Tagged photography

Rentalism Photography: The Existential Misery Of UK Renting

RND/ To consider a photograph series expressing the existential misery of renting. Images via typically scummy UK aggregate Lettings Agency site:

Ideal / Idealized Cost for such Conceptual Work: £1.2M (in order to pay for the disgusting cost of a half decent house in my area – not as awful as those seen here.) Contact Robert What today for details.

Term – “Rentalism”: such places with their washed shitty, violently mundane, noisy, washed out mobile phone lens qualities – their depressive realism, their miserabalist sense of social isolation and alienation, their flat emotionless light, superbland cramped interiors, mold sign.. it all points to a pokey little nowhere in some awful backwater city with no possibility of psychic escape or respite from the two dimensional void of Everydayness – a dead world long left in total limbo.

England utterly sucks for those without the necessary cash.

Example Reference Links

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Fuck Martin Parr: Photography and the Cultural Ideology of Englishness

RND/ To consider the philosophical-artistic statement “Fuck Martin Parr.”

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“Fuck Martin Parr.”

Artistic Statement Concerning The Feeling That Martin Parr Photography is in fact Cruel and Shit

The following statement is for those searching the net for a handy, comprehensive statement about what exactly feels so hateful about Martin Parr’s tyrannical photo-aesthetic and approach:

Fuck Martin Parr, his fat gloating boiled cabbage head and his phony, violently overrated, piss ugly mobile-phone style holiday wedding snaps. Deathly dull, depressing and shite, their silently founded on an ultra-cynical and deliberate misreading of the world. They remotely imagine they can (and must, at any cost) maintain ‘objective’ and ‘artistic’ distance from ‘their’ subject, when in fact they simply and merely hate what is seen.

The images Martin Parr takes do not belong to him. He just consumes them whole, hunting out what he parasitically senses is their existential vulnerability – that is, a vulnerability to his exacting, coldly dissecting artist’s gaze. Consider Martin Parr a psychic vampire, a leering ghoul in search of victims he silently considers beneath him and his photographic fucking expertise.

There’s a dark violence to such images. They expresses a disservice, schadenfreude – a conceited, pompous, self-contented white male gaze which arrives with an extreme casual offhandedness and studied nonchalance. It’s like Martin Parr has a pair of car battery clips attached to his shriveled vampire nuts while taking photos – taking, in the strict sense of stealing away. Sucking dry. And when the shutter goes *click* and he’s successfully shot another subject square in the face, a delicious gruesome shudder appears on his horrible, wire thin witch lips – a knife wound in the side of stale, bloodless pork.

“Parr’s wry observations of Britishness” can also fuck right off. They’re only ‘wry’ as in droll, mocking, warped, contorted and drastically uneven. A distinct unequal power dynamic is at play in the images he hordes. Parr towers over his subject matter, psychologically framing what he thinks and wants to see within his artful prison. An exploitative worldview.

For Parr and others of his ilk, the camera is a glorified weapon of the spirit, a cruel and soulless conceptual microscope to stare down at his subject matter, pinned with his beady eyeballs. His nasty, sarcastic little old man gaze instantly and religiously reduces people to quirky PG Tips chimp adverts for instant, mindless consumption. Were you to realize that Martin Parr’s unfeeling corpse stands behind his images, sniggering inwardly at how apparently ‘funny’ (Parr’s term) you and your aspirations are, you’d unceremoniously punch him in the neck, Dennis Leary style. The next time you see him hunched over his little (probably expensive) camera, best be on the safe side; tell him to politely go fuck himself.

It’s telling that the piss weasels who thoroughly enjoy Martin Parr photos are STC’s (Smug Tory Cunts) on both pseudo-sides of the political shit spectrum. Both the tossers from The Guardian and Torygraph Scum always rate Parr’s shit. They really love what he’s doing, and get deep into it’s ugly spirit with hand rubbing glee. What they readily and deliberately mistake for the seeming ‘kitsch vulgarity’ of Parr’s Subject Matter is simply the exact same projection of snide socio-cultural prejudices. A convenient and essential barrier against the great unwashed – against the merest possibility of class based cross contamination.

