Christos Markou - A series of Unfortunate Events (and how to deal with them)

Single screen video work. The initial inspiration for the work was the story of Konrad Zuse as Lev Manovich described it. By the mid 30’s, Zuse started building a computer in his current house in Germany. The first working digital computer using punched tape was actually a 35mm camera/projector. As Manovich (1999), mentions, Zuse used discarded 35mm movie fi lm with scenes shot on the fi lm. The binary code would then be punched on the actual frames containing both the shot material and the code itself.

Loosely inspired by that story, the video work consists of two different versions of the same clip. The first one is the original video; straight from the camera and the second one is the heavily distorted and expanded version of the original video material, depicting the exact same scene but with the “binary code” exposed. By the use of data bending techniques I could expose partially part of the binary code of the data that consisted my image on the screen. Inspired by the ideas of Lev Manovich, I wanted to link the interface he was referring to when speaking about new media and technology, to the social interface, our projection to the world and put my 27 interface (the image of me), opposed to the binary code, my image beyond my interface, my deep thoughts and feelings. Therefore my interest was beyond the method itself, data bending was used as a tool to describe and reveal the social construction and not display it as a strictly technological thing.

As J.Hillis Miller (The glitch codec manifesto) put it, “deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself”. Thus in the edited version of the video footage, we watch the demonstration, the result of a process I was personally going through and not the process itself. The glitch makes us aware of the medium, of the structure itself. The use of the glitch in the work reveals part of my inner self.

Additionally, as explained by Menkman, “it becomes clear that software (binary code / beyond the interface), is more than just a preprogramed tool: it is materialization of social modalities that can endlessly be re-modifi ed, into diff erent interpretive of social conclusions”. The aggressive and fragmented distortion and displacement of the image of the self in the edited version of my video, explores unpredictability and controlled chaos, in an eff ort of selfmedication.