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Theory: The Digital Any-Space-Whatever
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The Digital Any-Space-Whatever: Screening Program for College Art Association, 99th Annual Conference,
February 9-12, 2011, New York, NY

The Digital Any-Space-Whatever riffs off Mark Hansen's mod of the Deleuzian Any-Space-Whatever (Mark Hansen, New Philosophy for New Media, 2004, The MIT Press).

Deleuze's two books from the late 1980s, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The Time-Image, describe a transition from classic pre-WW2 cinema - movement-image - to a post-WW2 cinema - time-image. The first is exemplified by the Hollywood narrative films of the 30s and 40s defined by plot structures based on movement and action. In the Deleuzian movement-image, time is measured by movement.

In the time-image, identified with the European Modernist New Wave, characters find themselves unable to act or react in a direct, immediate way, resulting in what Deleuze called a breakdown in the sensor-motor system. In the time-image, rational or measurable temporal links between shots, the qualities of the movement-image, were replaced by incommensurable, non-rational links. Because of the irrationally linked shots, apparently vacant and random spaces appeared: any-space-whatevers in the terms of Deleuze. In addition, these films specialized in characters that did not initiate action but rather took a passive role in relation to a loose narrative, to reveal their psychological states. The result was, according to Deleuze, a direct image of time: a time-image.

In 2008, Liam Gillick invited 9 colleagues - Angela Bulloch, Maurizio Cattelan, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija - to create installations for the rotunda of the Guggenheim museum. He requested installations that reflected on each other, the artist's past collaborations and that were both temporal and spatial. The exhibition was called Any-Space-Whatever and posited the work of these artists in the terms of Deleuze. In The Digitial Any-Space-Whatever, digital film-maker Claudia Hart similarly invites 9 others to screen their work.

Hart, however, draws on Hansen's development of the Deleuze concept, in which post-photographic digital imaging is no longer connected to a framing of reality. In synthesized computer-generated cinema, time and space as well as the body can be modularized and manipulated without any objective correlative, though digital imaging still references the formalizations of photographic and perspective representation and is familiar as such. The digital any-space-whatever therefore can be distinguished from analog representations of normalized time and space. Unhinged from the representation of reality, digital imaging prioritizes not the world, but the body that perceives it, and that body's subjective responses to the imagery as opposed to the thing being represented.

In this way, Hansen's emphasis, as he defines digital imaging, while related to Deleuze's idea of analog cinema, is decidedly different. The works in The Digital Any-Place-Whatever articulate this difference with certain consistent formal anomalies. All are defined by deformations of things and of spatial perspective, and by photographic distortions possible only with a virtual camera interface that controls the framing of an artificial view. All the work uses "high-end" procedural simulation which in some way transgresses the norm of the real world to manipulate time, or real world dynamic forces such as gravity or optics or light. The digital films in this program propose therefore, in one way or another, Hansen's unexpected mix of ideas: a non-linear time and space, and an emotionally charged, affective digital body.

Claudia Hart, Chicago, IL
Dream, 2009
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Sheldon Brown and the Experimental Game Lab, San Diego, CA
Scalable City, 2010
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Zeitguised, Berlin, Germany
Perapetics, 2009
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Kurt Hentschläger, Chicago
Scape, 2007, 23 minutes
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Luke Dubois, Lián Amaris Sifuentes and WIKA
Fashionably Late for the Relationship, 2008
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Gina Czarnecki, Liverpool England
Infected, 2009
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Michael Rees
Putto 4 over 4, 2006
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Jon Rafman, Montreal, Canada
The Woods of Arcady, 2010
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Michael Joaquin Grey, New York, NY
The So What Moon Calender, cropped storyboard, 2005
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