"Your intervention is welcome, but not essential":
A Flash Utility by KLM (Norman Klein, Peter Lunenfeld, and Lev Manovich)

In times 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

Flash is PopTech, the OpArt of the new millenium. Flash is PoliTech, the
irrepressible joy and lightness of being digital after the boom economy has
gone bust. For years, we would go to high tech trade shows like SIGGRAPH and
SIGCHI and see these nifty little algorithms and wish somebody would make
something cool out of them. During that same time we¹d tromp around European
media festivals and think that if some of this stuff got out, it could find
an audience. We wondered how gaming culture would mutate as it was
assimilated into pop culture at large, and we saw music videos move ­ stream
really ­ onto the Internet. With Flash, we saw the result of all of these
elements mingling, and, to our surprise, it¹s been both more and less than
the sum of its parts. What we¹ve ended up with is something dynamic, often
beautiful, occasionally sophisticated, but not necessarily deep.

Flash is animated Modernism, without the ideology; a medium of attraction
without an
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.

Connected 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 that
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, to the
projection on the gallery wall. In the attention economy, who has time for
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. Flash
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.