A new work by the artist Becket MWN has been created especially for Video Digest #1. He has chosen the format of the booklet that often accompanied historic video magazines as the formal starting point for a zine designed by David Bennewith. The chapters of the text, which are addressed to editors who remain undefined, emphasize the powerful position of editors in the conception of the historic video magazines and beyond. The essay is set in a near future and takes film editing as a departure point to reflect on the construction of subjects in film and the moment of the uncanny in media-mediated communication. Special attention is paid here to the so-called ‘twinning’ as an editing technique that enables actors to take on the roles of a pair of twins within a production.
In working on the text, Becket MWN was guided by other collectives from the archives of IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute, including Minus Delta T. and their media criticism. A media critique, or rather a particular affinity with media, can also be found in the exhibition history of the Moltkerei Werkstatt as a place of presentation, which showed early interactive media works with exhibition projects such as Piazza Virtuale by the collective Van Gogh TV, which was later shown as part of documenta 9.
Becket MWN‘s zine is displayed in a sculptural holder that corresponds with the exhibition design.
Based on the letters collected in the booklet, Becket MWN developed a new performance that will be realized during the opening of Video Digest on Friday, Nov 24.
lemūria is a Tamilisation of Lemuria, a Mesozoic land corridor imagined by 19th century paleoscientists to have subsequently sunk under the sea, to explain the geological similarities between Madagascar and India. Taken up by Tamil revivalists in the 19th and 20th centuries, Lemuria was absorbed into ancient poetic imagery of kaţalkōl, great floods that sunk coastal towns, and reimagined as Kumari Kandam, a lost Tamil continent that was the cradle of all human civilisation.
A Dravidian rather than an Aryan origin story, whose dispersal was precipitated by the catastrophic floods of kaţalkōl. An Atlantis before Atlantis.
Set in Kozikhode (formerly Calicut), once an ancient port in the Indian Ocean world, through fieldwork in its coastal mangroves and the Malabar Institute of Plant Sciences, Ilemūria explores personal and environmental trauma and the possibility of survival with and through other species and adjacent worlds.
JI SU KANG-GATTO
screenshots_final_korrigiert_final_letzte version_final, 2023
HD Video, 9:09 Min.
Don‘t you know. They‘re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper [...].
In her newly created video piece, Ji Su Kang-Gatto takes Tracy Chapman‘s song Talkin‘ Bout a Revolution and applies the message of the song, which was composed and written before she was born, by transferring the key words ‚whisper‘ and ‚revolution‘ to her artistic approach.
In her work, Kang-Gatto is interested in the potential immediacy of the medium of video in a social media-driven sphere of influence. In doing so, she uses a simple, intimate language. With questions such as ‘What is worth holding on to?’ or ‘What is worth remembering?’, which deliberately suggest uncertainty and ambiguity, Kang-Gatto responds to the current abundance of circulating images and video footage. She underscores the assumption that it is precisely the seemingly incidental memories that constitute our identity.
By articulating her vulnerability with radical gentleness, she challenges stereotypes and expectations. Echoing Chantal Akerman‘s commentary on art and gender debates, Kang-Gatto addresses current challenges she faces as a female-read artist in 2023.
Pulayakgojana TV, 2023
HD Video, 4:23 Min.
A glossary of Rrangwane‘s work Pulayak- gojana TV
Pulayakgojana: In Setswana (the first official language of Botswana), ‘Pulayakgojana’ describes the rain that falls in a village after it has been requested through ritual acts. Rrangwane references the forgotten indigenous practice of ‚asking for rain‘ in its title, which, through colonial mistranslation and distortion, became known as ‚rainmaking‘. The grey rain cloud, which is superimposed at the beginning of the video work and, as it progresses, in the form of a logo, seems to stand admonishingly over the contributions and narratives of Pulayakgojana TV. The aesthetic and style of Pulayakgojana TV was inspired by Bob TV, a TV station of the Bophuthatswana Broadcasting Corporation in the former Republic of Bophuthatswana (1977 – 1994), which was available in Botswana.
Pula: means rain and is also the name for the national currency of Botswana.
Team Sisiboy: is the name for the current President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi (since 2018).
Team SKI: is the name for the incum- bent president‘s predecessor, Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Since Masisi took office, Khama and Masi- si have been publicly expressing their disa- greements over the effectiveness of different policies. According to a survey, the majority of the population in Botswana believes that this conflict is now having a negative impact on the stability of the economy and politics.
National Arts Council of Botswana (NACB): The National Arts Council of Botswana was launched on 27 May 2023 with a formal ceremony attended by President Masisi and aims to pioneer change in the creative sector in Botswana.
Rrangwane‘s videos, which they produce entirely on their smartphone, explore the persistence of colonial narratives and power structures, alongside a return to the indigenous knowledge and cultural practices of their ancestors.
Being Strong Is Hard, 2021
HD Video, 4:13 Min.
The video magazines Infermental, Schauinsland and Zapp Magazine each thrive on the sheer volume of diverse image and video material, which, partly edited, is timed in quick succession. With Being Strong Is Hard, artist Leyla Yenirce has developed an audiovisual work against the backdrop of a generally accelerated consumption of video and news across the different (social media) platforms, in which the speed of the material shown increases significantly. The material, which the artist recorded herself – or found online, revising it together with Kuno Seltman – shows Kurdish activists, journalists, and fighters in their commitment to political self-determination.
Underpinned by an electronic beat, which also bears witness to Yenirce‘s work as a musician and sound artist, the work finds a convincing form for the media-mediated simultaneity and the overlapping of news and music clips, political activation, and entertainment. In doing so, Yenirce cites the format of the image carousel as an important historical reference for her work and an early example of image overload.
In addition to the video, Leyla Yenirce and writer Mazlum Nergiz will engage in a reading and conversation on their mutual admiration of Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger (1921 – 2016). Alongside excerpts of Die größere Hoffnung (1948), Unglaubwürdige Reisen (2005), and Die Gefesselte (1953), Yenirce and Nergiz will also read from their own work on Saturday, Nov 25.