Category Archives: intermedia

Wael Shawky – Everything at once. 180 The Strand

Al Araba Al Madfuna – Wael Shawky

This was the work that really stood out at the Lisson gallery show in the Strand.  All the roles are played by children whose voices are dubbed into arabic spoken by adult actors.  The video is in negative, and the sepia tones of the desert and buildings are in shades of purple.

Very interesting in terms of intermedial strategy. Child actors speaking with adult voices,  the use of negative imagery.

Overall I found the alientating effect to be possibly too all pervasive, especially the use of negative throughout which didn’t offer any contrast.

Anything to learn from this?  films of Gianikkian and Ricchi Lucchi?



Voyage on the North Sea 4 – Intermedia

In Voyage on the North Sea intermedia is positioned as a kind of (negative) unstructured area in which much contemporary art (installation, video art) has drifted (Krauss writing in the mid 90’s).

Intermedia is something I am interested in but trying to understand how I can deploy it and what it might mean for my practice.

In 4-the-politics-of-intermediality  (2010) Jens Schroeter outlines some of the historical context for this debate, including the historical opposition between Greenbergian medium purity and the explosion of intermedial experimentation in the 60’s.

This kind of oppositional discussion may miss the complexity of media themselves, not to mention the infinite variations by which they can interact.   The different commentators within the Intermedia debate, for example cinema, theatre and literature also have their own perspectives and these often differ considerably.

My approach takes as a cue a paper by Jill Bennett, the first part of which


puts forward the idea of the intermedial gesture following Agamben’s Notes on Gesture. The intermedial gesture is a kind of ‘making means apparent’ which for Agamben is an ethical act. Bennett positions this more as an aesthetic gesture on the other hand so the extent to which Agamben can be called upon is up for debate.   I probably need to understand more about gesture in Agamben and this reading is currently in process. It links to contemporary biopolitics and may have a range of interesting links.

For the moment what seems clear is that the intermedial gesture is integral to Broodthaers’ Voyage on the North Sea although Krauss herself does not employ that term directly.   The film is structured as a book with page numbers and consists of a series of static shots of both photographs and paintings.  At one point a closeup shot reveals the weave of the canvas of the painting.  It seems to want to distance itself from the idea of being a film – hence the gesture of the book format – and directs its attention to paintings and photographs.  The promise of a voyage on the sea is delivered at some level but not directly and only via another medium.  The pitching and rolling of the camera on board ship is traded in for static shots made in the studio.

Some of the strategies of Voyage on the North Sea are employed by Paul Sietsema who extends the approach to the filming or photographing of models in the studio.

To be continued..

Voyage on the North Sea -2

Voyage on the North Sea (Rosalind Krauss) is an inspiration and base for thinking about media and the medium but poses some problems as a framework for practice, especially in relation to technology and media in 2017. For example

Technology – by valuing obsolescence it seems the artist can stand back from a wave of technological developments which can be difficult to evaluate or develop a relationship with. On the other hand it appears to point way from an active engagement with current technology. It is also possibly contradictory ie stucturalist film of the 60s and 70s employed 16mm film but this was cheaply available and commercially widely used. Only now is 16mm actually obsolescent.

How do we engage with technology as an artist in a way which permits a kind of deeper engagement and space for improvisation within constraints?

In a later post on media archaelogy I will propose some approaches that may address this

Intermedia – as a kind of discursive chaos, intermedia is condemned as lacking or not permitting the kind of engagement from the viewer/artist Krauss is looking for.

In a following post I will look at questions around intermedia and possible ways of addressing some of these issues.

Portland notes 3

Intermedia, gestures, spectrality, terrain vague

Gesture and performativity in relation to intermedia – the gesture of photography (Flusser)

Terrain vague – Stalker. an inbetween zone. a kind of ghost story.

Blend modes and spectrality (spirit photography)

Blending in The Sandman -Stan Douglas

Blending in Vera Lutter’s photographs – due to long exposure

Tracing gestures – Pierre Bismuth tracing gestures from film and displaying them over a photograph – another form of blending.




