Paul Flannery, Fun Autobahn

Text by Attilia Fattori Franchini

24/01/2014 - 03/04/2014

Fun Autobahn is a deconstructive experiment in time, vision and texture by UK based artist Paul Flannery. It is fashioned from some jerky, lo-light, lo-fi mobile phone footage found on Youtube of a group of boys throwing a pair of trainers over a telegraph wire. The video is pulled apart frame by frame, reordered successively in a grid, one grid-section for each frame of footage.

Each frame of the video appears in its unity, with its own events and speeds whilst defeating the whole chronology of the original. The grainy mobile pieces transform into a rhythmic, non-linear visual pattern.

A formal composition.

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see.

How does it feel to be broken into pieces, resized and then cropped?

Buy it, use it, break it, fix it, trash it, change it, mail – upgrade it, charge it, point it, zoom it, press it, snap it, work it, quick – erase it.
Quality is transformed into accessibility, films into clips, sequences into frames, observation into entertainment. The poor image is proudly distributed against floating highly polished counterparts. It expands along continuous streams that exist within a distributed, networked system.

High spec versus lo-fi used as artistic material.
Transforming lo-fi into high-res as artistic action.

What is existence without a sense of time and space?

Write it, cut it, paste it, save it, load it, check it, quick – rewrite it, plug it, play it, burn it, rip it, drag and drop it, zip – unzip it, lock it, fill it, call it, find it.
Cinematic post-continuity creates an absence in the geography of action by eliminating any reference in time and space. Immediate effects become predominant over any concern for broader continuity — whether on the immediate shot-by-shot level, or on that of the overall narrative. This removal opens up new ways of encounter and self-determination in the visual field. Digital images are autonomous as can be shown without institutional context, according to their own nature.
Fun Autobahn presents mastered data in a new aestheticised format

The original specifications of the image are invisible. Every time images are presented to us they reveal a performative essence. It is a collective performance allowed by emancipated spectators themselves.

How do you appear on a screen and at the same time inhabit reality?

View it, code it, jam – unlock it, surf it, scroll it, pause it, click it, cross it, crack it, switch – update it, touch it, bring it, pay it, watch it, turn it, leave it, start – format it.
Cultural processes are taking on the attributes of information being increasingly conceived in terms of their informational dynamics. The moment an image appears on a screen, a web of political relationships is not only reflected, but actively produced. This places the forces responsible for any type of images at the very center of an ethics of production, presentation and reception.
Visual content is increasingly leaving the screen and entering reality, confusing object and subject matter. The consequence of this process is that one can no longer understand reality without understanding cinema, photography, 3D modelling, animation, or other forms of moving or still image.

Name it, rate it, tune it, print it, scan it, send it, fax – rename it, turn it, leave it, start – format it.

Thanks to (in no specific order): Paul Flannery, Queen, Hito Steyerl, Gloria Maria Gallery, Daft Punk, David Joselit, Seth Price, Steven Shaviro, Tiziana Terranova.

Paul Flannery, Fun Autobahn, 2014, still from video

Paul Flannery, Fun Autobahn, 2014, still from video

Paul Flannery, Fun Autobahn, 2014, still from video

Paul Flannery, Fun Autobahn, 2014, still from video