net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Positive Awkwardness ?

prothesis

When watching https://vimeo.com/156829538 Avatar as Prosthesis 1; an interview Gretta Louw did with the online therapist and trainer Kate Anthony from the Online Therapy Institute in Second Life, I was fascinated by the relation between the two avatars.

So odd to listen to a very interesting conversation on the potential and strength of using avatars in psychological treatment while watching two lady avatars completely absorbed in their own being, voicing thoughts in a conversation not looking at each other, giving the impression of being shy, occasionally blinking their eyes as if wanting to catch another gaze…

Gretta and Kate talked about how “being in the virtual, not being face-to-face” makes communication free-er (this is called the disinhibition effect*) and how the Institute uses this in their therapies.
Would the virtual be so strongly connected to the “real” person that the face-to-face even has to be avoided in the virtual. Is this why they never look at each other? or is it programmed into Second Life as a special female property?

They also talk about the rubber hand illusion, the avatar as an extension and/or a prosthesis and the wheelchair avatar as a virtual activist.
If the avatar is a prosthesis, what is it a prothesis for?
I asked Gretta in an email.

*The Online disinhibition effect is a loosening or complete abandonment of social restrictions and inhibitions that would otherwise be present in normal face-to-face interaction during interactions with others on the Internet. This effect is caused by many factors, including dissociative anonymity, invisibility, asynchronicity, solipsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority.

Filed under: Of interest, , , , ,

Distant Feeling(s) #2

distantFBerlin
Testing the interface July 24 2016

On the 26 of July 2016
Lisa Parra in Los Angeles USA,
Daniel Pinheiro in Lisabon Portugal and
Annie Abrahams in Montpellier France
gathered in an online séance trying to experience each other’s presence with closed eyes.

Distant Feeling(s) #2
Online
: 21h45
Duration 30 min.
Livestreamed directly to reSense #1
Thanks to Olivia Jack (artist and webrtc developer)

Berlin :  20h30 (after BadaboomBerlin BadaBodypaint)
reSense [movement, performance, technology, art] Festival
SPEKTRUM – art science community
Bürknerstraße 1
12047 Berlin

What are we? When are we? Where are we?
We, we we we is what?

When meeting online we face a lack of references that usually define the perception of ‘being’ somewhere at a given time. This object aims at discussing, within the possibilities of networked performance, the mediation itself by removing the fundamental sense that allows connectedness to happen. In a mainly visual rationalized culture we question the following: what are we then left with?

With a sense of proximity ? Intentions of provoking a telematic coordination of movements diluted into a journey of each individual approach on experiencing a shared moment in time? What time?!

Rules for a Distant feeling(s) encounter:
– put the timer on 30 min
– close your eyes
– try feeling the others presence, try provoking their presence, find out what is present
– when timer goes off we open our eyes and just watch for a minute.

Overview : videos, photos, notes on the Distant Feeling(s) project.

 

Filed under: networked performance, , , , ,

WHISPERONTHEINTERNET

LEAP39

Today I had a surprise from China in the post. LEAP #39.
LEAP is the bilingual art magazine of contemporary China. Published six times a year in Chinese and English, it presents a winning mix of contemporary art coverage and cultural commentary from the cutting edge of the Chinese art scene.

On  page 172 – 179 there is an article CAN YOU WHISPERONTHEINTERNET? by the artist and writer  Gretta Louw.

In this article Gretta investigates the confluence of new digital technologies and visual art, and argues that the development of internet technologies and the accompanying tectonic shifts in our consumption of digital media have paved the way for a plethora of new networked performance subgenres.“,  reads  the editorial text.

“Experimental and developing online performative art genres, constantly forming and reforming, are some of the most underrepresented and under-acknowledged areas of artistic practice today, but also (and perhaps this is no accident) among the most exciting, relevant and meaningful.” writes Gretta.