It’s as though nobody reminded Parr that the idea is to rise with one’s working class, not above it. And yet, one one repeatedly hears that, simply because Parr’s taken a few images of some rich white posh lizards, this somehow instantly absolves him of ideological class snobbery. Does it fuck. What Parr expresses via his photography is just as bad, if not worse. It’s the calculated ivory tower snobbery of The Modern Art World, which as everyone with a fully functioning brain rightly suspects is one colossal fucking scam. A massively dysfunctional, self sustaining pathology mechanism for selling crude dumb (ultra-refined) shit to rich fuckwits with a taste for nothing but their own inherent ugliness. The whole sorry thing is contemptible and generally beneath human dignity – much like Parr’s undead body of work. In this way, Parr can safely play (/on) both sides of the class fence.

What is truly ordinary and stupid about Parr, lies precisely in the fact he does not in any way genuinely record what is truly grotesque about the everyday poverty of the lives of those standing unaware in judgement before him. His image-manifested theory of ‘everydayness’ only ever helps himself; he has no real relationship with his subjects. Parr can never join in directly with what he sees, because his bullshit internal self image of ‘man-as-great-artist’ (ie. media shark) prevents him from directly confronting the daily sadness and joy of another.

This suits Parr down to the ground, surrounded as he wants to be with his faintly sociopathic photos and unctuous sycophantic Modern Art World cronies, their tongues continually up his arse, telling him how wonderful and endlessly ‘witty’ he is. A Martin Parr photograph in a white washed gallery wall is simply a gross art-fart in your face that pongs of money and privilege – a presumptuous and falsely meek display of, and by those fully inside The Art Fortress. It’s all so very cool – the condescending anthropology of dead anthropologists, merely chronicling their own failures as human beings without genuine social conscience. And yet, despite being entirely contrived, Martin Parr would have us believe his images appear and arrive free of any artifice. Do they endlessly-self-promoting fuck.

Ironically, what’s precisely (and only) ‘British’ about Martin Parr’s photography is it’s psychotic, pathetic obsessiveness with some mythic bullshit sense of ‘Britishness’, which for Parr is apparently permanent, unalterable, and eternal. A forever shining plastic star in and of the Eternal Faded West – a combined Madame Tussaud’s wax museum exhibit and distorting funhouse mirror in which pink vaseline is continually, conveniently smeared over the present, precisely in order to prevent real change. This bizarre orientalism by Parr regarding what he imagines as (and therefore projects as images of) ‘British Culture’, precisely reflects the pathological monetary needs of the modern UK Culture Industry, which only exists to sell shit like Parr to idiots easily impressed by their own apparent ‘English Quirkyness’. A patronizing, Conservative crock.

Martin Parr is the photographic equivalent of tossers who ‘enjoy’ leering at those who enjoy Love Island with a smarmy ironic distance. Not that Love Island isn’t actually bollocks – but for uncritical Parr-droids, such images are the very means by which they’re able to control and maintain separated from what they think they see; yet what’s before them is only ever merely their own false idea of ‘British Culture’. The same thing goes for crap overrated bowl-haired poet Simon Fucking Armitage, who entirely fits the perfect profile and ticks all the relevant idiot boxes of “English Cultural Ideals Of Englishness.” Whatever the hell they are.

Such ideals however are often not remotely those of the poor sods who have to put up with daily so-called life on such a backwater Brexit infected island, but of those shit lords whose greasy little job is to generate, control and colonize the collective imagination with such infectious images. Martin Parr is merely the symptom of a widespread artistic bowel complaint called Culture, not some righteous chronicler of ‘Our’ Great Fucking Nation.

The only thing Martin Parr successfully documents, is the precise degree to which his own artistic distance from his subjects marks him out as a total Arthole. Yet for him, it’s a matter of ‘telling us about daily life’. Telling who, exactly? Parr’s images are firmly those of a toxic institution called Culture – of a private, elite conversation it’s (subjugated) subjects were never truly a part of, except as raw material for Martin’s dark photographic mill. If there’s any interest in or generated by the daily as-lived lives of those he snapshots, it’s only by proxy and by accident – a mere side effect. Parr himself appears only truly interested in taking cheap shots, maintaining his own self-misperceived cultural importance.

