Why Chris Marker’s Radical Images Influenced So Many Artists


Sukhdev Sandhu, William Gibson, Mark Romanek, and Joanna Hogg discuss Marker in The Guardian (h/t: Meg Toth; image of a museum built by Chris Marker in Second Life). Sandhu:

Marker didn't regard artistic forms as sacred. He didn't believe in the primacy of celluloid or the cinema screen. He was continually embracing and experimenting with new technologies: one of his richest later works was a CD-Rom entitled Immemory (1997); he created Photoshop cartoon-collages for the French website Poptronics; the Whitechapel show includes a projection of Ouvroir: The Movie (2010), a tour of a museum he created on Second Life, as well as the UK premiere of Zapping Zone (Proposal for an Imaginary Television) (1990-94), a sprawling assemblage of videos, computers and light boxes.

“Marker was always interested in transformation,” recalls Darke. This fascination with the ability of new technologies to transform ideas of human identity, social connection and the nature of memory makes him a strikingly contemporary figure whose work has been embraced by young art students as much as cinephiles. His claim to be a “bricoleur” – a collector of pre-existing visual material – is resonant now that the harvesting, assembling and curation of images has become as important as their creation. His fondness for revisiting old material and reusing it in new contexts resonates with the present era's unprecedented ability not only to store huge digital archives, but to click, drag and recontextualise their contents across limitless formats.

At a time when corporations and governments alike are hell-bent on surveilling and snooping on citizens, Marker's anonymity feels like a thrilling and prophetic act of resistance.

More here.