LEAPinside

Filed under: Articles / Texts, Net art, Performance, ,

Politics of Performance and Play

mastertxt

Thursday July 7 2016  14h15.
Lipsius 019,
Cleveringaplaats 1,
Leiden.

Besides, subjectivity is no longer a privileged site for emancipation
Networked performance
Annie Abrahams and Martina Ruhsam

In the frame of The Politics of Performance and Play. Feminist Matters conference, Institute of Philosophy, University of Leiden.
Panel: Performance, Agency and the Posthuman.
Conference programme

‘…if we really engage in storytelling as a sym-poietic practice, which is propositional and invitational, then we have a chance for re-worlding. Play always involves the invitation that asks ‘are we a “we”’? A “we” that does not pre-exist the propositional risk and testing.’
(Donna Haraway, 2015)

Martina Ruhsam and Annie Abrahams started the  performance series besides, – on Object Agency in June 2015.
This will be the 5th performance in this series.

“We perform experimenting thinking together using words and things and the affects transferred via our voices. We experiment performing thinking together, We think performing experiments together, We experiment thinking performance, We experiment performing thought together using words and things and the affects transferred via our voices…”

Filed under: Conference / lecture, Of interest, Performance, , ,

Communitas

In her article Fields of networked mind: Ritual consciousness and the factor of communitas in networked rites of compassion published in Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, Dec 2015., Dr Lila Moore made a link between the antropological theory of communitas and liminality  and  networked collaborative practices.

 

Although I can’t follow her when she refers to Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance hypothesis, I do find the concept of communitas interesting to ponder upon.

Communitas refers to an unstructured state in which all members of a community are equal allowing them to share a common experience, usually through a rite of passage. Communitas is characteristic of people experiencing liminality together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communitas

The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liminality

This resonates with something I wrote (cited by Moore) in 2014 : “I thought, and still think, it important to try to find words, ways of thinking about online performance, analysing it. What is so specific? What can we communicate and how? How do we perceive our bodies when performing? Why does it have such a special energy? Why is it so demanding? How come we feel so close to others, so included and often so extremely exhilarated? Is it because online performance makes the borders between the performers and the audience fluid? Is it because it lacks hierarchy? Because it goes against total control? from “Learn together what it means to be connected …, Annie Abrahams, CyPosium – the Book,  p158.

Being on a border, in an in between – What would be the ritualistic aspects of online collaborative performance?
Connecting to an interface – preparing sound and light conditions – all this in the right order – waiting for the others to come – how to say “hi”? – who is leading the event? – what is the score?
Is there more to say about this? And what would it mean to not immediately reject links to shamanism, religion, and the sacred? …

14579596062_ac5a02fece_z

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

wishes / voeux – hypertext now

wishes-600px-aabrahams

Yesterday Oliwia Blawat included my piece wishes / voeux from 1999 in Ipertestualmente.org her space for hypertext based art. (thanks Oliwia)
She writes on her research :  In my opinion hypertext is a complex structure built from nodes connected by hyperlinks that can be both textual and visual.It is a basic element of www and also of net art works (but not all of them). Hypertext consists in multiple number of links, it is only a framework that can exist both with data and without. The biggest problem of hypertext is that in the presence of complicated structure the content becomes less important and sometimes hypertext is difficult to read because the frame takes over data.

 

“The frame takes over the data?” and content becomes less important? Maybe that’s the way you can look at it now but at the time all was data, and all was content. It was often exactly the way content and form intertwined that made a lot of us interested in creating hypertext. (I remember for instance having the impression that I could finally experiment with representing “thought”.)
Also in new browsers some content became simply invisible  : onmouseover=”self.status=’to start over again without continually facing the humiliations of prejudice’; return true”,  ‘popups’ are often not allowed and hypertext on cellphones simply isn’t ergonomic. It’s not the same anymore. In 1999 we thought about human beings on the other side of the network, now we think in terms of information, likes and data flows.

