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1.
Sustainable digital preservation of new media art
Narvika Bovcon, Eszter Polónyi, Jaka Železnikar, Aleš Vaupotič, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: This paper is about two pilot studies conducted in 2022 that aimed to develop a model for preserving and archiving new media art work in the context of a research project on the sustainable digital preservation of new media art that is being co-hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana. As the works of art selected for the study by Slovenian new media art pioneers Vuk Ćosić (2000) and Srečo Dragan (2005) were technically obsolete or non-functional by the time of the study, the question of how to bring the artworks back into existence and what components of each artwork to include in the collection and preservation process constituted one aspect of our research. But this process of reconstruction also raised questions about how the preservation of media art is reshaping the practice of archiving within an institution whose holdings were, until recently, largely in traditional mediums. An interdisciplinary approach addressed the problem from different points of view, involving the practitioners, experts from art-history, museology, computer science, media theory and intellectual property rights.
Keywords: digital cultural heritage, new media art preservation, new media art archives
Published in RUNG: 28.05.2024; Views: 473; Downloads: 2
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2.
Bodies of noise at the Bell Laboratories : early automated speech recognition, contribution at the Editorial Workshop - A Special Issue on Acoustic Space, November 9-10, 2022, Frankfurt/Main
Eszter Polónyi, 2022, other performed works

Abstract: This paper is about the first automated systems developed to recognize identity. While automated recognition in the twenty-first century is widely associated with images of the human face, its roots are to be found in attempts to visualize identity in other, non-figural types of trace left by human bodies, ranging as widely as shadows, astrological signs, handwriting, the prints left by palms and fingers and the acoustics of the human voice. This paper investigates one such system of recognition as it emerged from within the telecommunications industry context in the midcentury U.S. Ostensibly built to reduce human labor and cable bandwidth, Bell Labs developed three different phone devices in the 1950s to photograph, formalize and analyze the sounds of speech as they traveled through the telephony system. And while the device called “Audrey” indeed succeeded in recognizing spoken digits, it was its failure to recognize the speech contents without prior awareness of the identity of the speaker, that is to distinguish between the individuality of the speaking “medium” and their intended meaning, that arguably made the experiment a landmark in the history of machine-driven recognition. Accounting for the “noise” made by the body and the environment from which sound emanated into the device, which the lab’s technicians defined as ranging from “speech defects” to “inflection” and “background interference” proved more important than phonetic analysis in determining the intended message of given speech spectogram. Similarly to a range of experiments with noise by formalist filmmakers such as Tony Conrad, John Cage, Kurt Kren and others, it was on the principle of contingency and irreproducible uniqueness that Bell Lab technicians sought to train machine-driven intelligence.
Keywords: History of computer science, machine learning, Bell Labs, history of telecommunications, sound studies
Published in RUNG: 19.02.2024; Views: 709; Downloads: 6
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3.
4.
Faceless machines: early recognition media and entangled bodies : lecture at the "Relatifs" lecture series, Kepler Salon, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Österreich, 16. 1. 2024
Eszter Polónyi, 2024, invited lecture at foreign university

Abstract: Eszter Polonyis Vortrag behandelt frühe Systeme automatisierter Identitätserkennung. Einen Fokus bilden Experimente zur Stimmerkennung, wie sie in der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts von US-amerikanische Telekommunikationsunternehmen unternommen wurden. Sie geht dabei auch den Verbindungen zur Arbeit mit „noise“ von Medienkünstler*innen nach, darunter Tony Conrad, John Cage und Kurt Kren.
Keywords: media studies, surveillance studies, art history, critical data studies, avant-garde and experimental art
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 777; Downloads: 4
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5.
An archaeology of photographic identification : lecture at the Society for Cinema & Media Studies Conference, Denver, Colorado, 13. 4. 2023
Eszter Polónyi, 2023, unpublished conference contribution

