Follow For More Soft Grunge 2013
Director: Rosemary Kirton
Photography and Styling: Emma Arvida Byström
Editing: Aaron Chan
Sound: A.G Cook
With performances by
Jessica Mai Walker
Maja Malou Lyse
Ayesha Tan Jones
I produced this film with the help a of a generous and talented creative team that all have some understanding of the Soft Grunge Phenomenon. Thank you to all involved!
Within the film are 5 interpretations of famous performance art works by Marina Abramovic, Ana Mendietta, Hannah Wilke, Carolee Schneeman and Yoko Ono. Each performance has been stylized to incorporate aspects of Soft Culture, which I attempt to explain in this essay.
Upside down-cross crop-tops, metal studs, pink bubble gum, pink goo and glitter regurgitate these famous and often reperformed works into a kind of Soft Art.
Furthermore, the imagery has been corrupted by editing and glitching, through which the original actions are lost or exaggerated. This adds another layer of(/loss in) translation to the original revered performances.
The glitching reintroduces notions of traditional abjectivity as the bodies and actions within the film are obscured and manipulated. It redresses the violence present in the original performances that inspire the piece. ‘Dirty New Media’ effects like data-moshing and glitching may have once been a frustrating by-product of digital practice but their contemporary presence in mainstream culture means this violent digital chaos now has a familiar entertaining compliance.
The seemingly indiscriminate reach of the glitch across the screen echoes the soft cultural citizen’s machine like system for processing imagery herself. A warm familiarity surrounds the glitch, here, it no longer seems to stands so firmly for the binary of error and complicit, clear digital performance.
The kind of corruption seen in the video is called ‘data-moshing’, moshed, mashed data, softened, made less decipherable, less distinct. The practice of softening that goes on in Soft Culture is often seen as obscuring and skewing cultural data.
The score of the piece was produced by translating the visual data into a sound file (and then some), ultimately creating a haunting melody that reaches sublime crescendo.
This was fitting as often the type of visual corruption seen in the video is made by exporting the video as a sound file and back again to a video file. To have the form of the piece reflect the appropriative actions of the community it was inspired by in this way was really dreamy.
I intended this piece to address the idea of the soft cultural lens and other lenses as overlapping, fractured, fractal, degraded, mutated, creating, skewing and destroying meaning/ signification.