D-effect for FAKE – By Blanca de la Torre
Speaking about FAKE inevitably comes to our mind Orson Welles? movie ?F for FAKE?, a fake documentary made out of manipulated images of François Reichenbach?s documentary about frauds. The protagonists: Elmyr D?Hory, a famous forger of works by Matisse, Picasso and Modigliani; and Clifford Irving, who wrote a false biography of multimillionaire Howard Hughes. With this material, Welles constructed a sort of complex puzzle of stories, resulting himself as the great trickster. At the end of the movie, and in a bragging of justification, he quotes Picasso?s line: Art is a lie?a lie that makes us realize the truth.
Michal Brzezinski is interested in another approximation of fake, a fake as a subversive working method, which reinforces itself the own nature of the fake. There is also no game of authorship here, but a reinforcement of a truth of style. A fake in painting aims to pretend to be an artwork what lacks of strength and own aura, but Brzezinski subverts the terms and gives aesthetic value to what could be a mere dissection in the scientific sphere.
In his work converge experimental film with video art in order to reflect in the phenomenological nature of new media images , subjugating techno-scientific advances in favor of art for the sake of art. He dissects invented realities and generates appearances establishing an original deconstruction of scientific imaginary, appropriating the iconography of bio-, nano-, or neuro- in order to deactivate it and suggest a semantic alteration.
His videos may be a generative transformation of DNA fragment ?s of the flu virus, where the DNA pattern has been computerizely replaced with bacteria images, a creation of graphics and videos based on a complex analysis offering infinite possibilities to the viewer to construct a different range of meanings. Behind this original recycling of structures, lies his interest in the body and identity over some sort of aesthetic ecology.
But more accurately he prefers to speak about “failure aesthetic”, not using fake to create an artwork, but to transform mechanism of fake itself into art. All this is also a direct consequence of the lost of believe- faith?- In the true nature of the image, in the digital image as a toll but a threaten, a mirror, a fake. Undressing the image as a bunch of pixels, and a pixel just a matter of screen and bitmap, raster image. Then pixels and brushstrokes become blurred, allowing everything to become a mass of color as a visual strategy to centre the optics beyond its signifier. Pixels become anecdotal, and intriguing when we realized that they are just a mere excuse. Effects as the defects of the printing tools or screens. Defect as D-effect. Digital zoom as d-effect that alludes to impressionism, d-effects of digital image with lo lumatic and chromatic data. It is simulation of the process – of working one medium by another.
Also a fake as opposed to the apparent reality of old-school painters, because we cannot forget that the evolution of the history of art in the West has largely paralleled devel opments in technology and science, from the invention of the first tube of oil paint?which freed the artist from the time-consuming task of mixing pigments?to telematic art, interactive environments, and virtual reality.
Contemporary societies can be defined under the rubric of techno-anthropology. As Morley says ?In this part I attempt to develop the terms of reference for a ?techno-anthropolo gy? which addresses the symbolic meanings of some of the symbolic objects of our contemporary world, notably the television, the computer and the mobile phone.? (Morley, 2008: 225). Given this technocratic vor tex, it is interesting how artists like Brzezinski have reopened a debate, formalizing a critique from within.
Digital technology has served as a crucial pivot point, not only as a production tool, but also a means for reflecting on the new universe opened up by computers, which have likewise exploded the possibilities for the image through ?new? articulations. Here the subjectivity of the author takes its form from a fake content which stays melted within its own structure.
The artist, with a slight pessimistic patina, suggests how the apparent gap between art and technology that has been slowly approaching each other is no more than a FAKE approach, and presents the aesthetics of fake as the only way of conciliation. In the background of his meta-narrative forms underlies a latent questioning of art in the abysm of technology, the dilemma is whether we are intended to merely consume images or to think about or even beyond the image. As I have mentioned in other occasions, it is crucial that we do not allow ourselves to be seduced by the flickering screen, and that we have a clear idea of the virtues and vices of our own technocratic society.
Lest we forget, however, that the revolutionary nature of technology does not guarantee any liberating effect, or any emancipating virtuality. Quite the contrary: the ambivalence of any technical breakthrough?forever offering an emancipating possibility and a simultaneous despotic one?is irrevocable. And this, we should also note, is quite far from presupposing any inherently neutral nature. Neutrality would presume some ambiguous middle stance. The ambivalent nature of technol ogy is only posited as an extreme?at that juncture inhabited by both possibilities, whether hopeful or terrifying. As Heidegger notes when quoting Hölderlin?s beauti ful poem, ?Where there is danger/ the rescue grows as well.? He also had technol ogy in mind. (Brea [online])
Furthermore, in investigating the constituent and constructive qualities of the scientific structures he pictures a reconfiguration of the elements which doesn?t aim to resemantize the elements, but deepen the pure meaning of the image. In some way Brzezinski ?s images function as science allegories, or allegories of the art-science duo, scoring the artists as a kind of iconodulle of the scientific image or its aesthetic results.
Brzezinski uses wickedly technology as a fraud, and, like Welles, he might us conclude that the epistemological component of his works is just the bi-product of his also fraudulent imagination. Anyways, quoting Guy Debord: ?In a world that is really upside down, the true is a moment of the false.?
In playing with randomness, the artist uses a poetry of FAKE, that at first glance could seem an almost situationist language, but all the references to this movement fade away as soon as the spectator perceives his accurately controlled paraphernalia in an attempt to camouflage as one more gear in the montage chain.
We cannot avoid mention the hybrid nature of Brzezinski?s work, and, as an extension, to his images ? also since any image is always a hybrid of some other image- The image, by its very nature, is nothing more than an allu sion to something else:
[an] exponential enfolding of the medium around itself […] this endless enwrapping of images (literally without end and without destiny), which leaves images no other destiny than images. (Baudrillard, 1987: 28)
Also, Yvonne Spielmann comments in relation to hybridization in relation to media aesthetics:
[?] hybridization denotes a technological model, which should be restricted to pluralization and the multiple options and which has, with digitalization, achieved the full development of the possibilities for real and virtual events in simulation, ob jects, and figuration, and [which] has realized itself in interactive and virtual media (forms). (Spielmann, 2008: 27)
Taking advantage of the rhetoric of (pseudo)scientific language, this task of encrypt and un-encrypt distant codes he looks for perceptive answers that disconcert, and this realm of disconcert is where Michal copes accurately, aiming to construct a sphere of self-reflection, or suggesting a state of mind that connects with identity and a collective conscience. He attempts to give meaning and connectivity to the altered languages of the image, resulting a process of self-genesis of contradictory elements, and it is from that contradiction from where its form emerges.
In this pretended effect of truth, and with the purpose of taking the comparison to the extreme, scientific image becomes symbolically equaled to artistic image, which, at the end of the day and quoting Nietzsche: ?We have art in order not to die of the truth.?