net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

vivre entre – from estranger to e-stranger

Le samedi 26 septembre je participera au festival Magdalena Project Montpellier à La Bulle Bleue, 285 rue du Mas de Prunet à Montpellier. Sur réservation 0467421861.
14:00 – 19:00 Formes courtes : 10 à 30 min. Performances autour de créations en cours.

Je présenterai vivre entre – from estranger to e-stranger, une conférence performée autour de mon livre from estranger to e-stranger – living in between languages sur invitation de Marion Coutarel.
zit2 helen schoot 21240783353_1437eff3e3_q annieloopt textcarre ondersteboven21835685526_5a9dfdec50_q
Photos de Suzon Fuks – D’autres dans son flickr ici.
Le score, texte de la performance : .pdf

 Un (e)stranger est invisible, exotique, inidentifié, impoli, hybride, flou, subversif, complexe, pliable, dur et fragile

The Magdalena Project, Montpellier. 21 – 26 septembre

Filed under: Conference / lecture, performance, ,

Choose Your Muse – interview

politics, art, influences, encounters, difficulties, uniqueness, inspiration, iritation, understanding

Marc Garrett interviewed me for the Choose Your Muse series on Furtherfield.

And he made this image to go with it, Thanks Marc!

Other interviews in this series so far : Mike Stubbs, Igor Stromajer, Jeremy Bailley and Lynn Hershman Leeson.

Filed under: Interview, , ,

MTAA’s Physical Bookmarks – Vintage Net Art Created Before Facebook

MTAA’s Physical Bookmarks for Vintage Net Art Created Before Facebook (BF-2004), 2015
5 x 6 inch etched vinyl on panel, no edition, $125 each

Tinjail – You, 2001
MTAA – MTAA’s Working Process, 1998
G.H. Hovagimyan – Homepage, 1999
Yael Kanarek – World of Awe, 2000
Annie Abrahams – Séparation/Separation, 2002
Vuk Ćosić – Ascii History of Art for the Blind, 1998

Over The Opening (OTO) @ the Internet Yami-ichi


Filed under: Net art, , , , , ,

memento mori

IVAN_Chabanaud(photo Karen Dermineur, P-Node, Paris, 2014)

Ivan Chabanaud left us a few days ago. He died of cancer.

I have been working with him for more than 6 years. He developped among a lot of other things the streaming interface for my Huis Clos / No Exit performances. I’ll miss him.
Livre d’or

Filed under: Of interest,

besides, – some reflections on the first three performances

Now online : Reflections on the three first performances besides,

Annie .pdf
Martina .pdf

More information : videos, scripts, chatlogs, notes on the website of Turbulence who commissioned these performances (with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts).

Why would two naked women (with white skin, Western) visible online be subversive/critical? There is the terrifying practice of using the web for the purpose of exposing oneself relentlessly, even ones naked body. And there is a whole industry exploiting these acts. There is the problem that one cannot get these images down from the net – once they circulate in its tentacles.
Usually we look into the face of someone but we don´t see the body of the person. It is covered with clothes. Especially in online-communication the interface usually frames the head, the face. In
Besides, dear body, there are two bare bodies without a face. It could also be two different bodies. It is not so much about the individuality of these two bodies or the (hi)stories that have sedimented in them. It is about reaching out to one another, to link to one another. It is about disrespecting limitations and boundaries (of the image, the body, the space etc.)
I consider
Besides, dear body, as an experiment and the result as a poetic moving image of holding on to each other in all our vulnerability (I think we succeeded in showing nudity as a fragile costume) – no matter what the physical distance is. Indeed, via virtual/online-communication we are able to create linkages, to induce closeness, the feeling of being interwoven with other people´s threads, thoughts…During the online-communication one is „sharing distance“ with someone or some persons and it can be a very intimate experience.
At the same time online-communication emphasizes solitude. At the latest when one closes the interface, or one shuts down the computer one is alone. There is no way of going out to the foyer or to the bar and seeing the persons that were part of the event, watching the performance. There is not even certainty about the fact that there was anyone watching.

Extract from Martina’s reflections.


I know I would never have done a performance on aging (besides, Dear Body,), showing myself naked if I hadn’t been confronted to my own possible ending. It felt soothing to connect my nude body to the image of Martina’s much younger body. It felt as if we created a continuum in difference and made a statement that said „don’t worry, this is life“. I wanted it to be a gift.
Afterwards there was a big shock when I looked at the recording of the performance, when I looked at my naked body. I see this body every day in a mirror, but the video image is not the same as a mirror image – there was no head, no action going on, just the body to look at. It took time to overcome my personal aversion to my own aging body, to accept the breathing image, to accept its reality, to let the video live as an independant object showing aging, a tender connexion, and a crack.
Extract from Annie’s reflections.

