Luis Fernando Medina Cardona. Ritmo 2021: a distributed abstract experimental short movie based on computer code as a result of hybrid interactions

Ritmo 2021: is a short experimental film made entirely out of computer code using the prototyping creative coding language “processing”, popular in media arts teaching. It emerged in 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic as an answer to a general question posed by my students in the middle of the outbreak: how to develop a film in a world of social distancing? Instead of turning to laptop webcams and virtual meeting aesthetics to replace film production, we approached abstract images that could be made individually and assembled at the end to produce a single piece without losing continuity. The inspiration was drawn from the pioneering abstract film Rhythmus 21 by Hans Richter (Germany 1921). Later on, this class exercise evolved into a complete research project. This proposal comprises a presentation reporting the case and a short screening of extracts from the resulting film. The aim is twofold: 1. to discuss how people managed a collective project in a hybrid assemblage that includes computer networks and 2. a shift of the typical rhetoric of interactivity in media arts: from following patterns in a predefined interface to providing the source code of the piece instead and in doing so, fostering remixed derivative new pieces. We favor the second approach as being more interactive and compliant with the ethics of free open-source software, a culture embedded into the very materiality of the piece as a result of creative code as a medium. Furthermore, the potential of different pieces promotes a diversity in authorship based on the human-machine potential embodied in the artist-programmer.

Luis Fernando Medina Cardona is an associate professor at the School of Film and Television and holds a PhD in media arts and sciences from the University of Arts and Media in Cologne, Germany (Kunsthochschule für Medien, Köln – KHM). He is interested in the interaction between art, science and technology from an interdisciplinary perspective. Both his theoretical and practical work is related to free software and culture, collaborative creation methodologies and alternative media. He combines teaching and research with creative practices based on hacker ethics, DIY (do it yourself) and DIWO (do it with others). He currently coordinates the research group </espam> “Espacio de Producción Abierta de Medios” (Open Media Creation Space) at the Faculty of Arts of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and is one of the co-editors-in-chief of the journal Actio: journal of technology in design, film arts, and audiovisual communication.