"Your intervention is welcome, but not essential":
A Flash Utility by KLM (Norman Klein, Peter Lunenfeld, and Lev Manovich)
like these, we don¹t need manifestoes, we need utilities. With that
proviso, here are some aesthetic filters to try out on Flash movies, those
Web-based entertainments that fall somewhere between art, design, and
PopTech, the OpArt of the new millenium. Flash is PoliTech, the
irrepressible joy and lightness of being digital after the boom economy
gone bust. For years, we would go to high tech trade shows like SIGGRAPH
SIGCHI and see these nifty little algorithms and wish somebody would make
something cool out of them. During that same time we¹d tromp around
media festivals and think that if some of this stuff got out, it could
an audience. We wondered how gaming culture would mutate as it was
assimilated into pop culture at large, and we saw music videos move
really onto the Internet. With Flash, we saw the result of all of
elements mingling, and, to our surprise, it¹s been both more and
the sum of its parts. What we¹ve ended up with is something dynamic,
beautiful, occasionally sophisticated, but not necessarily deep.
animated Modernism, without the ideology; a medium of attraction
avant-garde. Flash is the deprecatory antidote to the self important
pomposity of media art of 90s. Flash reminds us of the apartment gallery
phenomenon of the last recession, an almost solipsistic commitment to
making, no matter what the infrastructural support or community of viewers.
to the network, the computer is a media machine, and Flash is the
reigning mode of expression. Flash movies show up on your screen at the
touch of a button, but that instantenaity brings with it a realization
you can terminate them with a single click. This translates the zapper
aesthetic from the television in the den to the computer on the desk,
projection on the gallery wall. In the attention economy, who has time
all that contemplation the Rothko Chapel demands of you.
In the era
of the Electronic Baroque, there is no
time for prologues. Flash offers realtime, instant launch aesthetics.
makes us nostalgic for the classic narrative arc of the three minute MTV
video of the 1980s. the Flash entertainments gathered here move full bore
from the get go, they never start with an empty stage for fear of the
zapper. Engaging with Flash is like entering a saved game, skipping the
three dimensional, fully rendered "movie" intros tacked on to
too many games
like animatronic benshos, those fixtures of Japanese silent cinemas who
shouted out the story to the audience.