UBC | Digital Visions
Digital Visions
Tjader Knight inc.
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Fugacity, Nothing U can DO !!, and Stratify

TJADER-KNIGHT inc.s' three digital hybrids, “Fugacity”, “Nothing U can DO !!”, and “Stratify”, work to eliminate the contemporary viewpoints in the history of conflict by removing any sense of a one-dimensional narrative. TJADER-KNIGHT inc. breaks down the classical narrative and instead, presents an antiauthoritarian one with a stream of sounds, images and text devoid of any central point of view. General points of view do exist however within the jumbled sources of information. As this name implies, “Fugacity” is an attempt at portraying history in its transitory state by presenting the forces that show history in a volatile manner. “Nothing U can DO !!” comments on history’s deficiency in capturing 20th century sources of power through the over simplification of historical atrocities. The last work, “Stratify”, mirrors the problems in trying to identify and escape an individual’s placement in the organization of power within historical documentation. All three pieces argue that the investigation of power in 20th century conflict is less important when compared to what one already knows about power and why one knows only those power sources. By intentionally arranging the mediums of history - sounds, images, and text - on the Internet, TJADER-KNIGHT inc. emphasizes a “perpetual ellipsis” of history and the Internet.

In “Fugacity”, the artist presents the audience with multiple viewing positions through the juxtapositions of images, sound, and text. Documentary footage of the malfunctioning nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons testing on the Pacific by the Americans is presented. The first superimposed image is the structure of Tshernobyl.

Below these images, text from Hakim Bey’s The Ontological Status of Conspiracy Theory begins to scroll across a selected verse from the Bhagavad Gita. Selected text from Hakim Bey’s work describes the displacement of power through the multiple levels of history. The citation from the Bhagavad Gita relates to a quotation made by Robert Oppenheimer during his witnessing of the first atomic explosion. While both Oppenheimer and Bey’s quotations are important in what they discuss, the intentional omission of the complete text seems just as important. The deliberate omission of the piece leads the audience to recognize TJADER-KNIGHT inc.s' intentional manipulation. This manipulation can be read in many ways. On one level, it parallels a potential conspiracy theory of historical manipulation noted in Bey’s work and the “conspiracies of the former Soviet Union regarding their neighbouring states” through the images of Tshernobyl (TJADER-KNIGHT inc.). On another level, it parallels the power to destroy information through the creation of new associations within the web page. The viewer is led to investigate how the sources relate to each other. They are also led to investigate how these sources, working as a whole, relate to the viewer. They are also poised to explore how this piece relates to the artist and how the sources take on new forms of information through the conscious selections of the artist. “Fugacity” urges the viewer into several paths at once - allowing many transitory revelations to appear to the viewer.

Because of the barrage of information displayed to the viewer, the viewer is only able to pick up specific pieces of information. The perception of the whole becomes a series of replays, in which the viewer replays the artwork repeatedly to find different points of viewing positions. In “Nothing U can DO !!”, the artist demonstrates how this positioning of the viewer parallels the inadequacies of historical documentation. While viewers have the luxury of rereading or replaying documents, viewers do not have this luxury in real time and space. There are visual references to many atrocities including the Holocaust, early 20th century Japanese invasions of Asia, South American dictators' drug wars, and Tibet. In relation to these war crimes and atrocities, it is impossible to understand the true experiences and suffering of the people under brutal regimes unless one was actually there. This is symbolized through the sliding photos of prisoners and tortured captives. In “Nothing U can DO !!”, the sliding images represent a microcosm in onto themselves. The massive destruction in these events are shrunk down and minimized into still photographs. The viewer’s knowledge is not of the actually experience, but the experience of the photograph. This temporal displacement that the viewer experiences shows the viewer one of history’s main flaw; although documentation can capture sounds, images, and text, the emotions are left to the subjectivity of the viewer.

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Site: http://www.tjader-knightinc.com