net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

An organic acceptance of silence?

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.

When you watched 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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , ,

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, ,

The Personal & the Politics of Language

fragile

Gretta Louw reviews Abrahams’ book from estranger to e-stranger: Living in between languages, and finds that not only does it demonstrate a brilliant history in performance art, but, it is also a sharp and poetic critique about language and everyday culture.

The Personal & the Politics of Language: Digital Colonialism & Annie Abrahams’ (E)stranger
Review by Gretta Louw on Furtherfield, 08/03/2016.

from estranger to e-stranger is an almost dadaist, associative, yet powerful interrogation of the accepted wisdoms, the supposed logic of language, and the power structures that it is routinely co-opted into enforcing.

Abrahams’ project is timely, especially now that we are all (supposedly) living in an infinitely connected, post-cultural/post-national, online society, we are literally “living between languages”. The book is an excellent resource, because it is not a coherent, textual presentation of a thesis; of one way of thinking. It is, like the true face of the internet, a collection, a sample, of various thoughts, opinions, ideas, and examples from the past.

Filed under: Articles / Texts, , , , , ,

CyPosium the book Launch

CyPosium_the_book

The net artists Gretta Louw and Helen Varley Jamieson warmly invite you to PLATFORM (Munich) for an evening of networked performance: an exhibition tour and the launch of CyPosium – the book, with online performative readings.
.
Friday 12 Dezember, 19:00
Gastatelier, PLATFORM
Kistlerhofstr. 70 > Haus 60 > 3. Stock
81379 München

Join the event online from 7.45 PM : this link will be live 15 min­utes before show­time.

The read­ers are: Alberto Vazquez (Argentina), Annie Abra­hams (France), Christina Papa­gian­nouli (UK), Clara Gomes (Por­tu­gal), Helen Var­ley Jamieson (Ger­many), James Cun­ning­ham (Aus­tralia), Liz Bryce (Aotearoa New Zealand), Mil­jana Perić (Ser­bia), Nathalie Fougeras (Swe­den) and Vicki Smith (Aotearoa New Zealand).

Edited by Annie Abrahams and Helen Varley Jamieson, CyPosium- the book presents selected material from the CyPosium, a one-day symposium held in 2012 to discuss cyberformance. The book is published by Link Editions in partnership with La Panacée (Montpellier). It is avail­able as a free pdf or full colour hard copy.

The contributors of the book are Adriene Jenik, Alan Sondheim, Alberto Vazquez, Annie Abrahams, Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn, Cherry Truluck, Clara Gomes, Helen Varley Jamieson, James Cunningham, Joseph DeLappe, Liz Bryce, Maria Chatzichristodoulou, Maja Delak and Luka Prinčič, Miljana Perić, Rob Myers, Roger Mills, Ruth Catlow, Stephen A. Schrum and Suzon Fuks. Some of these contributors, and organisers of the CyPosium, will appear live on Friday evening from their locations around the world, to read extracts from the book.

Down­load the press release.

The book launch is organised in the frame of the exhibition Net Work, curated by Gretta Louw. This exhibition deals with work that is located at the intersection of performance and net art. The emerging genre of networked performance makes strong statements about the development of art history, and also about our relationship to technology and its impact on culture, society, labor and psychology.

Net-Work-flyerWeb

Filed under: Articles / Texts, Event, Exhibition, Net art, performance, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Net Work Platform Münich

Annie Abrahams participates in
Net Work by Gretta Louw with

Angry Women Waiting 2011 – 2014
One the Puppet of the Other 2007 with Nicolas Frespech.
Dec. 12 19h CyPosium – the book Presentation and Performance. 2014 with Helen Varley Jamieson.

PLATFORM Kistelerhofstr 70  Munich
3 November – 31 December 2014

Opening hours:
Mo – Fr, 10 – 19h

Vernissage:
27 November 19h

Net Work is an exhibition, curated by current PLATFORM artist in residence Gretta Louw , that  looks at work being made at the intersection of performance and net art. The emerging genre of ‘networked performance’ can make powerful statements not only about the development of art history, but also our relationship to technology, and the impact that this has on the direction that culture, society, the workforce, and psychology are taking.

The exhibition includes work by Gretta Louw, Luke Munn, Igor Štromajer, Annie Abrahams and plan b (Sophia New und Daniel Belasco Rogers), as well as a new project developed by Louw during her residency at PLATFORM: The Net Work Compendium is an evolving collection of short videos, from artists working with networks and performativity, offering viewers a unique introduction to this avant garde mode of art-making.

Filed under: Exhibition, , , ,

A three-way conversation about performance art online

Igor Štromajer & Annie Abrahams by Gretta Louw in BOMB Magazine April 21st 2014.

BOMB Magazine has been publishing conversations between artists of all disciplines since 1981. BOMB’s founders—New York City based artists and writers—created BOMB because they saw a disparity between the way artists talked about their work among themselves and the way critics described it.

I first met Igor Štromajer online—we are net-based artists, after all. That was back in 2011 when I spent 10 days locked in a Berlin gallery, available 24 hours a day for contact via the Internet to test the effects of extreme online connectedness as part of a performance called Controlling_Connectivity. Igor became very involved in the performance, posing some of the most insightful questions from participants in the piece, and eventually dubbing me the “Joan of Arc of the Internet.” Through Igor, I discovered Annie Abrahams’s wonderful, groundbreaking networked performances such as The Big Kiss, where she spent several hours “kissing” a collaborator via the web using a split-screen and close-up webcam streams of each of the performers’ mouths. Though very different in style, these two artists share a gift for showing us the messy, human side of the Internet and technology; their work is authentic, intimate, exploratory, and inspiring.” Introduction by Gretta.

Filed under: Interview, , , ,

Upcoming

* 19/03 2017 Presentation in Avant-garde, theatre and everything else, Łódź, Poland. Invitation Ryszard W. Kluszczynski.
* 21-24/03 2017 Workshops Performance en réseau.
23/03 18h30. Conférence Performances dé-matérialisées? CNAC, Châlons-en-Champagne.
* 18/06 2017 11h. Talk Networked performance art and engagement, Internet, Arte y Compromiso, Centre Culturel Puertas de Castilla (Murcia).
* 19/06 2017 19h. Une pratique du texte numérique qui dévoile. Invitation Yan Rucar, Centre culturel international de Cerisy-la-Salle.
* 18-22/07 Performance Ours Lingages, ELO 2017, University Fernando Pessoa, Porto.

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