In Dec. 2009 in Artistic Textual and Performative Paths in New Media Correlations: An Interview with Annie Abrahams by Evelin Stermitz, published in Hz #14, I talked about my first experiment in collectif writing like this :

 This first collective writing project was a collection of wishes, that I proposed to “stocker, déposer, entreposer, deposit, lodge, gardienage, mise en forme, entretien, surveillance, keeping, conservation, maintenance, caring, storage, stock, shaping”. Some of these wishes were chosen to be html-ized either by me or by other volunteering net artists like [anachroma], Takuji Kogo, Tiia Johannson, Christophe Desgouttes, Elise Lefevre, Ted Warnel, Mildred Pierce or Tamara Lai. As html-izing at the time was writing code, this htm-lizing was the second writing layer of the project. A third existed in the possibility to write a personal email, unseen by the others, to an unknown wishing person.

wishesfr
Detail of the complete collection of wishes / voeux, presented as a digital print 148cm x 148 cm in Training for a Better World, exposition CRAC LR, Sète. 28/10/2011 – 01/01/2012.

Filed under: Collective writing, Net art, Of interest, , , , ,

Workshop Performance Art ‘being with’

Workshop Performance Art
‘being with … performance as research as experiment as tool’
by
Annie Abrahams

6th of July, 2016
14:30-17:00 h
Lipsius K031, Universiteit van Leiden, Cleveringaplaats 1.

Archives : CURIOUS CONVERSATIONS – An orchestra of things, notes by Cissie Fu, walkthrough, photos, scores, mp3, notes by me.

Can we construct, building only on what we are, a radically horizontal performance? Can we, at the same time, research the agency of objects in our relations? Let’s try. Who, what are we? We? Find an object, discover the object, make it exist, don’t talk, observe, write, change, rediscover, We, What is we?, don’t discuss, utter, do, observe, write, change.

In this workshop we will all be, and the conceptors, and the performers and the audience (involved observers). We will formulate and execute, while continuously changing roles, a changing script written by all.

We will work with my interpretation of the reformulation and transmission method used by Deufert&Plischke : our work processes are circular processes of continuously passing on and transmitting materials without discussion. We clearly position these practices as an aesthetic and political alternative to processes based on discussion and consensus.

PPPworkshop
photo ©Dina Lucia Weiss

Two unique workshops in cooperation with The Leiden University Institute for Philosophy
LAK cursussen, Universiteit van Leiden.
Costs : € 30 for UL-students and visitors of the conference, € 35 for UL-employees, € 40 for others.

In the context of
The Politics of Performance and Play. Feminist Matters
The Leiden University Institute for Philosophy.
Thursday 7th and Friday 8th July, 2016 Conference.

Filed under: Performance, Workshop, , ,

Water-wheel.net stopped streaming

Sadly Waterwheel, the wonderful platform for streaming dedicated to water, isn’t streaming any more. For their last event Water Works! I selected three entries to a call about :
– how WATER WORKS despite climate change, financial crises, war, and global environmental damage
– how art, science, design, and activism can reinstate the social, cultural and environmental value of water
– how we can give recognition to the indispensable and invaluable ways that water works

Here they are:

There’s an Invisible Place far away by Mikko Lipiäinen.
This video is a dramatization of the editing history of a Wikipedia article ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ which describes the phenomenon of discarted plastics accumulation in the North Pacific Ocean.
Anyone interested in the humanity and dynamics of collaborating, sharing and producing knowledge should watch this video in its full 24 min eloquence.

Wash Up  by James Cunningham. Direct link : https://youtu.be/ITdw60Ej_B8
One hand, one video, cut in two, two hands, two videos, one inversed, both mirrored => one kitchen sink, four hands dancing. Four hands dancing.

L’amour que rien by Antoine Moreau.
I don’t know if this is an ode to love, a warning or an incitation to open the eyes and to stop to turn turn turn.

