On Friday, February 7, at 7 p.m. Counterpath hosted the opening for an installation by new media artist Conor McGarrigle whose works The BitTorrent Trilogy, and 24h Social will be on display through February 21st.
The BitTorrent Trilogy
The BitTorrent Trilogy consists of a series of three videos made from episodes of popular TV shows incompletely downloaded from the internet via bitTorrent. The resulting aesthetically beautiful and unique videos act as a visualization of this technical and social process showing the glitches and digital errors characteristic of this process.
The videos have been linearly edited, with no digital effects used, all the glitch effects are contained in the corrupted file. The series consists of episodes of Mad Men, the third season premiere of Game of Thrones and concludes with final episode of Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones broke bitTorrent records when they were released on file sharing networks and the videos capture these episodes in the act of being shared by users on bitTorrent.
The videos simultaneously act as a visualization of bitTorrent traffic and the practice of filesharing, the aesthetically beautiful glitch effects are modulated by the file codec and the size of the bitTorrent swarm, as the pieces of the original file are rearranged and reconfigured into a new transitory in-between state.
24h Social is a 24 hour long video installation which shows a day of Vine videos posted to social media at the time they were created. Vines are 6 second video tweets posted directly to social media. At 6 seconds Vine has pared video down to its essentials.
24h Social takes this most ephemeral and pithy of forms and extends it to epic scale, in the tradition of Warhol’s Empire and Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho. This should have created the most mind-numbingly tedious video of all but in fact what emerges is an engaging portrait of social media, encompassing the richness of the social activity of 86,400 individual videos, a snapshot of everyday life with all its humour, banality, weirdness and brilliance.
Through data-mining techniques 24h Social appropriates Vine’s user generated content to build a database of Vine videos. Videos are automatically selected and played from the database to produce a work generated by algorithmic processes, thus mirroring the logic of enterprises driven by user generated content. 24h Social displays 86,400 videos over its 24 hour duration, at any one time 6 videos play simultaneously for each 6 second – Vine sized – block of the day. Each video plays at the time of its original creation with every second of every hour of the day represented by Vines following the ebb and flow of social media activity. The videos have not been viewed or edited, any content filtering is dependent on Vine’s own systems.
Conor McGarrigle is a new media artist, researcher and educator working at the intersection of digital networks and real space. His work is concerned with the integration of digital technologies into the everyday, the spatial implications of location aware mobile devices and the social, political and cultural implications of Big Data.
His work has been exhibited widely internationally in over 70 exhibitions including the 2011 Venice Biennale, The Irish Museum of Contemporary Art, Fundacio Miro in Mallorca, the St. Etienne Biennale, SIGGRAPH, Site Santa Fe, at the FILE Festival in Brazil and in the Werkleitz Biennale.
An Irish native, recently moved to Denver, he is an Assistant Professor in the Emergent Digital Practices program at the University of Denver.