Thursday, 5 November 2009
Work from his awesome YouTube Channel.
Bailey’s work is well worth your time to check out, his website has quite a collection.
“Marc Garrett: Thank you for taking part in the dialogue so far, it has been both enjoyable and illuminating.Much of your work involves a GUI (Graphic User Interface). User interfaces as we generally experience them, provide components for users to communicate with a computer. The interface defines the boundary between software, the hardware device or a user. What is interesting is that you are actually within the interface as well, performing in these environments.Could you talk about the relationship between you as the software developer and the software itself, within your performances?Jeremy Bailey:Hey Marc,It has always been very important for my image or the image of the user to be a part of the interfaces I create. My reason has a lot to do with my historical/theoretical approach. I have been exposed to a lot of 1970s performance video and have developed a very keen interest in the theoretical context of the period. Specifically, for what is termed “Performance for the Camera”. A popular term, but for those unfamiliar, it specifically refers to a state as described in Rosalind Krauss’ essay, The Aesthetic of Narcissism, in which the artist becomes part of a feedback loop between his or herself and the electronics of the camera. This creates a unique self awareness (reflectivity) that was not present prior to this time. The artist literally watches themselves (on a close circuit monitor) creating the work and responding simultaneously. To put this in perspective, take one step back in time and performances were created for live audiences (less feedback), take one step forward and we land in the digital era and our camera from the 1970s has become a computer (hyper feedback). I like to call what I do Performance for the Computer, and it necessitates a re-evaluation of some of the psychological paramters that artists were working with in the 1970s. There’s a lot of shit that happened in between then and now, that’s where things get very interesting IMO.ok, so with this in mind I can answer your question regarding my role as a software developer, I’ll have to tell a fable. It’s going to be long and poorly written and will repeat some of the above in crude language, I’m tired…So, it’s 1970, you’re a performance artist, you’ve been doing performances all over the place, in studios, outdoors, in concert halls, the back of police vans… you’ve got little to no documentation… probably some photos, maybe some writing, maybe you’re lucky enough to have some super 8 footage and some halfway decent audio recordings. Consumer video comes along, The Porta Pack, wow, this is great! cheap tape, sync audio, live previewing. But shit, the thing is prone to unspooling when jostled, and to see what things look at you need a hefty monitor. Fuck, maybe it’s not so great… but wait, you’ve got a studio, you could setup there and do all kinds of performances, watch them, adjust, finally get an idea of what/who you’re working with. Ok, this is strange, if I turn the monitor toward me I can watch myself as if I were the audience. Hmmm… there’s something different about this. I can’t go on doing the same kinds of performances. Nope. this is brand new. Yay! Video Art is born!!Ok, so fast forward a decade. It’s 1980something, you’re an upcoming electronic artist using computers to make amazing things happen in REALTIME! You have one problem, how do you document and show people what you’re working on. Oh, of course!!! you record it on a Handycam! You pass the tapes around, copy them, they get copied, you end up representing your country at the Venice Biennial. Happy endings are great! Strange thing is you don’t ever notice any of the things your friends noticed in the 70s, nope, you go right on making documentation on video without thinking twice about yourself as a performer. “I’m not a performer, I’m a programmer, my MACHINE is the artist, HE’s performing, ask HIM what HE thinks! this shows you what he does, that’s all” … Ok… I’ll do that, but don’t you think your macho friend is making you look a little meek on tape? “nope, that’s the way I like it, I’ve put all of me into that thing, don’t pay attention to me”. Ok, I’m going to just say it dude, your machine’s got a bigger dick than you and you’re a bit of a chauvinist for masculinizing it the way you are. I think you’re using your machine in all kinds of weird ways and I think you should think about what it means to give yourself over to an object like that. I mean, seriously dude.Ok, let’s fast forward 2 more decades. This thing called the internet is popular, everyone has a computer, realtime video processing is on every cpu, we video conference with friends and family, augmented reality is a burgeoning field. Ya, we can do anything with our data selves, artists and non artists alike. Yes! I’m going to share this video of me rotating photos and tossing them around using just my flailing arms to everyone in the entire world!! I look like an idiot? why do you keep looking at me??! Are you gay? yah. that’s it, I’m gay. Fuck dude, would you realize what the fuck it means to warp your face with that ichat filter? PLEASE!end of story, guy is increasingly clueless, distractions are increasingly numerous.so, I’ve used some colloquial language here to try and get a point across in impossibly high contrast. I play the role of the software developer in performances because I insist on forcing the acknowledgment that the computer is a site for performance and reflectivity. I am trying to use a laptop in 1975. I’m trying to understand what that means I guess.I hope this response doesn’t offend anyone. I was just trying to have some fun with it…” – Jeremy Bailey. Excerpt from in interview with Marc Garrett from Furtherfield.