I just show things as I find them
– Yeah right, Martin Fucking Parr.

There’s a emotionless methodology to the way he entirely fails to mention and discuss the social *meaning* and importance of those he portrays – of those he coldly captures and contains with his crass conceptual lens. It’s all just about ‘documentation’ and ‘archiving’ – and never once about helping or improving. There’s no genuine sense that he’s truly part of the multiple communities he creeps about it. Martin Parr is a fucking Class Tourist with the artistic means and studied Cultural willingness to entirely forgo the trouble and mess of real, actual engagement with other humans. Better to just snap em’ up, and move on to the next slick assignment. It’s all very unsympathetically Artful. Martin Parr’s photography is a thin Humanistic veneer – a shallow English Culture Industry scam masquerading as ‘important social commentary.’ Yet only statement it clearly makes is that Martin Parr is just a smug, pseudo-satirical Tory tosser. “Fuck Martin Parr.”

Example Reference Links

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Manifold Garden: Game Critique and 4K PC Screenshot Photography

RND/ To consider William Chyr’s architectural puzzle game Manifold Garden: a general critique.

0. Manifold Garden works best as an ambient mood generator. At no point in the ‘mood trailer’ are Puzzles even mentioned. This is telling:

Some 4K screenshots (PC version):

Some notes arising:

1. Aesthetically, M.G is pleasing – plain, straightforward and exacting. But the unique appeal of its spectacular pastel landscape fades away too quickly. Developer William Chyr states the game is a first person puzzle exploration game with unusual physics, impossible geometry and ‘crazy architecture’.

There seems little particularly ‘crazy’ about M.G’s architecture. Indeed consider arguing it has no architecture as such, but rather merely repeated geometrical structures within a tightly bounded logic space. In comparison, NaissanceE by Mavros Sedeño more truly expresses architecture. While certainly architectural, M.G lacks the strong sense of place felt in NaissanceE. There’s just no there, there.

The trees don’t feel like trees, the birds do not fly as if around futuristic ruins of some vast abandoned megacity. It’s coldness and abstraction are M.G’s only strengths, and loose talk concerning attempts to place it within the context of ‘traditional’ videogame architecture are highly problematic. M.G seems more of a conceptual space outside of space, than a place. If only this particular aspect of its existence had been developed and emphasized.

2. M.G’s comparisons with, and contextual placements within M.C. Escher’s visionary universe seem to miss the point. Consider that the ‘physics’ of Escher’s classic lithograph print “Relativity” from 1953; while certainly unique, they are not in fact the main philosophical interest. Rather, it’s the radical changes of psychological perspective of the beings who live there, who must be able to process such shifts instantly.

They seem to live in such a world in harmony, without confusion. While M.G succeeds at the job of forcing players to continually (literally) re-orient themselves within the game space in order to progress, it says very little about why precisely they should bother. Progress from one puzzle to the next is lifeless grind with fake rewards.

3. Why does (/such) gameplay even exist? Why does anyone have to ‘solve puzzles’? Why this pathological obsession with logic based rules regarding interactivity? Why do videogames have to be intractable? Indeed who really gives a flying shit about Puzzles when such a rich and potentially strange space ‘exists’? The question of why such a space as M.G would even feature goddam puzzles as core part of its existence is in no way answered. The enforced-fun ideology of ‘Because Videogames’ isn’t good enough, and hasn’t been for a while.

4. A possible key story context for M.G:

You are a freelance theoretical mathematician, working late one night on a strange new theory of conceptual space. Falling asleep at your desk, you dream of a ‘manifold garden’ of unearthly physics based delight and impossible architectural fantasy.

5. As it turned out, Manifold Garden precisely needed no less than a minimum of seven  whole years of developmental struggle. Yet, if only The Real Game was the actual development cycle itself – rather than the dubious end goal of another extremely polished, ‘AAA-Indie’ title. Dubious that is, because it’s based on seven years of crunch, rather than seven years of active, dynamic evolving play. In this new paradigm, “Gamedev” should be the always live, realtime game and not merely the (bone-achingly slow) means by which to churn out another highly artistic digital product, cynically used to sell an exclusive gaming platform owned by war mongering hyper-capitalist billionaire assholes.

