PROJEK IAGHT™ is a short digital film I made in 2005, with the help of many of my students. Their assignment was to take a number of words or phrases – like funk, freak, party, graffiti, street art, sticker art, iaght, yo, pimp, playa, skateboard, DJ, breakdance, b-boy, hiphop, body art, tat, tattoo, wack, kronk, urban, urban art, etc – (all things with which I have virtually no personal experience) and do image searches on either Google, Yahoo, or Flickr. Then, they collected all these images and made 10-second video clips that I edited together.

Each frame of this film is a different image. At 30 images per second, that’s about 6,300 images. I like to think of this film as 1) a cameraless digital film, which along with my 2004 film RAPID™ (which is included in my digital media opera Anatomy of Melancholy™) owe part of their inspiration to the art of Stan Brakhage; 2) a totally subliminal film (since each frame occupies 1/30th of a second, each frame is subliminal). And yet, images persist, remain, endure, linger, haunt; and 3) a totally appropriated film, as each frame is taken, without permission, from what has been posted on the web (the only exceptions are two frames about 2/3rds of the way through the film, in the ‘pimp’ section, the first where I have photoshopped my face onto Tina Fey’s image where she’s talking about a pimp panda on SNL’s Weekend Update, and the second, where I’ve put the same photo of myself onto the Bender from Futurarama where he’s a pimp, as well as on one of his ho’s. In these two frames, I claim enough fair usage or satire to make those images my own.).

I composed the soundtrack as a layering of microsongs—pop songs compressed in time to last only about five seconds—plus occasional sustained vocal or electronic elements.

PROJEK IAGHT™ first appeared in the New York Minute and San Francisco Bay-Ennial Film Festivals. It received its premiere live performance along with another work, HOVER™, as part of the Flarf/Dusie Poetry Extravaganza at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA on September 30, 2006. This performance included the spoken texts of three Dusie poets (Boyd Spahr, Scott Glassman, and Marci Nelligan), plus six vocalists chanting Latin texts in one of my iPod-directed vocal compositions. A video document of the performance, captured by Flarf poet and filmmaker Brandon Downing is available on YouTube.

Lawrence Lessig, Stanford professor, former columnist for WIRED Magazine, and one of the leading voices on digital culture called PROJEK IAGHT™, “Derivative but totally thought-provoking – just as every great thought gets provoked”.


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