net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Distant Feeling(s) #4

Screen shot 2016-11-24 at 10.27.26 PM

An online ritual of contemplation on our situation of being together while being separated.

December 1st, 7.30 – 7.45pm
(Paris time – find your time here).
Online.
Open to all.
If you want to join us, you need to install the zoom application on your computer or cell phone and connect from 7.25pm to meeting no 3210554238.
https://zoom.us/j/3210554238

Distant Feeling(s) #4, fourth session in a series of online webcam meetings trying to experience each other’s presence eyes closed and no talking.

Distant Feeling(s) #4, the first of a livelong yearly reconnection. An ever-changing re-enactment of our intra-action with machines.

Distant Feeling(s) is a project by Lisa Parra, New York, USA, Daniel Pinheiro, Porto, Portugal and Annie Abrahams, Montpellier, France.

The project was “born” in 2015 out of an invitation to Annie to be part of Lisa and Daniel’s work Placelessness – the result of an artistic residency in Guimarães (Portugal) of their LAND PROJECT – in an encounter where both Annie and Lisa shared a blind, silent moment together while connecting from remote locations; this ‘encounter’ gave place to a format of its own – one where the artists would meet and purposely, during a set period of time, repeat the experiment.

AnnieLisa

In 2016 we organised three different séances, each one providing insight into the specities of the context where by silently not seeing, only hearing our surroundings and the machines working to keep the connection, a temporal space was created allowing for contemplation upon togetherness while being separated. The co-presence of machines and humans – a temporal phenomenon interpreted differently by all.

The memories of this state of being together created for Daniel, Lisa and Annie, who live far away from each other, a longing to experience it again, and again.

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Filed under: networked performance,

An organic acceptance of silence?

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liminal space – pure motion – an intimate regard – a field of light – dissolved, destabilized – an altered state – a telematic embrace – a silent small reprieve – hanging out with friends – machines conversing across the network only when the noisy humans finally shut up

This was the first time we (Daniel Pinheiro, Lisa Parra and Annie Abrahams) invited people to join us in our online performance experiment Distant Feeling(s) #3. The performance was projected as part of the festival Visions in the Nunnery gallery (London).
After the performance the surprise was great when, in the video, I saw the silent faces of others joining us for a shorter or longer time.

How does it feel to share an interface with eyes closed and no talking?

How did it feel?

When you participated, when you took the time to connect and join, you tried to feel the others and became more and more concentrated on being in a liminal space.

Watching the projection or the video, you could see this concentration, these faces who more and more descended into “pure motion”; these faces that abandonned real space and got elsewhere – you were allowed an intimate “regard”.

Here is my reaction (e-mail to Daniel and Lisa) just after the performance : “Felt “lost” – disturbed by the idea that there were “sneekers, peekers – disturbed also by my own curiosity, by my wish to see who was there and how they looked with closed eyes.
I felt light, as if I were in a field of light, changing, living light, not with human beings, and probably because that frightened me I tried to visualize you both, to imagine, how, where you were, I tried to make something I could understand of what I felt – as if you were familiar to me – I never met you – but still, apparently you became reassuring, close.
When I opened my eyes, everything became normal, just people, nice people around me on a screen. They have become more familiar now too. Looking at the screenshots of this session I feel grateful for their presence (they made the light).

Disolved I felt.
Maybe even empty. Certainly destabilised.
This may sound mystic, but in fact it might have been a very concrete experience – just the light flickering of the in- and out-going participants shimmering through my eyelids provoking an altered state?”

This is Randall Packer‘s reaction to it in a facebook discussion afterwards : “It was wonderfull – Like your work The Kiss, or Paul Sermon’s telematic pieces, the sensation of intimacy is never “real,” it is based on the willingness to believe and to allow closeness to become “real” despite separation. For those who participated in this experiment, it was exactly that: the willingness to suspend one’s belief in the knowledge of the virtual proximity and connectiveness of the others. It is that knowledge that can can be convincing enough to suspend disbelief and thus be silently wrapped in the telematic embrace. This work is a great model for how we might conduct ourselves on the Internet.”

Johannes Birringer on the same occasion. “I was waiting for silence to fall, after the chatter. when it occured, there was no embrace. but a faint sensation of sharing a silent small reprieve, over the constant noise and anger of the world, but an alonesilence as one could not see the others. it is the strangest experience, to be alonesilentblind with assumed others somewhere out there.”

And Nicolaas Schmidt called it “hanging out with friends…”.

Ruth Catlow, who was among the public at the Nunnery remarked : “Was it machine feedback… that mechanical clicking and beeping? The machines conversing across the network only when the noisy humans finally shut up! Like the toys that come alive in the magic toyshop when the children are asleep. I wanted it to get louder and louder till the whole world rang out- WE MACHINES ARE HERE AND WE ARE COMMUNICATING!
To what Randall reacted : “I love your observation that once the network is silenced of human conversation, all that is left is the hum of networked devices, the “nervous system” of the Net.”

Daniel Pinheiro compiled more reactions on Landproject.

On January 16th 2017, Muriel Piqué watched the video and wrote :

Silence / Silence
Je fouille l’image du silence / I explore the image of silence
Des têtes se tournent lentement / Heads turn slowly
8’44 un chien aboie au loin / 8’44 a dog barks far off
Je lis la résistance des corps à l’immobilité / I read the resistance of bodies to immobility
Je ressens l’acceptation organique du silence / I feel the organic acceptance of silence

And all the time the machines kept talking, exchanging data, making noise …

Some time ago I watched an interview by Gretta Louw with Sandra Danilovic in Second Life. They talk, among others, about our readiness to relate to an avatar in a bodily and emotional way. Why? Is there an evolutionary base for that? Sandra states, that, in our subconcious, we don’t percieve the self as an atomised individual identity, that precognitively we percieve the environment as a part of ourselves. Would such a thought be helpfull to understand better what happens? And is it true?

Filed under: networked performance, Performance, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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Annie Abrahams
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