On Waterwheel you can still browse through almost five years of experimenting on a free platform for the awareness, celebration, care & accessibility of water everywhere. Thanks Suzon.  Sad.

Filed under: Curation, , , , ,

Iterations

I don’t know where this is going
7/06-23/06
Résidence Itérations.
With
Miriam Raggam
Pascale Barret
Claire Williams
François Zajega
Julien Deswaef
Annie Abrahams

Iterations is a project investigating the future of collaborative artistic practices in a technologically networked context. More background aussi en FR en NL

Iterations is co-ordinated by Peter Westenberg (Constant) and Reni Hofmüller (esc).

Constant
association for art and media, Bruxelles and ESC medien kunst labor, Graz.

02_small
Exposition Imal Bruxelles 23/06/ – 31/07/2016.

Next week we will start our two week residency in Iterations which will finish with an exhibition in Imal. We don’t or hardly know each other, we are very different – age, approach, skills. We talked remotely 4 times so far. We also used a pad to prepare. We don’t know where we are going. There will be maps, moving objects, rasppi’s and a lot of discussion. I feel unsure about my role. I am used to organise things, events, to script people (even myself). This time it feels as if I am in a turmoil, as if I am material, part of something else, I have to let go…

30/06 I couldn’t find my place, I left the project halfway through. Collaboration wasn’t a subject, but something you had to do. Without a structure and roles not clearly defined it became participation in something I hadn’t really chosen.

Filed under: Installation, , , , , ,

Displaced – a conversation with Soyung Lee

148_sy-sequence-chi02Displaced by Soyung Lee is the documentation of a performance on the subject of dubbing different languages to explore the concept of social identities. I don’t really understand yet why it touches me so much – of course because it points to communities of people of different backgrounds, different languages, doing things together (Cantonese, English, Mandarin, and Tagalog) – it points to a place where English is not dominant.
Also because it’s made by amateurs and professionals, because it has a beautiful text at its base and because it talks about a very actual condition – the displacement – in a way we can all feel – because it unites me with them, with exiles, refugees, – and because it’s performance, cinema and theater all at once, it’s hybrid.

After having written a short entrance about the project on my e-stranger blog, I wrote Soyung an email with some questions. It was very interesting to read more about the background of her project and so I asked her if I could publish a slightly edited version of our exchange here.

AA: You announce the video on your website as documentation of a performance, but you edited the footing, so, in my opinion it became a video on its own – how do you see this?
SL: Yes, though it was a live performance, I wanted it, from the beginning when I was still planning the project, to also function as a video piece. Hence, I discussed how to document it with the cameraman, Benny, and we edited the multi-camera shots together. The length of the performance didn’t change much – the whole performance was about 11 to 12 min including short pauses between the scenes. I also thought about shooting the whole thing as a video series instead of a performance series, in which case, I could have controlled the details better by reshooting. But in the end, I preferred to try live dubbing when the performers speak in front of the audience.
For this piece, I didn’t change or edit too much since I wanted to keep the original flow of the performance. Usually, I take a much longer time editing and changing the order and playing with the rhythm when it’s video.

AA: Was the performance done in front of a public? As in theater? Is it something you would repeat?
SL: It was done in Cattle Depot Artist Village in Hong Kong in front of about 40-50 people. This site is a former cattle slaughter and under the care of the HK government. The residency (Videotage Fuse Residency) office was inside the village, and the first day I visited, I loved the backdrop of this setting.
I would like to repeat this performance, possibly in a theater, but with some changes in the script since this one is particularly related to Hong Kong’s current situations (see a bit further in this exchange), possibly in another country with diverse cultural codes.

AA: The numbers with the music, cuts up the performance in parts, makes it existing out of different scenes and so the result gets something from theater or cinema too – was there an equivalent in the performance or was the performance one event and did you change, edit it like this it later?
SL: I continue to experiment on how to incorporate or put layers that relate to cinema, theater, and performance in a single piece.
I’m interested in mixing professionals and non-professionals (usually migrant workers or minority groups) for I want the social misfits to be performers (not subjects) in my work.