Exposition littéraire autour de Mallarmé – Michalis Pichler

Exposition littéraire autour de Mallarmé

Michalis Pichler

if a work paraphrases one explicit historical or contemporary predecessor in title, style and/or content, this technique is what I would call a “greatest hit”

14/12/16 – 28/1/17

Il Lazzaretto, via Lazzaretto 15, Milan
Kunstverein Milano is pleased to announce Exposition littéraire autour de Mallarmé, Michalis Pichler’s first solo exhibition in Italy. Its title recalls an exhibition of the same name by Marcel Broodthaers in 1969 at Wide White Space in Antwerp, Belgium. The exhibition is centered around re-readings and re-writings of Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard across different media, reproducing that icon of the avant-garde. The exhibition also features the film Une Seconde d’Éternité and a reading room of “greatest hits”.

Exposition littéraire is accompanied by the publication of the Italian translation of the artist’s Statements on Appropriation and of his flipbook Une Seconde d’Éternité, co-published by Kunstverein Publishing and “greatest hits”; both designed by Zirkumflex, Berlin.


Michalis Pichler’s Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. SCULPTURE is a close copy of the 1914 edition of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem, but with all the words cut out by laser, in a way that corresponds directly to the typographic layout used by Mallarmé. When turning the pages, numerous shadows are generated by the cutouts.
Pichler’s version is juxtaposed with editions by Broodthaers and Mallarmé, who had written Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. POÈME in 1897, and also saw it published in a magazine called Cosmopolis. Mallarmé left copious notes as to how it should be typeset, instructions that were finally carried out 16 years after his death, in 1914. In 1969 this work was appropriated in three renditions as Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. IMAGE by Marcel Broodthaers, who replaced the words by black stripes.

A glass version of Pichler’s Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. SCULPTURE is installed in the airspace of gallery as a spatial installation or walk-through-book, even though there is no text displayed on the plates. Through its “strategic illegibility” (Craig Dworkin) it seems to establish what Jacques Derrida would call “a text, that is, a readability without a signified”.

Somewhere in the gallery a player piano rocks away with a that somehow resembles aleatoric music. The turn-of-the-century pianola is indeed playing Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. MUSIQUE, created by running a 288mm tracker roll of Pichler’s cut out windows/verses.

A reading room will display a variety of books produced in the context of his “greatest hits” series. Featured predecessors include Charles Baudelaire, Mel Bochner, Marcel Broodthaers, Ulises Carrión, Katsushika Hokusai, Stéphane Mallarmé, Monsanto Company, Gabriel Dante Rossetti, Ed Ruscha, Seth Siegelaub, Gertrude Stein, Max Stirner and The New York Times. The exhibition “GREATEST HITS” was on show at Printed Matter, Inc. through June 2015.
One of Pichler’s “greatest hits” on display is the 8mm film Une Seconde d’Éternité. In 1970
Marcel Broodthaers had made a film Une Seconde d’Eternité (D’après une idée de Charles Baudelaire). In the 35mm film Broodthaers writes his signature “MB” in 24 frames, which makes one second. The very same frames were transferred by Pichler to 8mm, where 18 frames make a second. The result reads “MP”, which are Pichler’s initials, in Broodthaers’ handwriting though.

In Coup de Dés (collection), Pichler unites a vast number of editions of Mallarmé’s chef d’oeuvre as well as many of its historical and contemporary editions and appropriations by other authors such as Jérémie Bennequin, Bernard Chiavelli, Jim Clinefelter, Mario Diacono, Sammy Engramer, Cerith Wyn Evans, Ernest Fraenkel, Elsworth Kelly, Michael Maranda, Guido Molinari, Aurélie Noury and Eric Zboya. The collection also includes a variety of publications (backgammon tutorials, pulp fiction, and militaria books) that feature the phrase “Coup de Dés” on the cover without explicitly referring to Mallarmé. Coup de Dés (collection) is ongoing and subject to open submission.

Michalis Pichler (lives and works in Berlin) was trained as a sculptor on the preservation site of Acropolis Monuments Athens. He holds diplomas in Architecture from Technical University Berlin and in Fine Arts from Art Academy Berlin Weissensee, and co-founded and -organizes Miss Read: The Berlin Art Book Fair and the Conceptual Poetics Day. He works as a conceptual artist, poet and publisher on the imaginary border between visual art and literature.