Photo of Florian Hecker’s FAVN at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt,
2016. Copyright Alte Oper Frankfurt, Norbert Miguletz / Florian Hecker, FAVN,
processed performance still, 2016
Ina Blom presents on ‘intramachinic weather systems’ in the works of Ed Atkins and Florian Hecker.
In Blom’s research, she discusses two cases of what she calls ‘intramachinic weather systems’, as found in the very different works of video artist Ed Atkins and composer/sound artist Florian Hecker. In a number of Atkins's computer-generated works, the worlds he creates are dominated by phenomena that we may identify as meteorological even though they have little in common with what we call weather in ‘our’ world. In Florian Hecker's computer music, the synthesis and resynthesis of sound at the granular level produces effects and processes with complexity which might well be described in meteorological or climatic terms.
Both cases allow us to discuss what is at stake for environmental thought when intensive engagement with computational systems produces a sense of parallel or ‘unthought’ worlds – worlds that are not the effects of simulation or representation, but of properly machinic affordances. Ultimately, Blom wants to point to the ways in which the production of machine-based atmospherics in these works rehearses questions of synthesis and abstraction that were key to late 19th century aesthetic and industrial modernity.
Ina Blom is a professor at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo and Visiting Professor in the Department of Art History, University of Chicago. Recent books include The Autobiography of Video, The Life and Times of a Memory Technology (New York: Sternberg Press, 2016), On the Style Site: Art, Sociality and Media Culture (New York: Sternberg Press, 2007/2009) as well as the edited volumes Memory in Motion: Archives, Technology and the Social (Amsterdam University Press, 2016) and Raoul Hausmann et les avant-gardes (Paris: Les presses du réel, 2014). She is also an art critic, contributing to Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, Parkett and Afterall, among others. The collection of writings Houses to Die In and Other Essays on Art is forthcoming in the autumn of 2022.