net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Participar en tiempo discontinuo

besides,

logoArchivoVirtual

Participar en tiempo discontinuo
Zara Rodríguez Prieto

Telón de fondo. Revista de teoría y crítica teatral, núm. 25, 2017, pp. 160-178.
ISSN 1669-6301
telóndefondo /25 (2017)

In the Virtual Archive for Performing Arts (AVAE), written in Spanish, Zara Rodríguez Prieto analyses besides, (page 165 – 170), the online performance project I did with Martina Ruhsam (2014 – ….), Blast Theory‘s Karen, and Miranda July‘s Somebody as examples of the different ways conversation and discourse participate in online performative practices.

Direct link to download the complete article. (18 pages)

Resumen
Este texto analiza el concepto de participación en prácticas artísticas performativas realizadas a través de internet. Mediante el análisis de tres obras el estudio aborda la idea de participación desde la conversación como dispositivo y desde la construcción del discurso a partir de la interacción en red. En ese proceso se atiende también a la fragmentación temporal de la conversación, impuesta por las características propias de la interacción virtual y a sus implicaciones en la creación de discurso en un espacio compartido.
Abstract
The text examines the concept of participation in performative artistic practices which have taken place through the Internet. Analyzing three pieces, this study addresses the idea of participation focusing on conversation as a device and on the forms of discourse developed since the beginning of networked interaction. The article also explores the temporal fragmentation of conversation imposed by the characteristics of virtual interaction and its implications for the creation of discourse in a shared space.

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What is visible and what is not? What escapes visibility? What (is) resisted the exhibition? What belongs to each temporal layer of reality / fiction? From these main issues (online meeting, how to be together in the distance, not becoming dominant, the conversation and the agency of objects) arise another series of secondary issues that affect, in one way or another, any online relationship such as the creation of a shared intimate space, the contingency, the corporal relationship, the silences and the fragmented communication.
Google translation of a description of besides, on the Archivo Virtual de Artes Escénicas (AVAE) website.

besides, started as a Turbulence commission made possible with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Addictive Behaviours – interview

annie-abrahams3

For the new Furtherfield website’s “debate” section Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett asked me to reflect on the limits and potentials of art and human agency in the context of increased global automation.

Addictive Behaviours: Interview with Artist Annie Abrahams

Triggered by their questions I talked about the difficulty to describe my artistic work in institutional contexts and how in a conversation with a friend I tried to explain my interest in Agency Art. Using this term means being able to make cross sections through disciplines and opening up closed domains of practice. I also talk about a lack of res-ponsability in online affect management and my mistrust in the influence of algorithms produced by  machines themselves.

The interview is part of an editorial series, alongside the Are We All Addicts Now? exhibition, book, symposium and event series at Furtherfield.
Are We All Addicts Now? Is an artist research project led by Katriona Beales.

In the same series there is also a delicious prose-poem-hex from artist and poet Francesca da Rimini (aka doll yoko, GashGirl, liquid_nation, Fury) who traces a timeline of network seduction, imaginative production and addictive spaces from early Muds and Moos.

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Understanding block chain ?

This email is there to try to pen down some of my very visceral negative reactions to Plantoid – The Birth of a Blockchain-Based Lifeform (p 51 -61) in Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain https://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/products/100826 (it’s a great book).

Let me first say that Plantoid is a great project, because it makes some implications of the Blockchain technology very evident and poses a lot of questions.

P 54 “All code deployed on a blockchain comes with a guarantee of execution, by engaging with a Plantoid, people are contractually bound to, and cannot deviate from the rules stipulated into the underlying smart contract code.”
Building a Plantoid is done by humans, of course they can deviate … and if not, they are stupid to participate and become slaves… (maybe there is something I don’t understand here)

P.55 “The Plantoid continuously monitors its Bitcoin balance and whenever it realizes, that a particular threshold has been reached, the Plantoid will be able to use this money to initiate it’s own reproduction”
A Plantoid has no conscience as far as I know, so I don’t think it can realize something – It’s  calculation and rules that trigger an action – a Plantoid isn’t living. Being made of code and rules is not the same as having a soul.

P 58 ” Indeed, the DNA of every Plantoid, that is, all the logic and rules that govern its growth and reproduction are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. These may include certain distinctive aesthetic or physical requirements ….. that will affect the scope of creativity and the room for discretion left to the artists commissioned to produce the next Plantoid.”
So Plantoid seems to be conservative, reinforcing the characteristics it started with.

