Trope Three – Cute is Evil

I am happy because I am a gummy bear. GUMMY BEAR!

Gummy bears are usually seen to be adorable, kid-friendly, and harmless, just like unicorn and fairies. However, people love the contrast, especially from the cutie [1]. The soft shell contains a hardcore soul that brings destruction and death. Therefore, what about I bring you a rebellion of gummy bears? A little movie includes friendship, chemical reaction, flashback, dialogue by robots, and evil undertone.

Cute can be … disturbing and unnatural.
These colorful little guys also starred in a horror movie, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween [2].

Besides the ‘Cute is evil’ trope, in this final video, I want to use the gummy bear, my favorite character, to comprehend the tropes and styles I explored this quarter: I maintained my little disturbing sense, grabbed gummies from the biopunk trope and the sound response, and added RGB sic-fi color tone from all the time. Also, inspired by the re-score sound project, I used different music clips to decorate specific moments more precisely.

Hope you enjoy the adventure.

[1] https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CuteIsEvil
[2] https://www.flickeringmyth.com/2018/09/evil-gummy-bears-attack-in-new-trailer-for-goosebumps-2-haunted-halloween/

Delicious gummy bear loves dark metal


The original video is my favorite advertisement for the gummy bear. To reinforced the contrast between the kid-friendly scene and the reaction after being trapped, I removed the original sound of the pinky gummy bear and added a piece of dark metal in it.

The music is from Lethargic Dialogue by Psychonaut 4.

To feel more power from hell, click below

Trope Two – Simulacrum

We see repeated representation and serial photos everywhere, and sometimes our relationship to an image connects to many others based on these frequent repeats as well. More often we see a representation, much easier we get desensitize to it and don’t think of its original meaning any more. According to Jean Baudrillard, these visual representations empty and jump out their original references and evolve to represent other purposes over time, which becomes SIMULACRUM [1].

The definition and application of simulacrum remind me of some very famous modern artists, and it also makes me doubt the meaning of their strong personal style that builds on a repeated pattern.

Andy Warhol – the iconic individual with bright colors [2].

Yayoi Kusama – dots cover everything [3].

Mika Ninagawa – exaggerated colorful flowers and golden fish [4].

Etc.

Their artworks all own unique characteristics, which makes the audience can recognize them at first sight. Initially, the style helps artists to catch people’s eye and express their thoughts and ideas more effectively. For example, Andy Warhol, the master of the simulacrum, likes taking or retaking iconic and representative photos then multiplying them over and over along with bright colors. Then, the repeating will remove the iconic personal identity of celebrities and elevate the portrait to the meaning of the fixation of liberal culture and entertainment which is no longer attached to the real person. These repeated photos become an innovative design and idea to create profits. I UNDERSTAND. However, more I see his works, more I feel that they desensitize themselves. The only thing left in the audience’s head is the colorful pattern rather than the original meaning the artist wants to express.

This DOUBLE SIMULACRUM is very ironic in my view. The true meaning of the art piece is emptied by their shell, and nobody cares about their real purpose and artist’s thought at the end. The distinctive manner of expression sprout from the artists then swallows them.

On the other hand, the artist’s unique locution commercializes their work much easier. Only through copy and paste their ‘art algorithm,’ the new piece is born and becomes expensive as hell. Therefore, would stylization be the excuse of slacking off for the artists? Through repeating the pattern, could everyone become famous then? Would it make the artist’s popularity and thoughts less meaningful? Another aspect worth to concerning is that is fan and critic chase and kiss artists’ ass blindly for their pattern, or they really appreciate and fascinated by the inside.

In this video, I mocked three different modes from three artists, Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Mika Ninagawa through combing their ‘algorithm’ with my boring clips took on campus. I believe that you would understand better what I want to express after checking out the video.

A very personal opinion. To be honest, more I saw their works, more I feel that they are just as dull as the screen saver. Therefore, is the intensely personal style beneficial or harmful to the artist? Even though I made this video and did the discussion above, I still had no answer.

What do you think?

[1] https://web.stanford.edu/class/history34q/readings/Baudrillard/Baudrillard_Simulacra.html
[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/andy-warhol-pop-art-30-year-anniversary-time-capsules-the-factory-a7592816.html
[3] http://patternandsource.com/kusama.html
[4] https://www.shashasha.co/en/artist/mika-ninagawa

How Not To Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File

This video unfolded the methods of “how not be seen” in a very unexpected way. After these five very practical lessons given by Hito Steyerl, you can turn to be invisible very successfully whenever you want – OF COURSE NOT.
In my view, Steyerl presented an informative package to lead the audience to rethink the relationship between them and the public, which includes many forms of choices, possibilities, and thoughts. Therefore, I derived three situations from the invisible to discuss the implications of this video and the inside sarcasm.

PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE INVISIBLE
Though walking away, taking away, hiding, pretending, erasing, camouflaging, and even taking a picture, people can be invisible in many senses, which reminded me of the relationship between the ‘happenings’ and audience.
When happenings happened, the audience first watch. The first cut on Corinna Huntington Hodel’s red silk dress [1]. The first water balloon throws to Detroit [2]. The first vote on the signing sheet for cutting a one-meter wound on Yunchang He’s flesh without anesthesia [3]. Then the audience participate. The dress is tearing apart. The water balloons run out. The wound is cutting witnessed by 25 voters. The silent audience becomes the perpetrator. Finally, the audience walks away, pretend they are not there, and even taking a picture as an outsider.

The happening becomes a party for the audience, and no one takes responsibility in the end. Everyone wants to be anonymous and invisible in the guilty public.

PEOPLE FORCED TO BE INVISIBLE & PEOPLE FIGHT TO BE SEEN
Some examples:
Puyi after 1917 [4].
Female in Punk rock before the 1970s [5].
Āyatollāh Rūhollāh Khomeinī before 1979 [6].
“Public that oppressed by their addiction to amusement” – Amusing Ourselves to Death [7].
Edward Snowden after 2013 [don’t need to quote].
Marilyn Monroe in Andy Warhol’s artwork.
Loki after The Avengers: Infinity War.
Celebrities on vocation.

WHAT AFTER BEING INVISIBLE
Below is a quote from Martin Niemöller, a famous German theologian and Lutheran pastor [8].

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Last but not least, even though Hito Steyerl presented this video under an amusing appearance, the more profound thoughts that carried out by it cannot be ignored as well. It is ironic that there are people who want to be invisible, and there are more people fight to be seen and forced to be out of the public sight in this world. For the people who want to escape from a certain thing, person, or entity, being invisible can be beneficial. However, being invisible also means that their opinions cannot be heard and rights cannot be protected. Just like Steyerl said, “resolution determines visibility,” and being invisible can be deadly [9].

[1] https://www.bustle.com/p/corinna-huntington-hodel-on-i-am-the-night-isnt-a-real-person-but-she-does-have-a-real-life-counterpart-16700004
[2] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5688932/
[3] https://hyperallergic.com/10717/he-yunchang-1-m-democracy/
[4]https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/people-events/article/2115727/remembering-chinas-last-emperor-puyi-50-years-after
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_Discrimination_Act_1975
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruhollah_Khomeini
[7] https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/41963.Neil_Postman
[8]https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/martin-niemoeller-first-they-came-for-the-socialists
[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKAKgrZZ_ww

Trope One – Biopunk


— MUSIC: ‘If I had a heart’ by Fever Ray

Biopunk is derived from the cyberpunk and concerned with synthetic biology, which combines punk with organic technology, usually centered around the genetic engineering or protein synthesis (i.e., a combination of different species, merge of human and machine, etc. [1], [2]). Biopunk character usually doesn’t play the domain role in the movie or science fiction, but it could be the background or a jump scare to impress the audience. The booming of the development of life sciences causes the rise of biopunk genre in new millennium [3]. Biopunk thrives within the public debate about the forerunner of technoscience, and it takes the chance to make the innovative, radical, illegal and even anti-ethic creature to satisfy people’s imagination.

There are plenty of movies contain the biopunk genre, such as Resident Evil (gene cloning), Mad Max (wasteland punk mixes biopunk), Scanner, Ghost in the Shell (body modification in cyberpunk), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (intelligent gene-editing animal), and so on. Also, the eXistenZ, the most impressive and disturbing biopunk film, in my view, which inspires me to discuss and explore this trope here.


(Immortan Joe in Mad Max [4])
I also mentioned eXistenZ in my previous post The Queasy Trash Salad on the Internet.

“People are forced to being inserted a slimy tube into the spine to connect the online video game, and players cannot tell the difference between that VR video game and reality because the two are actually the shadow of each other. Moreover, even the things seem harmless for now, like a fish, would be made into a bone gun that fires human teeth.”

In this video, I tried to create a biopunk ‘weapon’ – Frogun (frog-gun) to pay my tribute to the classic Fish gun in the eXistenZ, and I recorded the process and remixed with the scene in the movie to see the exciting contrast.

