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"Mobile V"

Jaap Vinken/Martine van Kampen

At first sight, Mobile V is reminiscent of the early days of video art. You see brightly coloured planes shifting and jumping across the screen, while your ears are tormented by shrill electronic sounds. The difference with early videos, such as those by Woody Vasulka, is that these images are clearly produced digitally. While in the old days, video signals were subjected to analogue manipulation, reMI (a cooperation between Renate Oblak and Michael Pinter) makes use of computer processing. The images and sounds are generated by a mixture of digital coincidences, deliberate mistakes in the software, and carefully directed processes. Pamphlets on this work of art are in circulation on the Internet: 'Sounds, hard sounds, which together with the images bewitch the soul of the machine, extract the soul of the computer [...], tell secrets, genuine secrets (or in fact concealed truths) [...] What is clear: Hard is often not Hard Enough.' And even this kind of statement recalls bygone days, days of futurism and avant-garde art. It goes on about 'chaos' and the new avant-garde, about linearity, intertextuality, etc. The pamphlet writers conclude that the makers are utilizing the concept of intermediality (the phenomenon of the blending of various media, coined by Spielmann) one last time to explore the truth and critically make room for long-lost traditions. The writers have the feeling that, in the past, certain possibilities were overlooked, and with great élan, they reintroduce an artistic practice that could in fact be correct ('reMI is on the right track to the Truth'). The artists see themselves as animal trainers who, as part of an act, bring the chaos under control, coax the machine into action, pushing it to its limits. 'The machine speaks, a message from a digital world, from the other side of animations, programming language and the mere pursuit of effect.'