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Re-Mix by Samantha Alpert

Hito Steyerl defines the poor image as “a copy in motion. Its quality is bad, its resolution substandard. As it accelerates, it deteriorates. It is a ghost of an image, a preview, a thumbnail, an errant idea, an itinerant image distributed for free, squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution.”

We live in a time that esteems technological effic iency, immediacy, and perfection. Where humans fear failure, and no matter how colorful or disturbingly beautiful, avoid mistakes. This aggressive disavowal is increasingly prevalent in my art. I am attracted to intentional manipulation and technical error s that aim to disrupt convention and expectation. Re - Mix explores the theory of compression, image transfer and image transformation though a markedly simulated DIY “amateur” aesthetic. The piece is comprised of a handmade video that is created by the use of both the digital camera, hand held video recorder and IPhone camera. The experimental piece is comprised of fashion - like footage recorded and altered with the use of filtered effects, glitches and echoes. For this piece I am to unpack and undo the “cle an” and highly compressed visual data that makes up contemporary culture. I wish to expose that sharing digital information will not replicate identically. That there is a loss, change, alteration or transformation from the original source as our content i s converted across different platforms, technologies, and softwares. And on the way it is reformatted, translated, compressed, enhanced or diminished: it changes. It is never the same. Re - Mix is thus characterized by transformation, degradation, and circu lation but also by its surprising ability to mutate, produce, and reproduce unpredictable results. This piece comments on the corruption of memory in an age of technology through intentional manipulation of individual pixels and corrupted algorithms. The s trategic erosion of my work raises awareness on the passing of time and its ability to affect our understanding of memories. Through filtered effects and glitchy happenings, I attempt to explore the creation and maintenance of memories, as stills that were once clear in our minds inevitably disintegrate. This raises the question: When capturing memories through electronic devices, and then later revisiting these crudely rendered experiences, are we remembering the pixels or the event itself? It seems plausi ble to conclude that there is a distinct correlation, an unequivocal, continuous, and constant conversation that exists between human and technology. Straying away from the original copy, I embrace the transgression and entire life cycle of the work: its c haos, control, destruction, and regeneration.

The video really explores the concept of image transfer between technologies and how through the use of sending, receiving, and altering – the video form will change and shift further away from the original so urce . Re - Mix is manifested on tumblr, vimeo, instagram and all other social media sources as this process is an additive service to the use of image transfer and alterations from point a to point b. Each and every time an image is reposted, edited, shared , or just viewed – there will be a different experience and a constant change, which is what I am exploring. The piece is also linked to Seth Price’s essay "Dispersion" and Cory Arcangel's essay "On Compression" as there is a present dialogue that exists b etween me as the creator, and you as the viewer. The piece puts into the conversation my role as a spectator as the moments of abstraction and transformation raises the issues of subverting traditional forms of repres entation. Inspired by Bruce Conner's film “Breakaway” and Pipilotti Rist “I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much” the film and where it exists on the web brings up questions of the transgression of normal boundaries and the differences between fashion and fine art.

http://www.e-flux.com/journal/10/61362/in - defense - of - the - poor - image