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Anarchive n°2 - Digital Snow
DVD-Rom under the direction of Michael Snow

An adaptation of this DVD-ROM is available online:
>> Digital Snow

This online version has been produced in 2012 by Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology. [Ludovic Carpentier programming]

The DVD-ROM is a co-production of the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology and Époxy Communications, with financial support from Telefilm Canada. And dditional financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program.

Director of Research : Peggy Gale
Director of Prototyping and Producer: Jean Gagnon, Director of Programs, the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology.
Multimedia Director: Jean-Christophe Yacono (YAKO), Époxy Communications.

Published by Centre Pompidou, October 2002


Digital Snow features:

- 4685 entries in the database
- 700 works documented
- Texts by the artist
- Drawings and notes by the artist
- Texts on the artist
- 2-D and 3-D animation and simulation.
- Audio recordings: sound works and improvised music by Michael Snow and the group CCMC
- Film excerpts
- Photo reproductions of his work
- Bibliographies and directories
- Search engines (database)
- Other Film Excerpts: Telescope 70: Snow in Venice: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, TV Archives, Toronto, Toronto Jazz: Director, Don Owen, 1963, National Film Board of Canada, Montreal, Snowblind: Director, Hollis Frampton, 1968.

Synopsis :
The entry interface will be taken from a sequence in the film Rameau's Nephew by Diderot (thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (1974). Key frames will be excerpted from this sequence, which lasts about 15 minutes.

A static shot of a table surface reveals several objects (a typewriter, boxes of slides, brushes, pencils, glue, a photograph of hands on a piano keyboard, a videotape). The artist's hands appear and move the objects in a way that seems random at first but that slowly reveals an order based on colour and forms. An off-camera voice describes the action of moving the objects, at times preceding the action and at times following it.

This sequence, picturing Snow's usual tools, clearly illustrates a particular dimension of his work, using several media and materials. It also explores links with perception and with what mediates perception, most notably language and technology (film and photography, in this case). The objects on this table, constantly shifted by the artist, will act as points of access to the databank on Snow's work and, according to groupings, will lead to different sections of the DVD. By clicking on the objects on the table top, the user will access different categories of work (painting, music and sound pieces, installations, films, photographs, public artworks) or more detailed sections presenting visual or audio clips and texts by or on the artist.

Media, Materials and Thematic Principles in Snow's Works:
With Michael Snow, we have chosen some 80 seminal works in all the media the artist feels are representative of his major themes and working methods. Among the works, Walking Woman Works is in a class by itself: it comprises numerous pieces dating from 1961 to 1967 and takes up an entire section of the DVD.

All these works, documented with images, 2-D and 3-D animation, video and audio clips, and archival documents such as notes, preparatory drawings and manuscripts, were then categorized in a database according to a set of terms that corresponds first to media used by the artist and second to thematic principles and materials that embody each work. Our approach represents the crossing of two axes, one medium-based and the other cross-media. Cross-indexing of the works is then possible beyond the confines of each medium. This allows for the creation of multiple links between works according to the choices of terms used to launch a request in the database.

Jean Gagnon © 2002 FDL