Live Shot: after John Lockwood is an interactive video installation created for Readymades in Spring 2015. One of the central aspects of a readymade as we have defined it in class is taking an object (whether physical or digital) and placing it in a new context to endow it with new meaning and affect. The piece is inspired by the odd case of Live Shot, a website founded in 2005 by John Lockwood to allow hunters to login remotely, control a motorized rifle via attached cameras, and kill live animals fenced-in on Lockwood’s property and baited into the line of camera vision when a hunter was online. Immediately after the site launched there was a massive backlash from a coalition of Animals Rights activists, the NRA, and hunting organizations, outraged by the allegedly inhuman nature of this form of hunting. 48 states passed legislation to ban remote/internet hunting. Lockwood responded by questioning whether it is different to sit camouflaged in a blind waiting with a mounted gun, then pull a trigger, than to sit in your home controlling a mounted gun, then click a mouse.
In this project I have combined found footage of hunting trips with plastic models of the animals that were killed, built into a custom diorama. A live video feed of the diorama is displayed on a remote screen using a webcam and Isadora software. Using a mouse, users can aim the camera (and attached miniature rifle) and “fire” with a mouse click. “Firing” triggers footage of the animals being shot as well as intimate moments where the hunters pose with and comment on their kills. This version of the installation will be presented in class this week. I’m also working with collaborators to make the project truly remote so that users could login via a website to control the camera, and hope to have this aspect of the installation in place by the show.
Found footage from Mossback hunting show on The Legend Channel.
Hunting, in itself, is bizarre to me. I’ve been fishing and I know the primal thrill in those small struggles against another life form, but when you add guns and stalking and distance and camouflage the associations with war and the awareness of killing something sentient become very stark. So my hours spent mining hunting shows for video assets to use in my Video Readymade Final Project were disconcerting and surreal. There is a mixture of jubilation and earnest gratitude in this footage that captivates and unsettles me.
Continue reading Video Readymade: The Trophy Shot
User-testing of my video installation.
In my first Video Readymade post I laid out the concept inspired by Internet Hunting and showed the results of my first experiments. Once all of the parts arrived, I was able to combine the elements and see what worked and what didn’t. Unfortunately the endoscopic camera I wanted to use was just too-low-quality to give a compelling effect. Fortunately I was able to mount a webcam onto the miniature rifle.
Continue reading Video Readymade: Version 1
Feral Potter: a speculative animatronic from Nick Hubbard on Vimeo.
The question that initiated my Emotional Readymade project was “what would happen if books were abandoned to fend for themselves?” I at first assumed they would be lonely or desperate, but then my classmate Nick Bratton suggested that maybe they would break down mentally, go insane, or feral. I liked that. I liked the idea of showcasing a range of potential effects of isolation, from fits and rages to catatonia to hyperlalia. Almost like the saddest form of retirement home or other neglected institution you can imagine.
Continue reading Emotional Readymade: Feral Potter
I was inspired for our Video Readymade assignment to revisit a provocative blip in the history of the internet. In 2005 would-be Texas entrepreneur John Lockwood registered Live-Shot.com, a site devoted to Internet Hunting. This is the practice of hunting animals remotely via motor-controlled firearms, targeted using webcams.
A photo of Lockwood with his set-up.
Allegedly Lockwood’s enterprise was the only one of its kind, and it caused such a backlash from all sides of the political spectrum (hunting associations, animal right’s activists, gun control and gun rights lobbyists) that 48 states now have laws banning the activity. Lockwood’s defense is couched in a provocative question: “what is the difference in [hunting concealed and camouflaged behind a blind] and clicking a mouse? Nothing. That is the same exact motion, and it takes the same amount of time.”
Continue reading Video Readymade: the act of (internet) hunting
Continuing forward with my concept for a speculative fictional memorial, where a collector in a post-book world has enshrined abandoned texts that are all aged, fragile, and exhausted.
Timeline for the project:
- By Wed 3.11:
- Order first round of parts
- By Friday 3.13:
- Design & concept sketches
- Discuss RFID w ppl on the floor
- Complete image & concept research
- By Mon 3.17:
- Additional sketches & research
- Hollow out a book and do a manual test of inflation w a balloon v using a servo/motor
- Decide on shortlist of books to use in piece
- By Wed 3.19:
- Test pump/inflation tech
- Shop for book(s) & display case
- Order additional parts if needed
- By Fri 3.21:
- Modify book & install inflation/tech
- RFID test
- By Mon 3.24:
- Solder circuitry
- Custom RFID book cards
- By Tues 3.25:
- By Wed 3.26:
Dust. Step, shuffle, breathe, just move and dust. The whole room, all its inches, are covered. You didn’t mean to walk down this corridor. You didn’t mean to enter the door, half buried, to this unrecognizable building. But you had just used Harvest to get your foraging rations for the day, so you weren’t hungry, and today you were feeling curious. No one was around the ruins, and you happen to have hacked your monitorphone so it thinks you are on the other side of the woods. The room seemed to call to you. Then you saw the letters on the glass, “Library”. It took you a minute to remember the algorithm for reading, but you got it, and you happen to be someone who has an interest in out-dated technologies, so you know a bit about what physical Libraries were. You didn’t expect the dust. The books–have you ever seen a book? You can’t remember but you don’t think so, not in person–the dust has mostly broken them down, eaten them away. There isn’t much to read on the pages. You trip, you didn’t see that stool, and so many nanoparticles fill the air, fill your nostrils, that you sneeze, and it billows and billows. And you see the pages, see them disintegrate, they are what’s filling the air, the remnants of words, phrases, literatures, philosophies, histories. You clear yourself off, carefully, not wanting to stir up any more bits of text. A glimmer of metal catches your eye. The latch to a cabinet. You walk over. Age or luck has left it unlocked. You open it and there’s nothing there. You think. But you reach in anyway. You find a breach in the back, where a shelf was shifted, and something is stuck back there. You pull and shift, and extract it, like a fossil.
Continue reading Emotional Readymade: Dust Jackets