Radio Dada by Rosa Menkman

(Rosa Menkman, 2009, video, music by Extraboy)

This video, by Dutch visualist Rosa Menkman, is quite lovely, considering it’s glitch video art. This piece is most forceful when, one minute in, we begin to see RGB tiger-stripe-slashing and Extraboy’s music finds stride. I highly recommend reading of Rosa’s process (below) in making this video.

Our best machines are made of sunshine; they are all light and clean because they are nothing but signals, electromagnetic waves, a section of a spectrum.
— Haraway, Donna. “A Manifesto for Cyborgs” 1985.

Synopsis: The video-images are constructed out of nothing but the image created by feedback (I turned a high-end camera on a screen that was showing, in real time, what I was filming, creating a feedback loop). Then I glitched the video by changing its format and subsequently exporting it into animated gifs. I (minimalistically) edited the video in Quicktime. Then I sent the file to Extraboy, who composed music for the video. The composing process started with a hand held world radio. Extraboy scanned through frequencies and experimented with holding the radio in different parts of the room while touching different objects.

Eventually he got the radio to oscillate noise in the tempo that he perceived in the video. The added synthesizer sounds were played live to further build on the non-digital sound and rhythm. This was later contrasted with drums which were digitally synthesized and processed through effects with a very digital sound to them. Just like with the video, the digital and analogue media and aesthetics of sound are mixed into one coherent whole.


Artist Bio: Every technology has its own accidents. Rosa Menkman is a Dutch visualist who focuses on visual artifacts created by accidents in digital media. The visuals she makes are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of noise. Although many people perceive these accidents as negative experiences, Rosa emphasizes their positive consequences.
By combining both her practical as well as an academic background, she merges her abstract pieces within a grand theory artifacts (a glitch studies), in which she strives for new forms of conceptual synthesis (synesthesia) of the two.
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I have shown my work at festivals like Blip (Europe and US), Haip (Ljubljana 08), Cimatics (Brussels 08/09), Video Vortex (Amsterdam ’08 + Brussels ’09) and Pasofest (Ankara 08) and collaborated on art projects together with Alexander Galloway, little-scale, Govcom.org, Goto80 and the internet art collective Jodi.org. In 2009 I finished my master thesis (on digital glitch) under the supervision of Geert Lovink, and started a PhD at the KHM Cologne (on the subject of Artifacts).

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