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RANDOM INTERNATIONAL FLY: RANDOM INTERNATIONAL & THE CONTEMPORAY MOVEMENTIMAGE Philp Poco ‘Oh, how ofen my choughts have taken of and fille like 4 fy bashing itself against a window lament sioary idea of th image’ forms the nucleus of an intriguing body-philoso- Ply, evoked by the responsive work of rAndom International. the early ewenteth century pilosophet, Hensi Berson, whose ¥: Gilles Deleuze opens the fst of his two volumes on cinema with accolades for Heath Bergson ‘discovery af the movement-image. Deleue dissects it “Movement, a phys cal realty in che external world! and ‘image, as pryehic reality in consciousness In our «nematic age, where lf can appear like 2 movie made of broken stories, the movement: fag’ dyad docs no say far from confivating us wth the classical ‘mind-body’ prob lem, Instead of proclaiming the Cartesian maxim, cogito exgo sum JI think therefore I am, Deleuze and Bergson se the cogito as slicing up the wold like a movie editor cuts 2 film, extracting and storing immobile ‘movement-images’ tht, im procession, imitate ‘movement from memory. ‘Our perception manages co solidify ino discontinuous im- ages che uid continuity ofthe ral? For the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art / Rewriting Worlds, co-curated by the ZKM director, Peter Webel, eAndom created a very curious, responsvely dalogle objece— Fly— half animacron, half human. Synthesing the mechanical spc of lesan der Calder’ Cirque ad the democrat composition srategy of Oyvind Falsrim's The Lice General (Pinball Machine) wih homegrown tweny-fist century digital crculey, Fly offers an aucopoetic circus, co-starting rAndom's aerials the “fy, and any human Parieipants who happen along* ‘The performance starts by surveying he scene with a roving, motion-sensing, camera eye. On sighting the movement-image' of an amblato ry onlookes, his o her slightest movement or expression of mind through body gextut, teggers the "By to respond pas de deux, ‘Capeare ina large las vtin, the fyi tethered with ste wite co eight synchronised rmicro-motors chat mechanically compel tro dance or tease escape and rejoin rere oF fl. bchavioural patterns of movement-imageate chosen bythe computer-controled signal ic receives from a remarkable autonomous algorithm — Fly's “brainle.Patcipa- tory new media works such as Fly reintroduce shelving body at prima materia in perciving and experiencing art afer cinema, What rAndom International oes is reconciliation with movement retreat om, "The shot i the movement-image’ towards ‘concrete movement, capable, like consciousness, of prolonging ts past ino is present, capable by repeating isl, of engendering sensible qualities, already poses something tkin co consciousness, something akin to sensation’ [Wsnoronly about reflex. The body thinks through sensory perception abou ist impr sions of other people: its and nosil dation, fo example. Emotions ar almost aways writen physically asa blush on our faces a flute wo make eye contac. Ar bodily emo: tions nor the impetus that underscores thought and logic? isthe body, then the brn Poeticlly coded, Fy recalls the Bergsonian premise that ‘movement is was inelf* The ‘fy Inset body language both moulds, and is mould by the instinctual or cule «uraly conditioned body language of is human participants, The digi nd mechanical inary behind the scene of Fly acts a vreal equivalent tothe cheate yman of one, raising and loweving actors and scenery Fly extends a windsor of wired alles mécha- nig that plays our in al time. Te must be said char Fly is not a ly. 16 all about ‘Ryne of movement. Fy eschews naturalne illustration in favour of abstract representation, The ‘fy itself looks like a transstorsed Sputnik, cansforming self ito a synchespian By va Imovemenimages it conjures in an onlookers imagination. Ics not eAsdom Inernationals palpable pur- pose ro draw any parallel tween a natural history mascum scenario andthe rap politic’ of the former Soviet Union (an, I might add, che curent Rusian Federation) 1s Ilya Kabakow’snsiutionaleriique did, hanging five hundred taxidermal fs limply From the cllng for is 1992 opus, The Life of Flies.” “The fashionably dilapidated gallery space Fly occupies im Moscow i transformed into a synthetic bioarena for interspecies communication, Fly taps the respective syntactical body language of etal people exchanging poses wth an arthropod avatar. ly inerice ‘expreses a philosophy for bois that cll nto question the ged of thought fst, body next ad by René Descartes’ co-ordinate stem (One day in 