Florian Cramer – nkdlunch.mp4, tapetrff.mp4

Florian Cramer

Floppy Films, The Netherlands, 2009

Disappeared from our desktops first because of cd-rom burners and then (after regretting losing the floppy’s quick data portability) because of USB keys, the floppy disk is still supported by major OSs, but is often found sleeping in quantities in boxes as old relics. The floppy disk (3.5″) has been the medium of choice for Florian Cramer’s brilliant artwork series. He has started to play with video editing software and compression codecs in order to make short videos that fit this old medium’s capacity. nkdlunch.mp4 is a film cut-up of the cut-up of David Cronenberg’s film adaption of William Burroughs’ cut-up novel. tapetrff.mp4 is a documentary of Tape Treff Kant A, an evening of experimental cassette tape music recorded at Extrapool Nijmegen. Here we have a lo-fi medium being used to preserve content generated by another lo-fi medium. Then, he released 2009 Oscar-nominated films as 1.44 MB files (including “Slumdog Millionaire”), in the form of 7×3 pixel/8fps/128 colors animated GIFs, rendering the respective dominant color palette, with all the consequent aesthetic considerations. Finally, Cramer has recorded a 20 sec. live floppy film of a performance, recorded with a Sony Mavica floppy disk camera. It’s evident that these works are not about “retro” taste or nostalgia. Beyond the conceptual goals, it’s a painstaking technical challenge. Resurrecting an almost dead medium means questioning not only the obsolescence of formats, but also the intimate nature of content structure and its embodiments. Blow the dust off your floppy drives and enjoy!