Saturday, October 10, 2009

Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge

In Bust Down the Door Again! Gates of Hell-Victoria Version, the original text using flash animation in the color red from Bust Down the Door! is superimposed over a photograph of their own exhibition in the Rodin Gallery a the Samsung Museum of Art. The Rhizome website describes most of creations from Chang and Voge: "using Flash animation techniques, they create fast-moving, text-based artworks that are synchronized with original scores. Seemingly an extremely simple format—text on monochromatic backgrounds— YHCHI carefully choreographs texts that weave complex and evocative narratives." The photograph shows on the left: Gates of Hell by Rodin and on the right: the actual video of Bust Down the Door Again... displayed on nine Samsung internet refrigerator screens,referring to Dante's Inferno and the nine circles of Hell. These internet refrigerators are stacked on top of each other and face Rodin's Gate of Hell where Rodin also depicted Dante's Inferno (MarkTribe). The original text is shown changing quickly and simultaneously with the jazz music's rhythm with an unidentified, robotic-like woman's voice reading the text to us as it keeps changing. The original Bust Down the Door! is slightly different since it provides a different soundtrack of jazz music, no narrator, a countdown like the start of silent films, and the text is black usually with a white background. However, the text is the same; describing a story of "a midnight raid on a home by unidentified armed aggressors: 'They bust open the door while you sleep, rush into your home, enter your bedroom, drag you out of bed, push you in your underwear out into the street...' The point of view begins in the second person, then shifts to first and third person, offering various perspectives on the narrative" (MarkTribe).

In the Gates of Hell-Victoria Version, Chang and Voge "thought that an Internet refrigerator would be an unusual way of presenting Net Art. Advertisers would have us believe that the Internet refrigerator puts the housewife at the cutting-edge of modern, hi-tech life. We titled our piece The Gates Of Hell because, on the contrary, we feel that their refrigerator helps keep women in the kitchen." The Mark Tribe website describes Chang and Voge's work from their Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries in that "most New Media art employs interactivity to engage us as participants in the work. Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries eschews interaction, but the result is hardly a passive experience. By accelerating the pace at which the text appears to a rate just within the threshold of human cognition, the artists coax us into a state of rapt concentration. Bust Down The Doors! is remarkable for its ability to produce a strong, visceral impact with limited means. Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries' work is closely related to both concrete poetry and experimental cinema. A connection to film history is explicitly signaled by the artists' consistent use of a title screen that reads 'YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES PRESENTS,' as well as a numerical countdown that is similar to those that preceded early movies." Therefore, the text of Bust Down the Doors gives us different perspectives on one story. Also, the quick paced display of texts make it difficult to read each word as another word comes up. We try to concentrate more on reading the text and/or try to understand the overall meaning as the texts pass with the rhythm of the jazz music. The original score is ironic with it's relaxed but fast-paced tone paired with the texts describing "sex, violence, alienation, and the insignificance of human life" (Mark Tribe). Also, the fact that the stacked internet refrigerators face Rodin's The Gates of Hell complement the darker tone of Bust Down the Doors! even when they seem to be a non-traditional pairing. This also comments on the positive and negative impacts of technology.

When I first looked at the Bust Down the Doors!, the title immediately grabbed my attention with its intense and bold statement. I thought the music and more simple font for the texts gave an ironic tone since the story describes a more violent scene. I tried reading all of the text but soon found that it was more important to understand the meaning and tone of the piece rather than knowing every word from the screen. I also liked how the artists made a connection to women in the kitchen with the internet refrigerators. Historically, women used to have domestic roles such as being in the kitchen and Chang and Voge's new version of Bust Down the Doors! brings a perspective on the past, present, and future on our dependence on technology and how it can consume our lives. I feel that new inventions and forms of technology are growing at a fast rate in today's society with inventions such as the digital coffee table and the internet refrigerators. It is interesting to see how society adapts to the new forms of technology while also showing negative aspects.


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