AA: And why numbers?
SL: It might have been one of the easiest choices, I think now.  The script was written in 7 scenes. I do however think that I could have maybe used dates or other time breaks in between the scenes. Something to consider for the next piece.

AA: Why did you choose these particular languages? Because that’s what the performers spoke? And – did they all understand the four languages?
SL: I used Cantonese (that’s what the male actor, Donald, spoke) because it’s the main language Hong Kong people use. They are under the heavy pressure from China to use Mandarin in schools, so, people are afraid to lose Cantonese. The Filipino ladies – Marita, Merz, and Ever – who are domestic helpers in HK spoke Tagalog which is the most largely used language in the Philippines. The Hong Kong  actress, Cha, spoke Mandarin for some of the lines as she also speaks Mandarin reflecting HK’s current language shift from Cantonese and English to Mandarin. The Canadian performer, Kristy lives already for eight years in Hong Kong and works in Hong Kong Disneyland performing as Disney characters (usually princesses). Though she’s more interested in doing non-commercial performances, because of her visa. I very much enjoyed collaborating with all of them.
They didn’t understand all four languages and neither did I. All the meetings and workshops were held in English. I also discovered that written Cantonese and spoken Cantonese are quite different, so the subtitles and the spoken Cantonese were two different versions of translation.

AA: I adore your text, it’s strangeness, “directness”, emotion, humanity – just very curious – How, when did you write it? Do you write more? Can I find something more …
SL: Thank you. My residency period lasted about 2 and a half month, and I wrote the script after a month of researching in Hong Kong. There are about 320,000 domestic workers in Hong Kong (around 3 percent of Hong Kong’s population in 2013, according to South China Morning Post). Filipinos are the largest number reported to be the 50 percent of them. On the weekends, when they’re off work, they are out in parks and near subway stations because they need to be (or like to be) out of the houses when the families stay together. These ladies take care of the babies, house chores, and sometimes teach English to young kids. I also went to some interesting places in Hong Kong, such as horse races where majority of the crowd watching games seemed to be 50 and above white male and a couple of small islands where the local natives and foreigners live together. All of these scenes registered in mind before I started writing.
Korea is a developed country especially in terms of technology and fast wiring system of the Internet, but we are not quite multi-cultured. Most people speak Korean only, and though there are foreigners and migrant workers, they are not strongly recognizable as a part of Korean culture yet. Similarly, in Korea, people understand the concept of minority but most people don’t seem to capture how it feels to be a minority.
In such cities as Hong Kong, there are more layers in culture and languages, and that inspired me to write this piece.(1)
I also wanted to adapt a few lines from internationally popular novels and plays originally written in Chinese, Russian, and English. (2)
For other writings, I do write usually related to my video pieces or to the research projects. The last script I’ve written for the piece, “Fortress,” was more abstractly written in the very beginning with blank spaces for the actors to fill in. After several meetings and workshops, I added more lines and guidelines but still, the scenes that each actor talked about the idea of dream home and death are filmed with their improvised lines. A few of my colleagues, to whom I sent the original text, liked the first draft of the script, but I wanted to have the actors tell their own concept of “home” in their style of talking.

AA: Could you have made this piece before the internet area, before we all got connected by technology?
SL: I think, since you’ve asked this question, I started realizing how the Internet might have influenced making this piece because before this new era of viewing so much contents of media by streaming or downloading via youtube, vimeo, etc, translating languages and discovering media contents were much slower, and the multi-culture or multi-languages didn’t seem to happen simultaneously. Nowadays, we seem to be more okay with hearing different languages and became familiar with sounds of different languages other than our own or English(or Latin based languages). At the same time, an older media technique which is still quite commonly used such as dubbing technique became more intriguing for me in a sense why and how we can still use it as well as how we can distort such techniques for provoking different kinds discussions as what’s hidden in cracks and pausing moments.