Some features make a typical biopunk set, in my view, listed below, and I tried to reach these requirements in my own creation:
1. Synthesis bio and tech
2. Cult & low cost
3. Disturbing & gross
4. Coarse (can be low resolution)
5. Contrasted color (evil dark or super bright color)
6. Liquid, slimy, in a womb-like container

Materials I used:
1. Toy water gun
2. Fish can
3. Gummy bear (melt, then wrap the gun)
4. Strawberry jelly
5. Tide Pods
6. Nyquil
7. Nail polish
Enjoy😊

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopunk
[2] https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BioPunk
[3] http://larsschmeink.de/?p=2548&lang=en
[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2015/05/20/mad-max-fury-road-and-the-pleasure-of-smart-contrarians/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03b56adeb4ff

“No Ghost Just A Shell” — Annlee

Annlee, a character without narrative attached. She is an empty shell enriched by a group of French artists such as Philippe Parreno and Pierre Huyghe. The sci-fi image of Annlee and the modern 3D animation technology also give the artist more space to play around this idea. In this collaborative project, Annlee is walking on a 3D dynamic moon, reading novels, or even starring a movie. Moreover, spending only 4,600 Yen, anyone could have the chance to create their own Annlee and give her a life, in a metaphoric way.

It is exciting to see that a bunch of artists working on the same character when they all have their own dominance. The artists bring Annlee alive, using her as a media to express their own thoughts, whatever it is based on the image or borrow from the outside. Therefore, Annlee can be herself, can be the artists themselves, and she can be the mixture of the two as well. Moreover, every Annlee is interdependent, just like that she lives her life in multiple dimensions.

Furthermore, Annlee reminds me of a sculptural exhibition, a huge sculpture of a spider named Maman, created by French female artist Louise Bourgeois [1]. The same sculpture exhibit permanently and temporarily globally including Japan, UK, Spain, France, Russia, etc. Even though the giant spider has its own meaning that shows the mercy and love from mother, it is in very different locations can present various senses. For example, when the exhibition is in outdoors, people could imagine the spider as an evil metaphor as endless city life and the dark side of the commercial society. After all, the right to interpret and recreate the art is giving to the audience after the artwork has been presented. So as the Annlee.

About the multi-dimension idea of Annlee also makes me relate it to a sci-fi animation ‘Rick and Morty [2].’ Rick and Morty live in infinite universes that have infinite timelines, and in infinite universes, there is an infinite number of Rick and Morty that have various personality, opinions, living environments, adventures with little difference in appearance (mostly in hairstyle). When one pair of Rick and Morty in one of the infinite universes encounter the invertible danger, they have the choice to abandon their own world and move to another ideal dimension. Poor Annlee, I hope she could have the right to choose her own life one day, and probably that is the reason why Rikrit Tiravanija let her read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep for eight hours.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maman_(sculpture)
[2] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/

Dispersion of the Poor Image

Response to – In Defense of the Poor Image & Dispersion

First, we need to define what is a poor image.

In the article In Defense of the Poor Image written by Hito Steyerl, she thinks that “the poor image is a copy in motion.” Steyerl also stated the two sides of the poor image: on one side, the poor images are substandard-qualified may be disturbing. They maybe steal from the famous work or movie without copyright. Those low-quality photos spread on the internet, and they being re-edit and recreate continuously. They just like the ghost of the internet that land on nowhere.
On the other side, the presence of these photos shows the “visual idea in its very becoming.” The images are shared and re-edited due to the various need of people, and from the recreation, we can see the diverse culture and differences between populations, and they transform from art to the presentation of reality. The relationship between supply and demand and the global circulation of images mentioned by Steyerl also described by Seth Price in his article Dispersion.

Then, we need to discuss how the dispersion benefits the poor image or other forms of the visual idea.

Just like I mentioned above. The need for dispersion of image or video is responding to the demand of the market. The internet and the digital technology that awakes the old stuff are the primary media to let this dynamic dispersion and market flow. The commercial market and the mainstream needs the “standard art” to appreciate and enjoy such thoughtful painting in a gallery and the well-done movie in the theater. Therefore, talented artists create those brilliant work to fulfill the market and themselves.
Moreover, people also want to explore the space outside the mainstream and uncover the old. The poor re-edition photos give new life for the old that gradually fades away from us. The early works were disappeared due to the expensive cost of saving or low acceptance of the public, but the internet waked them up and gave the power for people to re-create them as they wanted freely. Hence, the “poor image” own their unique value in this way. The creative degradation of the image just like the revolt of technologies but in the even poor resolution.

Most importantly, in my opinion, since the work being done by the creator, the work or the meaning of the work is no longer belong to him/her, (not in the copyright level), whatever the original artist wanted or not. The global circulation of the digital image actually catalyst this second-hand production and extends the life of artworks, which also show the charm of art that beyond the time.