For a year, glitch artist and researcher Rosa Menkman has been studying resolutions. She was inspired by the Evil Media Distribution Centre by Graham Harwood (YoHa) and Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths, University of London) that was presented at Transmediale this year in Berlin.
Rosa Menkman’s resolution studies are a ‘studies of solution’. She investigages solutions between different kinds of materials, and what one wants to do with them. Her project is not a critique to Evil Media. However, Evil Media are presented as very boring and grey, while they are actually quite interesting.
A resolution not evil, Rosa Menkman states. “I want to realize what they actually are and expand on what they are. First by breaking the file formats. I made static images by using compression. Compression is build to work for a certain format. The language of this compression is one of the resolutions that I’m working with”.
You may call resolutions protocols, but they are also really about solution seeking for a problem, Rosa Menkman argues.
“No resolution exists on its own, they are capsulated again and again. There are so many rules and protocols build on top of each other, that we don’t see them anymore. Moreover, we don’t see what solutions they are for which problems.
A lot of resolutions have become totally normal. For example, since the beginning of film, we have made videos that are square. This used to be neccessary and practical, but now we don’t actually need square video’s anymore. We are simply used to the format. Theses are rules that are based on rules are rules are based on rules. We deleted the option for ourselves.”
Rosa Menkman explains why she started to study resolutions. When she was in New York City, she was walking around while not feeling so well. A friend explained that he just got the flu vaccination, because there was a big outbreak of flu according to Google Flu Trends. Rosa Menkman tells that she wants to know why she is not feeling well, and not to simply get a vaccination because big data are showing that it would be wise to do so. Since there is so many data to find, we do not know how to ask the questions anymore, because of all the keywords that we use to look for information every day. Instead, Rosa Menkman advocates that we should learn how to make questions again. She concludes by quoting a friend; “when there is no real question, we need creative problems.”