Nervous Light Planes
AbstractElectronic streams appear to be most illuminating when they fail or break down. At these moments, they make apparent our desire of wanting to keep continuity, to experience things uninterruptedly. In the contemporary artistic environment marked by electronic pulses and lightscapes, the flickering screen, with its conflicting modes of engagement, provides the thinking of a limit and erasure. Philippe Parreno's analogue line animation What Do You Believe, Your Eyes or My Words? Speaking Drawing: . . . (2007) inhabits such a corruptive site of `no single continuing line' where the various time structures inherent to the work resist to create unity, both in terms of the work's spatiality and its relation to our sense of time. In Semiconductor's digital piece Inaudible Cities: Part One (2002) the flickering strips the image of the failed electronic stream, its supposedly essential element. The animated cityscape presents us with yet another kind of electronic light movement co-dependent on the sonic pressures of an electrical storm. What is expressed is the process of image-forming itself, the image's potential for self-variation which is linked to imagination and Brian Massumi's `vagueness of the virtual'. Referring to notions such as Gilles Deleuze's `point flicker' or Massumi's `imaginative and non-systemic', the article addresses the sensation of flickering as an experience of spacing and rupturing inherent to animation. Not only does this sensation propose animation as an often paradoxical work, but, proposing a particular site its image can occupy, it allows us to think of the animated image as an erasure itself, with its potential of becoming art.