net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

removal – double bind

I already watched Robin Nicolas‘s video removal several times since he made a .mov version available on they became what they beheld. Now you can also watch a fullscreen version on vimeo. It’s simply  beautifull.

Removal – deletion, suppression, cleaning, disappearance, withdrawal, ablation, expulsion, transfer, liquidation, remotion, clearance, elimination, eradication, purge, riddance, dismissal – The deconstruction of space in response to the release of voice

Start : I don’t know if you are with me, if you hear me, if ……………..hello can you hear me?……………….End : Mrs Robinson, do you hear me? Can you hear me? Are you reading my lips? Can you hear me? What are you doing? Why are you looking out of the window? I am trying to talk to you. I need you to hear me. And that was it. She just turns her head and starts looking out of the window, and that’s the end of my story, there is nothing else left. That is it. End of  story.

Removal is the video version of  Robins’ participation in the  Double Bind webperformance series of 2008 – 2009.

As a biologist I learned Double Bind to be a situation with no exit, whatever one chooses one looses, and this leads to illogical, inhibited, ambivalent and misplaced behaviour. Double Bind is the result of conflicting cues about a particular situation. An animal that cannot decide between attack and flight is going to eat or scratch.
Does double bind describe our actual relation to technology?

I asked 6 artists to reflect on this and to propose a performance in the double webcam performance series on

Surveiller Punir "Double Contraintes Foucault"Surveiller Punir “Double Contraintes Foucault” Pascal Lièvre reads a page of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish / Surveiller Punir, while attached to his friend Mathieu, who reads the same page. Their “échec” to read together in the same pace shows us the limitations of the machine power? Vidéo

Bras de tête et Tête de fer K.Kliniques, Justine Abittan et Caroline Delieutraz. They sing, cry, whisper their disconcerting foolishness while they try to be in one and the same space where there is not enough room for two, ignoring the empty space just besides.

julien plus agnèsPuzzled Julien Lassort, assisted by Agnès de Cayeux, shows a clown, a Pierrot, sensible, twofold, man and woman: robotised. Pierrots are generally know for their sadness and trusting naïveté, their oblivion to reality and their distant and moonstruck character.

renee turnerPostcards from her desktop Renee Turner cites Derrida : “I would like to write you so simply, so simply, so simply.”  Two simultaneous streams, a  RSS and  a mix of real-time transcription and pre-written material defied the transparent one to one relation between experience and language.

jean françois blanquetAuto/Hetero Jean-François Blanquet presents  two  heteronymes: jeanfrançois blanquet using his computer to find a job and  TITsANUS using his for fun. In the end the alternating presence of both of them seems to drive their author and the machines crazy.

The  Double Bind webperformance series of 2008 – 2009  was a follow-up of the Breaking Solitude series of 2007 – 2008 .

ps I am reading Double Bond the biography of Primo Levi by Carole Angier. “Something one cannot understand constitutes a painful void, a sting, a permanent stimulus that insists on being satisfied” Primo Levi, 1960.


“Between November 2006 and February 2008 I organized with two seasons of rendezvous on the web called “Breaking Solitude”, “different ways of being together”. 14 Artists accepted to do a performance in the experimental situation created in the virtual salon of panoplie.
Some features, such as time limits (between 5 and 20 minutes) and a refusal to pod cast the performances related these events to traditional contemporary art performances. Others like the participation of the public using a chat window made them to a new experience for both the artist and the public.
The performing artist was confronted to the brute and often emotional reactions of his public, which were not always as respectful as in art centres, museums and galleries.
The participating audience had the privilege to assist in a performance, to see and hear a person during an act of creation without having to subject to the social rites of the art world. The only thing that remains from the performance is its immediate feedback, the text written by the audience. (Archives have been destroyed – article « Breaking Solitude », dernier salon (du Net) où l’on cause  sur Poptronics – announcement on nt2 UQAM.

In this new season Breaking Solitude becomes Double Bind.

Is our relation to the computer and internet double bind, bound, bond?
I am your friend but you will never know me?
Remote presence, ubiquity, multiple personality, absence of the body? Does this make us schizophrenic? How do we adapt?”

Annie Abrahams September 2008.

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Annie Abrahams
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