet screen until a few well placed horizontal fragmentations strategically disrupted. The glitched image and offer a reference to the early development of the digital object.

Now share the image with another free android photo editing app Glitchr, among the several retro analogy filters apply the VHS filter with no text or tears. This reference to VHS is important to the the cool quotient as it suggests television and early video art.

Share the image with Cymera to add +7 Retro filter, an homage to Instagram but mostly for irony. Any manifestation of cool contains +7 of irony. Reduce saturation, as needed, to get a slightly washed out look, because memory is faded and voila the Cool Editing Protocol or CEP.


White Elk Glitch

“Editing, or montage, is the key twentieth technology for creating fake realities. Theoreticians of cinema have distinguished between many kinds of montage but, for the purposes of sketching the archeology of the technologies of simulation leading to digital compositing, I will distinguish between two basic techniques. The first technique is temporal montage: separate realities form consecutive moments in time. The second technique is montage within a shot. It is the opposite of the first: separate realities form contingent parts of a single image… examples [of montage within a shot] include the superimposition of a few images and multiple screens used by the avant-garde filmmakers in the 1920’s (for instance, superimposed images in Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera and a three-part screen in Gance Abel’s 1927 Napoléon). Manovich 2001


White Elk Glitch

White Elk in Nida Lithuania

White Elk in Nida Lithuania

Awakening from Cyber Sleep

In my dream I was building a cathedral, constructing 3-D modeled forms in a program, then dragging the form off the screen and into real space and setting the now massive form into position.

In 2006 in while living in Boston I was working twelve to fifteen hours a day as a laborer doing demolition on the interior of a six story building. In my dreams I would continue to tear walls, pull down ceilings, strike and pry until the space was stripped to brick and joists. In waking moments, away from my labor, when I walked into a shop, office or home I perceived the space in terms of where I would strike the first blow with my hammer, how to begin the demolition.

Concentrating on a single line of inquiry, a constant flow of visual and audio digital objects; I was photo editing and listening to electronic music for fourteen hours everyday for thirty consecutive days; the experience infused my dreams marking a change in consciousness. Like a coma, the body folds itself into fetal state, unaware of the green hued hematoma marking pressure upon bony infrastructure, wrists clench, muscles spasm, tendons constrict, techno music blasts through headphones, eardrums are wet and tender. The real world around me is mediated by imagined interfaces, dreams are imaged in pixels, between sleep and consciousness I am in a a prolonged, unceasing state of Control C Control V and remix, blurring the border between dreamed and lived experience.

In my dream I was editing images; Load selection. OK. Layer. New adjustment layer. Hue and saturation. Reduce saturation. Click, and on and on. I knew I was dreaming and thought, “Stop editing and rest awhile because you can’t save any of the work you do in your sleep.” But then the dream showed me a new tab, one I had never noticed before that allowed me to save the work done in my dreams to my desktop in waking life. Of course when I woke up I was quite disappointed that the saved work could not be located.

Fake realities constructed through montage seem to offer a glimpse of a world of unlimited possibilities. But prying myself from the hypnotic screen and awakening from cyber slumber, a sad realization that what is constructed there can not be realized in waking life. Returning to to the vast limitations of my earthly body, to the crushing burden of my assigned roles defined by age, gender, ethnicity, social statues, nationality, race bear down with the constraints of the body.

Freedom fades like wafting smoke, there can not be a slightly censored platform. Your most transgressive contributions to virtual space is neutered by a single act of censorship, of the faceless warnings issued in Facebook against posting images of the nude body or the inaccessible governance of search engines, declaring your publication as soft enough to pass the censors striking fist.