1637, Descartes, known to hae lingered in bed most mornings, heard abuzz and fle the ele of a housely probing his nove. Eyes hal shut, he managed to shoo the fy tothe upper regions of his room. It dared about nervously before somersault- lng onto the cling, I crawled from ceiling co wall o walltoward the comer. Sill in Alphaowave mode, Descartes elised he could mathematically describe che path taken by ‘halle iy if he devised a wsal co-ordinate system for tlaions between its body and ‘hice imaginary axes converging ike that cling corner ata pre-set origin. Apocryphal as this ancedote may be, Deseartes published that same year, La Géometie, detailing his ‘ey-r co-oninate sytem, relucing bodies poins plored in a perfsely mathematical “universe where everything moves without emotion or the cial ‘mavement-image’ tela sions present in actual spaces shared by humans and things. Bergion tipped the eheory of mind-body scales bac from Descartes’ mathematically inlined postivisa towards the physical: his special image which persist in the midst ‘of the ater, and which I cll my body.” Ax such, he refutes Descartes’ mind-body dyad 2s biased in Favour of mind being more rai (past memory) than consciousnes (present Invention) point also made in Sigmund Freud's Viennese ‘evoluion of consciousness confire. According to Bergson, the body sour general medium for having a word’? ‘Maurice Mereau-Ponty critiques the Caresian mind-over ody dialectic, one that ‘de- aches subjece and object from each other and .. gives us only the choughe about the bod; or the body at an idea, and not che experience of the Body’. Ac che level upon which real lfe~ and now interactive art ~ is lived, iis the body that advances us and stimulates further reflection, “The body ithe “place of pasage’ ofthe movements rceved and chown back, 2 hyphen, «connecting link between the things which act upon me and the eings upon which {ac From the pone of view ofthe brain, the body, is then, inthe aggregate of dhe mate Fil world an image which acs like cher images, resving and giving back movement” “The attwork’s viene i self inside abel jar rapping more than the ‘fy’. Action and eaction, gesture and simulation, meaning and inerpeeation ly around is room, yet ‘emai inside Andon limbic person/machine space ~ an and-envronment for what some predic tobe at’ Ftare theme: the bio-ec rehearsal fr leaving the body" The legance of Andoms framework iso highlight tha the movement-image generator. in ‘this cae Fly is as central to body philosophy in che digital age as it ad been for Bergson century ago: ‘Our body, with the sensations which it receives on the one hand andthe movements which ies capable af executing onthe thes, i then, that which fixes our ‘mind, and gives it alls and poise. — Henri Bergson Mathematics can remodel a pas to plot afururs. The presen i eft out ofthe equation tnles Bergson (ar Fy) i heeded: “My present, then, is both sensation and movement land, since iy presen forms an undivided whole, then the movement must be linked ‘with dhe sensation, muse prolong it inaction. Whence I conclude that my present con- sins in a join system of sensations and movemens.* Flys Descartes in reverse. Isa body fr’ antidote to Cartesian thinking As aris often do, rAndom International ake ess apare and pues dhem back vgethe ‘backward at synthesising rather than obedienlyanalpsing I's constanc flux of experience "Hen Bergan cd in Donald Kup, The Lie of cs Ip Kab anes 192. ile Dee, Cinema The Maes Imus Alone Ps 192, pa "en Bergan, eve rlton H, Hal & Ca, 144, p28 “Aland Calder, Cale Cle, 1926-8, a age comping wie-mode tha cantly pe form thereof theca plies: Oyvnd Fk allowed views hull i aout efecto [pec and cpm, eating on» pol of wae the 19678 paipary wok The ie Gener (Pata Mackin “ls Deen, Ce The Movement nag, lone rt, 1992 p22 Heal Be, Marat Memory, Zoe Books, 191, p26 Hes Bepon, “The Reception af Chang” ete Oxf Unset, UK, 191 "yaa ps ping ec fhe Binal a senton when itr impounded by csems upon atl a Msc, ising sh Heat Reon, Maer ad Men, 1912, Cine NY, 207, 196, * Marce Meen-Po Phenomenal fPcpin, Rue, 198.46 "i, p98. Hea Bron, Mater nd Memory, Zone Bas, 191 "ii 19 Lessing MEDIA The Bl-Tch Rebel frLevingth dy Alerts Callag Cand 1979. "Hen Begon Mater and Memory, 1912 Cai NY, 207, p17 Fy, 2011 Amauri repoenain of Hy hel by igh cae ie i te The Bebvin f hi ys cond by sunigu and auogomous alt, inating he bhai of rel Bi When |e sees pean a print i eponds cng the dion adden oe igh. hace acid num, ply, atom cntl se aed aie 2460 «2200 200 Commision by Icabor| Rash Vghe Reitng Words th Mancow Bion of Cntemperay At