(1) AA: I have a very personal question : Why are you so interested in the exile, the minority? Are you part of one?
SL: I went to the US when I was 14 and lived there for about 10 years as a minority. That was a big jump from a relatively comfortable identity to a very conflicted and confused one. I also had conversations with my Korean-American cousins and other minority friends about being misfits in communities. Then, I lived in London for about 6 months and returned to Korea. When I returned to where I once believed home, there were some other uneasiness in culture that I encountered. Spending a couple of years doing a research-based project on Korean diasporas in Central Asia also made me think a lot about resettlement. Though there are disturbing experiences and conflicts I sometimes include or mention in the work, my direction is towards the possibilities in migration and resettlement in the history of diasporas. The possibilities of sewing the conflicting identities together interest me and inspire some of the projects I’ve been working on and plan to produce.

(2) AA: In your text I only recognized Gertrud Stein and maybe something Shakespearean. The phrase of “the children never having eaten men” struck me as a citation too, but ….
SL: The plays and novels I used for the texts are: Romeo and Juliet  by William Shakespeare, Diary of a Madman by Nikolai V. Gogol, and A Madman’s Diary by Lu Xun.

Scene 3:
“Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a (Ponce)(3). ’Tis but thy name that is my enemy; thou art thyself, though not a (Chun)(3). What’s (Chun)(3)? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name!”
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… doff thy name, and for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself.”
(Quoted from: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Act II Scene II)
Scene 4:
“I have discovered that China and Spain are really one and the same country, and it’s only ignorance that leads people to think that they’re two different nations. If you don’t believe me, then try and write ‘Spain’ and you’ll end up writing ‘China’.”
(Quoted from: Diary of a Madman by Nikolai V. Gogol, p.193 in Madrid, 30th Februarius)
Scene 6:
“Perhaps there are still children who have not eaten men?”
“Save the children…”
(
Quoted from: A Madman’s Diary by Lu Xun)

I adapted from the writers who are internationally popular in literature and theatre and from the countries that are largely influential to Asian culture, so some people (especially from the theatre background) can acknowledge them. The universality and adaptability of the performance was also important when I wrote the script.
The balcony scene of the Romeo and Juliet was adapted because I had an interesting discussion with some Hong Kong friends and the Canadian performer, Kristy, about the names in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong used to be a British colony, most people have English names. Some of them are typical or old English names, but some of the names are direct and unique such as “Emotion, Dream,” etc. Now the young generations in HK are fighting for democracy against pro-China government, and as a foreigner, the complexity of their culture even in the names seemed very interesting.

(3) AA: What is in the names Chun and Ponce that is interesting to you, what do they mean?
SL: I wanted to use one of the most popular Chinese or Cantonese last names, and Chun was one of them. Ponce is the last name of Merz, one of the Filipino performers, who starts dubbing the first line of the balcony scene.

AA: Thank you so much Soyung for this generous and insightful conversation.

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

Upcoming

* 21/08 - 4/09 residency BridA Slovenia.
31/08 15h. Kulturni dom Šempas. "I can't do it alone" Participatif distributed construction of tableaux vivants. 18h. Artist Talk.
* 6/10 16h "if not(you&me)=>(void)", présentation performative avec Muriel Piqué. Colloque international "Narrativité & Intermédialité", Université Paul Valéry Montpellier.
* 14/10 21h performance unaussprechbarlich with Helen Varley Jamieson, Festival Magdalena, Pathos, München.
* 2/11 Masterclass Journée d'études sur la poésie numérique, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3.
* 15/11 Conférence Digital Lab ESBA le Mans. Invitation Marie-Laure Cazin.
* 24/11 Distant FeelingS #3 for VisionS in the Nunnery, Bow Arts, London.

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