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European Fotography Review

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OK, so much for books. The other thing, the DVD that I dragged around at the same time in cars, taxis, busses, trains, and on planes, was farmersmanual's RLA. Now who the hell are Farmersmanual? I met them for the first time in Amsterdam in 1995. Laptops and non-compromising sounds. Same about the realtime visuals. They were young. And they stayed young forever. The constant output in shows and performances remained uncompromising. Despite the label they are on (Mego is queen in art-sound-land) and despite the venues they played. Since 1995 people came and went. Farmersmanual moved along but never got mainstream. Likewise for the DVD: it is not easy to get into. First it confronts you with some footage of the past: computer images and a couple of boys smashing up some walls; it proves to be farmersmanual in a former time-warped incarnation of adolescent honesty about buildings and living. But then you find out it is actually a cd-rom at the same time. The disk features a myriad of recordings, photographs, movies and documents that Farmersmanual have collected over the small decade of their controversial existence.

Call them last of the 20th century avant-garde or first of the 21st new-garde. Doesn't matter. Just start up the disk and quit the DVD player program. And find out for yourself. Believe it or not, suddenly I was overwhelmed and charmed with the way this whole thing had imploded into the idea of a DVD, that was nothing else but a failure or breakdown of the format itself. It has been splintered into all the formats we have known over the last decade, and therefore into all the concepts that we dragged along culminating into the fake database hype nowadays. This is the perfect cure to all fake art research and all fake format sublimation that art is promoting these days. And that makes it the most refreshing contemporary disk that ever was - up to now. And what is more, just browse to and you will find out what I am talking about. Don't expect the fancy interface, go for the data, and you will appreciate the interface!

guy van belle

-- HiazHhzz - 14 Jun 2003


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