Experimental Media Voodoo™

What’s Been Said about Experimental Media Voodoo™ by Blind (but not literally, you know, blind) Peer Reviewers:

“The nature of Projessor Bargsten’s work, its high quality and potential, are manifest in numerous of his works, but in particular I feel that his recent book, Hybrid Forms and Syncretic Horizons (i.e., the text on which Experimental Media Voodoo™ was based—see below), is of particular note. It powerfully occupies a space between research and creative production, offering an intriguing combination of serious media commentary on the nature and role of technology as information and existing as a unique artist’s book on creative work. . . . I feel safe in stating that I fully believe that his work will help shape the future of experimental art utilizing media tools and technologies.”

—Dr. Owen F. Smith, Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll Chair in New Media and Director of Intermedia MFA, University of Maine

“I have watched and listened to his film and musical works, read his most recent book of artist research and then invested the time to reflect on this varied but strongly coherent material. It is an aesthetically powerful body of work of high intelligence that should be considered part of advanced work currently being created . . . His complex and fascinating book-manual Hybrid Forms and Syncretic Horizons: Speculations on Experimental Media (2011) I take as a formalization of both his methodology and vocabulary and as such a clear statement about what it is that he has to teach and transmit. This book, and the practices encoded in it, makes for a significant contribution to the development of the practice of artist research and along with it an enhancement of the role of teaching.”

—Dr. Michael Stone Richards, Professor, Critical Theory and Art History, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan; author of Logics of Separation: Exile and Transcendence in Aesthetic Modernity and Care of the City: Detroit and the Art of Re-Invention; founding member of Program Committee for Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit

“As a professor in multimedia studies, he has produced abundant material in many genres. Films, live performance, web-interactive media and art-making, still image—it is extremely rare that anyone would be active in all of these areas! . . . In (Experimental Media Voodoo™)  I see a hybrid blend of performance suggestions, aesthetic depth, and archiving of his work.  . . . I find it compelling, open, interesting, and helpful—beyond a “tutorial for multimedia”, it’s an example of it.”

—Dr. Stephen Rush, Composition and Music Technology Faculty, University of Michigan

Experimental Media Voodoo™: An Artist’s Book of Syncretic and Subversive Practices (in progress) by Joey Bargsten (electronic /interactive book and pdf format, see below; way overpriced German print edition available here, but if you just want to download that for your mobile device, without benefit of cool graphics click here).

Elevator Talk:

I’m kind of a  ‘digital renaissance guy’—a composer, filmmaker, visual artist, designer, web/interactive creator, and writer. Because I do all those things, I define myself as a ‘digital media artist’. But, that term is really difficult to explain to people, even my friends and colleagues who are generally pretty intelligent, and well-informed.

In the text, I outline how I take the materials of our current digital culture (sound/music, still and motion images, and written or spoken text) and integrate them into ‘new media forms’, experimental performances, media objects, and events. While these hybrid forms exist outside established, recognized, familiar productions (like films or books or games or concert music), they often use the very commercial tech that’s everywhere —such as iPods, mobile phones, common software like Photoshop or Flash, and the Internet—to make it all happen.

This text is comprised of a number of short essays, case studies of my own work, some tutorials, and a framework for working in digital media with an experimental approach. It’s also got lots of LINKS to material on the internet—archives, resources, videos, other sites, and Wikipedia articles, so instead of explaining something verbally I’ll link to examples of that thing on the internet. I’ve always depended on the scholarship of strangers.

TABLET VERSION: (.pdf format) for iPad, other tablets, and browsers. New index, and just a few sample pages that demonstrate what the project will look like:

Cover page/Index/Outline


– Case Study: Ultra Mega Nano Meta


 – Case Study: Digital Imagery (ca. 1992-94)

Expanding Sonic and Textual Vocabularies; Convergence

Process: AnalysisCraft, and Synthesis

– Case Study: The Walkman Ensemble; . . .  The Syncretic Moment

Form: iPod Operatics, Genre Rehabilitation, Journalism Art, Digital Texts, Micronarratives.

– Case Study: BAD MIND TIME™ Online Interactive Archive

Intermedio: Extended Essay on Videojamming

Conclusion, Contexts, and Design Dimensions (- Case Studies: Persona Jams, Dystopian Dreams)

Links, Acknowledgements, and Appendix

The above files are web-optimized versions of the text, so some bitmaps are downsampled to 96 dpi. Still, they take a while to download, but you should be able to view them on any platform.

INTERACTIVE, BROWSER-BASED VERSION: For those who desire an interactive tour through the material, one may examine this Interactive version (sneak peek beta version; in progress, with only a few thumbnail images and videos. Adobe Flash based—cannot be read on iOS devices like iPad, iPhone, or iPod).


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