is Poptech (from the KLM theory)
In times like these,
we don't 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 ephemera.
Flash is PopTech, the
OpArt of the new millennium. Flash is PoliTech, the irrepressible
joy and lightness of being digital after the boom economy has
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
weıd 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
With Flash, we saw
the result of all of these elements mingling, and, to our surprise,
itıs been both more and less than the sum of its parts.
What we've 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.