Artists will have to make propositions for the next level Plantoid within the rules and logic on the blockchain. Contributors can vote the for these by sending micro-transactions to the Bitcoin blockchain of their choice. All will be weighted by the amouths contributed and the smartcontract will process it and establish a winner.
Grrrrrr, automatised decissions Grrrrr anything can come out of such a thing Grrrrr, no discussion, the winner is not necessary what is wished for …

P 59 ” ….the reproduction process, the evolution of Plantoids follow a Darwinist approach” ….
Does it? Darwinism changed a lot over time.
The essential concept of “mutation” (for evolution) doesn’t seem to have a place in the Plantoid blockchain project. Mutation would mean a change of code, an intervention in the basic rules and logic of the blockchain and that seems to be impossible …. Adaption to the environment is not the same as mutation!

P 60 “Each Plantoid is forever and inextricably connected to both its ancestors and its descendants, with whom it can communicate through a shared blockchain-based network.”
I vigorously disagree with the use of the word “communicate” here. Even if it’s use could be correct, it is misleading because of our day to day use of the word. The block-chain based network exists for us to see, to conceptualise, but a Plantoid can not communicate inside it. Plantoids are part of a chain, network of rules and logic, they don’t exchange inside it. Information is linked, coupled, that’s all.

GRRR
winners and so losers, determined by calculation only
conservative
not living at all
GRRR

That’s what I understood

Best

( “”I hate blockchain plantoids by O’Khaos – that’s probably why they are great”,
Email to the netbehaviour mailing list Sept 25 2017 )

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Doc(k)s – readingclub

doc(k)skl

Doc(k)s 4éme Série Numéro 25/26/27/28. Edition AKENATON, Ajaccio. 2017.
ISSN DOC(K)S 0396/3004.

Page 204 – 207. 10 9 les machines, elles, ne buguent jamais ? 3 Pages de la session William Burroughs du readingclub.fr (à partir de La révolution électronique) et un texte collage de Annie Abrahams et Emmanuel Guez – nov 2014.

Lecteurs et lectrices : Colette Tron, Frédérique Vargoz et Emmanuel Vergès.

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The Laboratory of Networked Behavior

thirdSpaceInterview

After my Networked Conversations interview with Randall Packer on the 13th of Mai, Randall wrote an interesting article called The Laboratory of Networked Behavior.

“Only through questioning, probing, getting dirty, and embracing the messiness of online behavior, can we even come close to any kind of understanding of what lies ahead of us in our mediated lives. That is why the work of Annie Abrahams, along with the other intrepid artist-investigators of the Net, is so crucial to our survival amidst the encroachment of the telematic embrace.”

And here is the recording of the interview : performance as reality – performance is reality.

And a preparation for the talk .pdf (very elaborate overview of my online performance history – not complete though)

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Networked Conversations

unnamedImage courtesy of the Third Space Network

After Videofreex and Kit Galloway and before Gene Youngblood I’ll be Randall Packer‘s third guest in the Networked Conversations series.

Saturday May 13th 6pm – 7pm Paris time. (Find your local time here.)

To participate you should go to the Third Space Network.
https://connect.ntu.edu.sg/thirdspacenetwork/
Select “Guest,” type your name, and “Enter Room.”

Networked Conversations is a series of live, online interviews and discussions hosted by Randall Packer. The series features media artists, curators, writers, and activists exploring a broad range of social, political and aesthetic topics at the intersection of net culture. Networked Conversations collapses geographical and cultural boundaries via participatory Internet chat: free & open & accessible from anywhere in the world.
For more information visit:
http://www.thirdspacenetwork.com/

mutant

labise

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Co-incidences 18 – Yann Le Guennec

page20-21

Yann Le Guennec.
Co-incidences no 18.
Revue d’arts et créations.
ISBN 9781326828899

Avec :

Sylvie Bourguet, Annie Abrahams, Olivier Auber, Ann Guillaume, Antoine Moreau, Laurent Neyssensas.

p 41 – 50 version spéciale “who’s afraid of ? La vie en intelligence collective” – les archives – une pièce de théâtre en deux actes d’après un échange émail de 2005 entre les membres du groupe Lieudit.

Vous pouvez acheter Co-incidences 18 en version papier ou le regarder en ligne.