Filed under: Articles / Texts, networked performance, , ,

ReadingClub – Potential ?

Conclusion? Potentiel? ReadingClub?

– FR L’interface du ReadingClub n’est pas apte au développement d’un contenu, à faire co-écrire un texte. Par contre il facilite des courtes batailles où les idées frappent et reçoivent et obtiennent une résilience ou pas et permet des expérimentations des formes poétiques aux esprits vagabonds, à un cerveau multiple. AA. Août 2015.

– ENG The interface of the ReadingClub is not for developping content, for co-creating a text. But it excels in facilitating short fights where ideas kick, recieve and proove resilience, or not and it allows poetical form experiments for wandering minds, for a multiple mind.” AA. August 2015.

Filed under: Collective writing, ,

Not Texts.


The Age of Earthquakes – A guide to the Extreme Present by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist “imitates” McLuhan’s approach in The Medium is the Massage and was much criticized because precisely it is a book, that looks back instead of forward – David L. Ulin L.A.Times, and because it’s not serious writing. M.H. Miller goes as far as saying that the authors have no actual skills in his Artnews article called Disaster Writing: New Book By Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist Wreaks Havoc on Original Thought. This resonates with a lot of reactions to my online collaborative writing experiments started in 1999. “The results are not texts.” people said and still say.


I started working online in 1996 because I thought that by using hypertext I could come closer to showing something about what was going on in my brain than by using anything else. My brain isn’t functioning in a linear way, if I don’t constrain it to do so. I loved the concept of the network, of the simultaneously existing parts, the multiple pathways inside, the way I could simulate and imagine a thought hopping through it without controlling where it went. This was new at the time, but we quickly grew accustomed to using the internet in our daily internet lives and aren’t even aware anymore of it’s original power. But in the mean time I saw the appreciation of the lingering mind changing and this book is a voice for its complex character.

But why do I like it as a book? It historizes what otherwise would stay ephemeral – a profile through a possible multiple voice. And of course it remembers me of my own book from estranger to e-stranger – living in between languages, that is constructed in a similar way.

To better understand what the resulting texts of my collaborative online writing experiments “do” I started reading them aloud and using them in performances. Maybe, Martina and I, we could use The Age of Earthquakes as the basic text for one of our upcoming besides, performances.

Filed under: Collective writing, , , , ,

Ed Atkins – remediating?

Ed Atkins: NO-ONE IS MORE “WORK” THAN ME, 2014. Performed in 14rooms, Fondation Beyeler, Basel.
On a large unadorned flat screen a 1:1 scale 3-D head, shaved and tattooed, bids for his humanity. A real-life person is present, performing according to the directive to “bear witness to” the avatar’s eight-hour pitch at being a convincing person.


Why am I posting this video? It was Ienke Kastelein who pointed me to it when we talked about the discussion on empathy and intimacy in networked performance in which we both participated. There is no immediate link, but I watched the video, did some research and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Why was there a performer “to bear witness” beside the screen? What did that mean?

A triple (quadruple?) presence – Atkins doing a poetic performance for 8 hours somewhere not far away, an avatar, a 3D-head delivering this performance on a bluescreen to the public and an actor, wearing a blue hood, besides the screen. The fourth presence being the computer who calculated in real-time the 3D head and the sound.

There was a large screen and a live performer, who didn’t really do anything save remediate.” said Atkins in Head Space, a conversation between Ed Atkins and Matthew De Abaitua about the intertwining of art and technology in Frieze 165.

remediate = to set straight

This made me think he needed this body to make the performance acceptable in the frame of contemporay performance practice. He needed a remediator, a corps that could attach the 3D-head. He needed to heal. The technological is not (yet) “real” enough to perform.

It also pointed exactly to what I consider to be a problem in online performance practice. We count on a suspension of disbelief in order for the performance to be. (“What tells me, it’s not prerecorded?”) Sometimes, the use of a chatwindows in online performances also functions as a kind of remediator that suspends the need to belief…
What if we stopped remediating, but started working the pixels, flaws, glitches, delays, misunderstandings … the aesthetics of behaviour – aesthetics of attention (is there a difference?).

Don’t get me wrong I like the poetry of the piece – I do like the presence of the body – it makes the whole thing a bit wry. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t see the performance, I would like to though.

Filed under: Of interest, , , , , , ,

Shirley Clarke – Is this reality?

I would have liked to know her.
Shirley Clarke has been making videowork in the 70ties and 80ties, that you might think I am building upon, if you didn’t know I only became aware of her work a few days ago.
I was looking for information on a photo where she was kissing with Nam June Paik in a splitscreen installation by David Cort. For this I contacted Deedee Halleck who said I should look into Shirley’s work. She was right. I was especially smitten by what I learned of her participative and open video practice*. It’s somehow very close to how I treat webcam performance.
This is a photo by Peter Simon from a blogpost written by Deedee Halleck. Her post also contains more images and some anecdotes on the inspiring TeePee workshops.

