net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

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.

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

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 …

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inter – intra – action (fr)

Depuis quelques temps j’essaie de réfléchir sur un nouveau concept: Agency Art, que j’ai découvert dans un texte d’Arjen Mulder de 2012.
J’aime beaucoup cette notion, parce que elle ne prend pas un medium, ou une technologie comme point de départ, mais met en avant ce que celles-ci rendent possible. C’est un art qui s’ancre dans les choix comportementaux, dans les gestes. Son sens est les actions rendus possibles. J’ai écrit un billet qui en parle plus amplement. (en anglais)

interintra

Mulder intègre ses idées dans l’histoire. Il remonte vers des penseurs comme Spinoza, Shannon, Wiener, MacKay, McLuhan, Cassirer, Langer, Gell, Latour, Heidegger, Derrida, Badiou, Rancière, Danto, Whitehead, Steiner, Rolnik et encore d’autres.

Dans mes tentatives de mieux comprendre ce que ce concept pourrait apporter à ma propre pratique artistique je lis des entretiens (en anglais) avec Karen Barad une physicienne et féministe américaine qui parle d’un autre concept nouveau pour moi: l’intra-action.
Dans les années 90 du siècle dernier le mot interaction était un mot clef pour analyser mes œuvres en hypertext. Peut être aujourd’hui l’intra-action peut m’aider à mieux réfléchir mes travaux de performance collaborative où il n’est pas vraiment clair ce qui provoque quoi, où se trouve l’agence – ne pas entre les entités clairement distinctes, mais venant de l’intérieur d’un tout, où les conditions du serveur, les ordinateurs individuels, les différents webcams et périphériques sonores, ainsi que les voix et les images des co-performeurs, les conditions d’éclairage locales et les situations familiales sont toutes enchevêtrées dans ce que Barad appellerait un phénomène.

L’intra-action (en opposition à interaction), un néologisme introduit par Barad, représente un profond tournant conceptuel dans les métaphysiques individualistes. Pour Barad, les choses et les objets ne précèdent pas leur interaction, mais plutôt, les « objets émergent à travers des intra-actions particulières ». Source Wikipedia.fr

Ce n’est pas simple du tout de comprendre les idées de Barad. J’étais contente de trouver une vidéo qui semblait l’expliquer simplement et puis je l’ai transcrit et j’ai essayé de traduire ce texte en français. (voir en bas) Tout ça pour me rendre compte que je n’en ai toujours qu’une compréhension superficielle. Ce n’est pas grave. Barad se base sur la théorie quantique et des pensées de Bohr, Butler, Harraway et Foucault. Je leur prendrai des  termes comme phenomenon, agency, apparatus et intra-action. Ils vont ré-apparaître.

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

La transcription / traduction du texte de la vidéo: 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:

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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.

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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).
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*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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if not(you&me)=>(void)

deepbeliefnetwork(Deep Belief Network – Image asimovinstitute.org/neural-network-zoo)

Jeudi 6 octobre 2016 16h.
Présentation Performance
if not(you&me)=>(void)
Muriel Piqué & Annie Abrahams

Colloque international
Narrativité & Intermédialité
Une initiative du RIRRA 21, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier – Université  Justus Liebig Giessen.
Salle des colloques 1 – Saint-Charles, Montpellier.

L’internet rend l’information disponible sous différentes formes partout et à tout moment. L’intermédialité a pénétré la vie de tous les jours. Nous ne pensons plus seulement avec les mots, mais aussi avec l’image, le son, le corps. Le récit ne se joue plus seulement dans une intertextualité mais se construit dans l’entre, présent ou absent, composé ou recomposé par les performeurs(ses) et/ou les publics.

“Penser le commun en tant que relation, plutôt que comme espace d’externalités; le penser en termes d’intra-activité. Ne plus considérer les individus comme constitués dès le départ et indépendamment du commun. Individus et commun sont des agencements de relations, des intensifications ou pertes de vitesse relationnelles.” D’après Ontologie relationnelle et pensée du commun de Cléo Collomb.
muan

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

Tableaux vivants – I can’t do it alone

 

sinaas

31/08 2016
18h. – 21h. Tableaux vivants – I can’t do it alone
An interactive participative networked installation
A construction of tableaux vivants, of images more or less alive.
and an Artist Talk,
Kulturni Dom Šempas, Šempas 29, 5261 Šempas.

In the frame of a R.o.R. residency with BridA.
Supported by: Mestna občina Nova Gorica
With special thanks to Krajevna skupnost Šempas

In the installation using three networked computers, two webcams, a projector and simple daily life objects like vegetables, plants, toys, colloured fabrics, sponges and their own bodies people can create images together. A third person will decide on what to capture of this co-creation. Together they will discuss and decide what images among all those captured will be interesting enough to be archived and entered in the Tableaux Vivants collection.

… / (1) a time to explain – starting with a fixed image: a composition / (2) a time of action – the moving image captured in stills by someone of the public – ending with a fixed image / (3) a time to select among the screen captures – a time to discuss / …

co-creating, discussing aesthetics, humans can be objects too

Text en Slovène, Photo’s, screencaptures on flickr
.pdf with preparation instructions

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screen-shot-2016-08-31-at-7-04-50-pm

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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.

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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…”

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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, , , , ,

Upcoming

* 13/05 2017 17h Paris time, Networked conversation with Randall Packer in the Third Space Network.
* 18/06 2017 11h. Talk Networked performance art and engagement, Internet, Arte y Compromiso, Centre Culturel Puertas de Castilla (Murcia).
* 19/06 2017 20h30. Une pratique du texte numérique qui dévoile. Invitation Yan Rucar, Centre culturel international de Cerisy-la-Salle.
* 21/07 10PM Performance Ours Lingages, ELO 2017, Mosteiro de São Bento da Vitória, Porto.

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