Je suis fière d’avoir participé à ce beau numéro qui rend hommage a cet artiste intéressant disparu trop tôt.

page50-51

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Agency Art II

collectively made, refusing hierarchy, a knitting together of artists and performers in the moment of the event, erasure of the artistic ego, practice, changing rules, choices, connecting, accepting the unexpected, responsive, shared, collaboratively authored, open to all, working with temporal behavioral phenomena, healing, enactment, improvised, including environmental conditions, attentional strategies, instructions, protocols, apparatus, meeting, embracing the ordinary, rehearsing alternatives, re-hijacking therapy, exercising our relations to others, our social (in)capacities, exploring rituals, being together, participatory,
concerns individuals and politics

aa3

Agency Art seems to be a difficult term: too much bad feelings go with the word (NSA) ; too similar sounding to Art Agency, and so it triggers thoughts about commerce. Still I want to persevere. For years I used silently the term “behavioural art” to think about what I was doing – silently yes, because for someone trained in biology “behavioural” is a stained word. It turned out that for others “agency” is just as stained. But for me it’s  an empowering word, referring to Butler, ANT theory and Karen Barad.

Agency Art is beyond disciplines. It’s a point of view, an anchor point from where to think critically about (my) artistic practices.

Let me try, while forgetting temporarily all the theoretical implications, to mention a few projects, I would like to name of Agency Art : Darren O’Donnell‘s social theater works and his book Social Acupuncture which argues for an aesthetics of civic engagement, Miranda July‘s work Somebody, where text messages are delivered by a real person. Félix González-Torres Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) a 175 pound-pile of candy, from which visitors are encouraged to take samples, Eduardo Kac’s Darker than Night and Teleporting an Unknown State 1994/96, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present and 512 hours, where the public became the performing body, Yoko Ono‘s Cut piece, Gego‘s work on networks and space and a lot of Lygia Clark‘s multi-sensory participative work.

gegoretiulareafg-01126-ao-700x372 Gego, Reticulárea. 1981.

To find keywords for Agency Art I choose some specific examples (from fine art, dance, theater, music, performance, digital art and electronic poetry) : Deufert&Plischke’s work, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner’s HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US, Building Conversation by Lotte van den Berg, Deep listening by Pauline Oliveros, Poietic Generator by Olivier Auber, Lingua Ignota by Samantha Gorman and Walking Practices by Ienke Kastelein. (more info on each piece at the bottom of this post)

Why didn’t I include a relational aesthetic artists as for instance Rirkit Tiravanija who initiates ways to enable the public to be a part of the art-making process?
Because the public can’t make choices in his work – it is like a staged environment, which needs these people to make it alive, but does not give them any agency – they are not challenged to make choices besides being there or not being there.

Agency Art is art that makes it clear to the receiver via his or her body what is at stake, where opportunities for action lie, and which virtual* behaviours he or she can actualize. It demonstrates how choices work, and how to create patterns that retain their coherence while you remain part of them and transform when you move within their field of action. (* virtual understood as potentiality, not as a quality or in a re-presentable way) Mulder 2012.
(This refers to my first post on Agency Art.)

Agency Art is made of interaction, but should be constructed, looked at with intra-active glasses.
(This refers to a post on inter-intra-action.)

I still need to read a bit on Latour :) before I can write something about the many definitions, different, but related, takes on agency. Gell, Barad, Spinoza, Butler …

Read the rest of this entry »

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inter – intra – action (Eng)

Interaction was the word I used 20 years ago when I talked about my work in hypertext. Today I need other words: one word, I already wrote about it in my last post, is Agency Art. Another might be Intra-action. I first met it in Mousse magazine #34 (2012), pp.76–81: “Intra-actions” – Interview of Karen Barad by Adam Kleinmann. You can download the interview here.

This word could be usefull to analyze my works of collaborative performance art, as for instance Angry Women, where it is not really clear what is causing what, where the agency is – not between clearly distinguisable entities, but coming from within a whole, where server conditions, individual computers, webcam and sound devices, as well as the voices and images of the co-performers, local light conditions and family situations are all entangled in what Barad would call the phenomenon.
Barad uses quantum physics to articulate a feminist view on the philosophy of science. She builds on Donna Harraway and Niels Bohr. It is not easy to understand her and I was happy to find this video that seemed quit clear.