Abstract: This project returns to an early moment in the history of photographic IDs to better understand the current entrapment of our identities within what are by now massive infrastructures of automatized, unregulated and largely unauthorized identity extraction.
Keywords: media studies, surveillance studies, history of art, history of visual culture, cultural studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 796; Downloads: 2
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6.
Sustainable digital preservation of the new media art
Aleš Vaupotič, Eszter Polónyi, Narvika Bovcon, Jaka Železnikar, 2023, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: media studies, art history, new media art, archival studies, restoration studies, museum studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 1007; Downloads: 6
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7.
Mobility media : an archaeology of the photographic ID document
Eszter Polónyi, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Mobility, in the sense of freedom of persons choosing to move or reside in a state in which they have no prior citizenship, was one of the four original “freedoms” defined in the treaty that ratified European Union member states in 1957.1 In the past decade, this particular freedom, the freedom of movement, appears to have become significantly eroded. Mobility in the sense of migration, that is, mobility of persons for reasons of residency or employment, has become a point of contention among member states that it has divided more than unified, with measures affecting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers featuring at the core of recent electoral agendas. Certain member states’ deterrence of the mobility of migrants from outside the EU has resulted in the return to protocols and practices of controlling movement into and out of sovereign territories, among the most conspicuous of which has been the re-establishment of a – by now largely defunct – network of nation-state borders. And while the reappearance of new walls, barricades and barbed wiring alongside certain nation-state borders since the mid-2010s have made headlines, there have been other measures with less press and physical visibility that have been set in place to manage and enforce mobility.2 The photographic identity document, meaning a document of state-issued identity certification, has become one such mobility management measure.
Keywords: cultural history, migration studies, history of art, history of visual culture, media archaeology, media studies
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 802; Downloads: 0
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8.
Skoraj pozabljeni fotograf Franc Ferjan : sodelovanje v oddaji Osmi dan, TV Slovenija, 1. program, 17. 11. 2022
2022, radio or television event

Published in RUNG: 13.01.2023; Views: 1959; Downloads: 17
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9.
Arzenal spominov ali intimna pokrajina? Franc Ferjan in stereofotografija
Eszter Polónyi, 2022, radio or television broadcast, podcast, interview, press conference

Published in RUNG: 13.01.2023; Views: 1160; Downloads: 13
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10.
Between graphic arrangement and film: Thom Andersen’s Flicker
Polonyi Eszter, 2021, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: When the California-based filmmaker Thom Andersen made his documentary Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer in 1973-4, he recovered an aspect of Muybridge’s work that most viewers had not seen before. Projected on the screen at the top of the theater, these iconic nineteenth-century chronophotographs were allegedly first seen in movement. Viewers could watch as his half-clad and nude subjects lifted water buckets, walked up and down stairs, ran, stood, heaved, threw, jumped, crawled and kicked. Throughout the film, Andersen shows each action multiple times, so that an athlete, for instance, leaps his hurdle firstly slowly, then at increasing speeds. Almost none of the sequences appear in the tempo in which they might have taken place in front of the camera. And, despite this being omitted from reviews, many of the passages drop to frame rates below the minimum necessary to sustain the illusion of motion, dissolving Muybridge’s images in a pulsing, jagged flicker. If Andersen’s recovery of Muybridge’s image sequences continue to appear spectacular, this is because watching the motion studies suddenly lurch into moving images proves just how little their “movement” can be explained by a history of the “movies.” This paper examines Andersen’s film as a way into an alternate genealogy of the moving image provided through the phenomenon of the flicker. As has become increasingly clear with the publication of a recent anthology of his critical writings (Visible Press, 2017), Andersen was part of a generation of North American filmmaker whose practice and writing resonated with the academic critique of the film apparatus as it began to emerge from France in the 1960s and 1970s. The fixed temporal parameters of film consumption constituted a recurring consideration for Andersen, for whom “clocked” time literalized the destructiveness of capitalism’s “eternal present” (review of Christian Marclay’s The Clock, 2011). His recovery of Muybridge, for which a frame-by-frame projector allows Andersen to reconstruct what were this pre-cinematic recording systems’s famously arbitrary time intervals, is read within the context of such a critique but also of an emerging tradition of expanded cinema practice. To this effect, comparison is made between Andersen’s process and the efforts of Tony Conrad in the 1960s to research the frequencies at which human vision registers photocelluloid film’s flicker. Conrad’s ability to produce the flicker is ensured not by modification of the projector’s microtemporalities, which would have restricted the number of projectors on which he could show his flicker film, but through alterations at the level of the photocelluloid. Both Andersen and Conrad are shown to turn the basic apparatus into a rhythmic instrument by accessing its frame rates through what I argue is a graphic rather than filmic method.
Keywords: History of American cinema, avant-garde art, media archaeology, Eadweard Muybridge, Thom Andersen
Published in RUNG: 13.01.2023; Views: 1381; Downloads: 0
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