CONTENTS

 
   about
   MICHAEL BETANCOURT NEWS
   movies: AESTHETICS
   movies: NEWS & REVIEWS
   movies: SHOWS & SCREENINGS
   random art notes
   random how-tos
   research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES
   research: MOTION GRAPHICS
   research: VISUAL MUSIC
   theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS
   theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM
   theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL
   theory: working notes

 

SOCIAL

 
Facebook Fanpage
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn Profile


PORTFOLIO

 
Movies by Michael Betancourt

 michaelbetancourt.com
 exhibitions [pdf]
 updates
 books
 contact

 




 

SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  
 
avant-garde movies, motion graphics, and theory
 
by Michael Betancourt
 

This site presents extracts from Michael Betancourt's current research and writing projects, with news about current developments. A portfolio of finished, published writing is available here.

His trilogy of studies on film theory using title sequences as a model uniting avant-garde, documentary and commercial motion pictures were published in the Routledge Studies in Media Theory and Practice series: Semiotics and Title Sequences, Synchronization and Title Sequences, and Title Sequences as Paratexts.

If you are looking for more on agnotology, digital capitalism or automated/immaterial labor, look at The Digital, which presents links to his most recently published articles and other research on the political economy of digital capitalism contained in his book The Critique of Digital Capitalism. This analysis identifies how digital technology has captured contemporary society in a reification of capitalist priorities. The theory proposed in this book is the description of how digital capitalism as an ideologically invisible framework is realized in technology.

You can watch his movies here.

More articles, reviews, interviews, and translations are posted on MichaelBetancourt.com


 


WBG interviews me about Bitcoin & Digital Capitalism

story © Michael Betancourt | published February 17, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

WBG has an interview about my work in The Critique of Digital Capitalism titled Gerechtigkeit in Zeiten der Digitalisierung available on their website in German:

1. Haben Kryptowhrungen wie Bitcoin nach Ihrer Meinung auf lngere Sicht eine Zukunft?
Die sich in Bitcoin und anderen Kryptowhrungen darstellende Technologie wird vielleicht neben ihrer Funktion, eine virtuelle Ware zu sein in der internationalen Bankindustrie zur Anwendung kommen. Es gibt einige Experimente in diese Richtung, aber fr die allgemeine ffentlichkeit erwarte ich, dass es zu einem Zusammenbruch kommen wird, sobald alle Bitcoins geschrft sind. Das Verstndnis dieser Entwicklung hngt von mehreren Eigenschaften der Technologie selbst ab: dass das Schrfen von Bitcoins ein Nebenprodukt der Berechnungen ist, die fr einzelne Transaktionen erforderlich sind, ist weithin bekannt. . . .

Here are my answers in English:




read more



 
The "Editing" Question

story © Michael Betancourt | published February 12, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: working notes

Various internet-based companies are protected from liability for the content they deliver to their customers based on the idea that they arent editing or producing that material. However, the question that algorithmic-based delivery and sorting should be raising is whether that activity does constitute editing: it selects what and when to show things and to whom, not based on a user-originated request or a blank selection such as chronology (putting the most recent things first, regardless of who they are from), but based on some unknown metric that only the company really controls: conceptually this action sounds like an autonomous version of an Editor (even if it is one generated by using pervasive monitoring to watch the customer).






 
Modernism = "Cinema"

story © Michael Betancourt | published February 12, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

Cinema has always been linked to Modernist aesthetics: the definitions of commercial film, the avant-garde film, and video art as autonomous, independent and entirely separate from each other argues against their contextual influences and the hybrid crossings between them. The historical organization of cinema as a serious art form in the 1960s and 1970s linked the earlier selections of great films to an explicitly Modernist conception of motion pictures as an essentially realist, narrative form whose connections to the American art critic Clement Greenbergs teleological purity was revealed by the parallel articulation of the structural film in the avant-garde cinema by P. Adams Sitney. This Modernist heritage shapes the debates over postcinema, a reflected in the great films re-used as foundational axioms. This conception of cinema makes the contemporary challenge by digital technology emergent in postcinema inevitable as this model requires a denial of the convergences created by computer technology.




read more



 
Harmonia: Glitch, Movies and Visual Music - Now Available!

story © Michael Betancourt | published January 9, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



MICHAEL BETANCOURT NEWS

Harmonia, harmonies, analyzes the connections between glitch art, visual music, abstraction, and motion pictures. This collection is a chronological survey of glitch art pioneer Michael Betancourts artistic research into, around, and with digital motion pictures that theorizes and critiques visual music. This anthology is directly connected to his critical engagement with the socio-cultural meaning of visionary art that builds on the work of Umberto Eco and Michel Foucault to engage with the historical films of John Whitney, Mary Ellen Bute, Mary Hallock-Greenewalt, and Stan Brakhage (among others) connecting them with contemporary glitch movies. Included in this collection is his taxonomy of abstract forms based on synaesthesia, a discussion of the historical foundations and connections between color music/color organs, synaesthesia and the visual music instruments and films of the twentieth century, and an analysis of the fundamental connections between visual music and realism that reveals an ideological reification created by the synchronization of sound and image. This analysis goes beyond a historical recounting of artists and their works to propose an understanding of synaesthetic media in aesthetic as well as critical, ideological terms. Included are the essays The Aura of the Digital, The Invention of Glitch Video, Semiotics of the Moon as Fantasy and Destination, and Welcome to Cyberia along with many other talks, publications, and analyses of glitch art and visual music.

Harmonia: Glitch, Movies and Visual Music is an anthology of my writing on glitch and visual music. It's available in hardcover and paperback, 240 pages.






 
notes on Digital::Material

story © Michael Betancourt | published January 3, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM

Materiality for the digital describes an ambivalent relationship between two distinct, but overlapping, understandings of materialism. The first is familiar from art history and criticism: the literal substance of the digitalthe electronic signals that encode binary data. This digital code is what enables computer operations and is the substance of all electronic files. Artistic and aesthetic engagements with the materiality of the digital are addressed to the technological and semiotic functioning of encoded files and the use of computer languages. In manipulating these features of digital technology, artists (and critics) are addressing the materiality of that technology and its active role evident in even the most banal or prosaic uses of computer and digital technologies. This first meaning for materiality has an extensive use in the discussion and analysis of technological and computer art, and is apparent from the recurring emphasis on computer programming in the evaluation of digital art. The materialist engagement with the technology itself is a precursor to the differentiation between art addressed to the machine, and art that addresses what the machine can make. This understanding of digital materiality transforms computer software and hardware (computer art) into an analogue for the same formal relations from other artistic media such as paintingit recreates a conception where the manipulation of software/paint on the hardware/canvas brings the realm of digital art into a coherent parallel to older, established media, allowing the transfer of the art historical conceptions of materiality to apply to the discussion and analysis of the digital.




read more