Mysterium Cosmographicum

Sep 26, 2012

(Brent Coughenour in a live video performance, approximately 90 min)

Over recent decades, American automobile factories, steel mills, textile plants have closed, their activities shipped offshore to environments more conducive to cheap labor and environmental exploitation. Mysterium Cosmographicum, a 3-part experimental video essay and performance incorporating materials culled from music videos, documentaries, YouTube and other sources, argues contrary to popular belief that manufacturing is indeed alive and well in the USA, the world's leading exporter of emotional catharsis.  

In this defining work of the Hoser Formalist genre, Brent Coughenour (I Pity The Fool) uses materials appropriated from the culture industry, flushed through a range of custom-designed software tools, digested and manipulated by video game controllers and rendered into a burbling digital stew exploring the nature of knowledge, belief, delusion, and emotion.  "I can't live if living is without you," he said, as his tear-stained cheek glistened in the glare of the klieg lights. Slowly, his finger tightened around the trigger . . . 
"As an internet trolling, black-metal-loving, post-suburbanite, Brent Coughenour scrapes out the media entrails of a godless digital culture, looking for signs of what might have been named sacred, but that today appears as hacker code or masculine brio templates . . . Call it a science fiction dystopia of the present. A ghost of a protest still shaking its rattle deep inside the machine, offering the disused or under-looked traditions of the avant-garde as a way out of the endless feedback loop that appears as a parody of infinity. Transcendence may be a thing of the past, but not dissent. Turn on, tune in, and keep cutting. There are many ways left to say no." – Mike Hoolboom

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