6. Rather, consider if Manifold Garden were a set of advanced research and developmental tools for playfully generating (and actually exploring) such delightfully odd spaces. Mere dumb puzzles alone can’t sustain M.G, no matter now cleverly designed – especially when the most interesting thing about it is the ability to simply drop off a ledge and fall, fall without a care. What about a landscape that endlessly changes over time as one soars through the airless digital air? Imagine this game mixed with fractals and Gravity Rush.s

7. A game breaking bug preventing saves stopped one from continuing. I found I wasn’t sad enough to leave. The game also needs VR support and (/better?) Rim Lighting to more clearly identify and differentiate edges (added artificially in screenshots seen above.) There are too few strong emotions on display in the Manifold Garden. It’s initial beauty soon turns out to be cold and emotionally alienating – a little too much like Jonathan Blow’s soulless game The Witness.

8. Puzzles are dead. Balls to puzzles – what are you, the fucking Riddler? ([..] ‘exhibits personality disorders consistent with a fanatic narcissist, egocentrism, and megalomania crossed with severe obsessive compulsion’ – Wikipedia.)

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Unsatisfactory Europa: DMCA and Fair Use in the digital arts

RND/ consider conceptual photography set in Europe, highlighting the strange estranged state of Dukkha

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Images via Epha Photography / Jörg Schmiedekind

Update Patch

Pleased with yourself, little man?
– Roy Batty to Rick Deckard, Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)

Due to recent heavy-handed bullyboy tactics, I’ve been back handed a ‘Digital Millennium Copyright Act’ (sounds serious and self-important) takedown notice from A Real Artist™ for using and remixing photographs found on Flickr – whose entirely free and public display arrived (imo, mmv) under Fair Use. Some notes arising:

  1. You thought someone’s art was cool enough to work with in the first place; you both display taste – how is that not a positive thing
  2. Officially sanctioned permission to use The Artist’s photography wasn’t asked – but then what is this anyhow – Kafka’s character “K”, trying to reach the fucking Castle – does one first need form 27B/6 or what
  3. Several (whole) images were used in the Remix – but then they were transformed more than enough from the (apparently holy) Original©
  4. No commercial profit was involved (other than ‘protecting one’s artistic investments’, perhaps) and full credit was given (btw “Credit where credit is due” smells like the perfumed Your-Dad’s language of artholes)
  5. Who really benefits from such takedowns; who is really hurt by such usage – what is this ‘look but don’t touch’ b.s about anyway

I still make zero money from / via art, and in fact run this site at a loss. I do this because I love art and playing with ideas. So thanks for the patience, spirit of generosity and understanding, DMCA piss weasels. Talk about a bizarre siege mentality – of swollen ego privilege expressing an inflated sense of ‘ownership’ over pixels in a certain formation!

To celebrate, here’s some Example Reference Links combined with an image: an explicit socio-political parody / cultural satire on the whole notion of Copyright And The Arts. Share and enjoy!

Copyright Ideology: Spurious DMCA Takedown Notice TDN47191

Example Reference Links

  1. https://www.takedownabuse.org/
  2. Organization for Transformative Works
  3. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Overextension of Copyright Protection and the Unintended Chilling Effects on Fair Use, Free Speech, and Innovation (PDF)
  4. A German Approach to Fair Use (PDF)
  5. Resisting the Resistance: Resisting Copyright and Promoting Alternatives
  6. Copyleft vs. Copyright: A Marxist Critique
  7. Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use in the Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report
  8. Robert S. Boynton: The Tyranny of Copyright?
  9. A legal victory for ‘appropriation art’ expands when artists can remix each others’ work
  10. In The Wake of Richard Prince and Instagram, Revisiting Copyright Law, Appropriation and History
  11. The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property Rights
  12. Electronic Frontier Foundation: Intellectual Property / Fair Use
  13. Book Review: Margie Borschke’s This is Not a Remix, by Owen Gallagher
  14. User illusion: ideological construction of ‘user-generated content’ in the EC consultation on copyright
  15. Hacker News comments on “Ten Hours of Static Gets Five Copyright Notices”
  16. The Business of Art: Fair Use and Copyright Law
  17. Autoencoding Blade Runner

// how to play big science