Video Written & Created by: Stacey Kerr, Erin Adams, & Beth Pittard

But when I transcribed the spoken text, I gathered my understanding might be superficial. Concepts like phenomenon, agency, apparatus all mean something different in different contexts. And when I read in the English wikipedia: “For Barad, things or objects do not precede their interaction, rather, ‘objects’ emerge through particular intra-actions. Thus, apparatuses, which produce phenomena, are not assemblages of humans and nonhumans (as in actor-network theory). Rather, they are the condition of possibility of ‘humans’ and ‘non-humans’, not merely as ideational concepts, but in their materiality.”, I was sure I wasn’t completely getting it (yet) – to be continued.
I feel intra-action will give me a clue on why Agency Art is something not popular in the humanities, in media art etc. (yet).
Here is the transcription of the video:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Agency Art.

trustattentionbis

Agency Art is art that makes it clear to the receiver via his or her body what is at stake, where opportunities for action lie, and which virtual behaviours he or she can actualize. It demonstrates how choices work, and how to create patterns that retain their coherence while you remain part of them and transform when you move within their field of action.

I have been reading Arjen Mulder‘s* article THE BEAUTY OF AGENCY ART, and I recommand it strongly. (You can download the article on academia.edu, read it in the book Vital Beauty, V2_Publishing (2012) or download it here.)

Often, when I talk about my artistic work I tell it’s using behaviour as it’s material and builds on an aesthetic of trust and attention. Sometimes people ask me what I mean by that.

I then tell them that in Being Human / Etant Humain (1997 / 2007) I was more interesting in creating the field, the network of choices in the  html page, than in the multimedia side of it. I told them I saw the works as low-tech mood mutators and interrogations on communication. I didn’t want the work to be immersive. And in my later online performance art projects (Huis Clos / No Exit, Angry Women, besides,, Distant Feeling(s)) I use strict protocols, which strangely leave a lot of freedom to the performers, so we – and they also – can reflect on their behaviour.

Attention and trust are requisites for this to happen and necessities when taking distance of the feelings provoked to appreciate its aesthetics.

Agency Art gives me a new terminology that might help me think these ideas further – I like the word because it doesn’t take any technology or medium as it’s starting point, but puts what these make possible in the foreground. It is art that has behavioural choices, gestures as it’s anchor points. Its meaning is the acts made possible.

The significance of Agency Art is related to a concept called “virtual behavioural space”. This concept is an extension of the concept of “virtual feeling” that Susanne K. Langer in Feeling and Form (1953) introduced. Each individual art medium evokes, manipulates and investigates “virtual feelings” in its own way.
A painting calls forth virtual depth with lines and colours; a sculpture constructs a virtual volume around itself; a novel constitutes virtual memory, tracked through virtual time. Dance follows virtual forces of attraction and repulsion. All the experiences that are part of this “feeling” are spaces of possibility, virtual feelings waiting for actualization; their nature, allurements and dangers must be studied, and art is where this investigation takes place.

See also Agency Art II

.
Why no-one else took to using Agency Art? Mulder embeds his ideas in history, goes back to thinkers as Shannon, Wiener, MacKay, McLuhan, Cassirer, Langer, Gell, Latour, Heidegger, Derrida, Badiou, Rancière, Danto, Whitehead, Steiner, Rolnik and others.
Maybe because his writing was too diffracted at the moment of publishing?
.

Diffraction is meant to disrupt linear and fixed causalities, and to work toward ‘‘more promising interference patterns’’. This can be practiced by reading texts through one another, and rewriting. It disrupts the temporality of a piece of writing, transverses boundaries such as discipline, and can change meanings in different contexts opening up meaning. Iris van der Tuin on wikispaces.com.

More on diffractive reading and writing in Matter feels, converses, suffers, desires, yearns and remembersan Interview with Karen Barad by Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin (2009).
.

*Already in 2005 I read Understanding Media Theory (2004) a book by Mulder (also available on academia.edu). I was influenced by his thoughts. Ik heb ook zijn boek De vrouw voor wie Cesare Pavese zelfmoord pleegde (2004) gelezen. Ik ben ook een fan van Pavese.*

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Upcoming

* 4-9/12 Qu(o)i <=> agence <=> Quand Résidence Labo NRV, ENSBA Lyon et Les Subsistances, Lyon.

* 29/03 15h30 Online En-semble – Entanglement Training with Antye Greie, Helen Varley Jamieson, Soyung Lee, Hương Ngô, Daniel Pinheiro and Igor Stromajer, Art of the Networked Practice symposium, School of Art, Design & Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
* April, Residency Lingagens in Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta, Feldafing, Germany.

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