I found Beth Capper‘s interesting article Building The Pleasure Palace Theater of the Future: Archiving Shirley Clarke’s Early Video Work, but unfortunately the archival website she planned to make doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

And there is Andrew Gurian‘s who describes a night long workshop : Thoughts on Shirley Clarke and The TP Videospace Troupe, that contains also this citation from an interview with her published in Radical Software (New York: Gordon and Breach, Science Publishers, Inc.; Vol. II, No. 4, 1973) p. 27.
“Well, one unique capability of video is that we are able to put many different images from many different camera and playback sources into many different places and into many separate spaces (monitors) and we can see what we are doing as we are doing it. We need to develop better motor connections among our eyes and our hands and bodies—we need balance and control to move our images from monitor to monitor or pass our camera to someone else. But mainly we need the skill to see our own images in our own monitors and at the same time see what everyone else is doing. We need to acquire the ability to see in much the same way that a jazz musician can hear what he is playing and at the same time hear what the other musicians are doing and together they make music.”

In Noël Burch and André S. Labarthe’s documentary Rome is Burning: A Portrait of Shirley Clarke from 1970, you can see her talk (Yoko Ono, among others is listening) about the power of the camera (the eye) – Is this reality? – feminism? (7 min. extract)

Complete 53 min on vimeo.

*Clarke’s workshops revolved around nondirected, open-ended play—of the kind Game Studies would call “paratelic,” as distinguished from goal-oriented or “telic” play.“… “adaptive play systems that allowed participants to develop methods for coping and surviving in the world by proposing that error could be enabling and, even, fun and enjoyable
Beth Capper (2013) Ultimate Participation Video: Shirley Clarke’s Tee Pee Video Space Troupe, Art Journal, 72:1, 46-63.

Filed under: Articles / Texts, Of interest, performance, Video, , , ,

empathy and intimacy in networked performances

propinquity, cross-reality, tele-presence, synaesthesia, ideasthesia

After reading Frans de Waal’s book on The Bonobo and the Athesist, I wondered if it would help me to better understand what is happening in networked webcam performance thinking about it in terms of empathy. So I wrote a status :

Would “empathy” be a word to describe what is needed (put at stake) in networked webcam performances?
The discussion this triggered made me realise a lot had happened since we organised the CyPosium in 2012. There seems to be a very lively bunch of people, with new approaches and ways of thinking, working in this field.

Participants :
Suzon FuksWaterwheel platform
Daniel Pinhero and Lisa Parra of LAND project
Helen Varley JamiesonUpstage platform
Ienke Kastelein artist – performer
Martina Ruhsam performer – choreographer
Michael Baird musician
Roger Mills director of ethernet orchestra
Randall Packer of
Sara Malinarich from the Intact project
Jason Crouch of Contact Manchester
Jesse Ricke of CultureHub New York.

I screencaptured the whole thread and post it here as 12 .jpg’s. (interesting links to videos, discussions, academic approaches and practice)

























After the discussion we started a closed facebook group. If you are interested, please ask to join us, you are very welcome.

The propinquity effect is the tendency for people to form friendships or romantic relationships with those whom they encounter often, forming a bond between subject and friend. Feeling close in networked performance might depend on “the percieved feedback”.

The public can’t be an object/subject for empathy, there are too many different people inside it – empathic skills projected on a public easily become manipulative, become something else.

Physical distance between the persons performing and also between them and the persons watching does allow for intimacy in a very special way. Maybe the intimacy is even connected to a shared sense of awkwardness that the situation implies.

Empathy is a quality, a capacity of one person (as is intelligence, sensibility), not something between persons / it is the capacity “a receptiveness to the rhythms, energy, utterances of the other person” – it is a prerequisite for intimacy.

Rather than empathy it’s about a process of increasing synaesthesia.

What telepresents CAN NOT be present, but we cling stubbornly to this utopia. (Jorge Ruiz Abanades)

Maybe one day there will be another CyPosium …

Filed under: performance, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


* November - December Residency unaussprechbarlich, Villa Waldberta, Munich.
* 28/11 besides, ... Online performance On Object Agency with Martina Ruhsam for pixxelpoint 2015.
* 4/12 20h unaussprechbarlich, work-in-progress mit Helen Varley Jamieson, Schwere Reiter, München.

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Opening Event Mie lahkoo pomagate

Opening Event Mie lahkoo pomagate

Opening Event Mie lahkoo pomagate

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