net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Co-incidences 18 – Yann Le Guennec


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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Hommage à Yann Le Guennec II.

intonActionYannphoto Hortense Gauthier

Le samedi 4 octobre 2014 à 20h30 pendant le festival INTON’ACTION #4 à DATABAZ à Angoulême Annie Abrahams, Philippe Boisnard, Anouk Nina Gonzàlez, Joel Hubaut, Christine Quoiraud, Marguerite Bobey et Aymeric d’Afflon ont lu:

who’s afraid of ? La vie en intelligence collective” – les archives. Hommage à Yann Le Guennec.
– une pièce de théâtre en deux actes d’après un échange émail de 2005 entre les membres du groupe Lieudit.

J’avais écrit la pièce en 2005 sur un coup de colère, comme seule issue possible d’une discussion sur le sort du site de lieudit. Quand je l’ai relue je découvre qu’elle met à nu bien des aspects de la problématique de l’archivage encore actuelle, surtout actuelle, aujourd’hui. Je découvre aussi qu’elle contient un très beau portrait de Yann Le Guennec, le plasticien internet qui est décédé le 12 juillet dernier à seulement 45 ans. J’aimais bien Yann.

Voici LieuditYannDatabazYann.pdf qui contient le texte que nous avons lu, assis sur une estrade fragile, instable, dressée par Philippe.

L’annonce en ligne de la performance, plus d’info.

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Hommage à Yann Le Guennec.


who’s afraid of ? La vie en intelligence collective” – les archives.
Lecture par Annie Abrahams et 6 personnes du public, d’une pièce de théâtre en deux actes d’après un échange émail de 2005 entre les membres du groupe Lieudit*. Hommage à Yann Le Guennec.

Prologue Réunion
Acte 1 : Résurrection du ménage.
Intermezzo chanté
Acte 2 : Mort, même pas.
Epilogue Raté

Samedi 4 octobre, 20h30
DATABAZ, 100, rue du Gond – 16000 Angoulême
INTON’ACTION #4 Rencontres internationales de poésie et performance

Toutes les paroles seront non identifiées sauf celles de Yann Le Guennec, lues par Annie Abrahams.
J’avais écrit la pièce en 2005 sur un coup de colère, comme seule issue possible d’une discussion sur le sort du site de lieudit. Quand je l’ai relue je découvre qu’elle met à nu bien des aspects de la problématique de l’archivage encore actuelle, surtout actuelle, aujourd’hui. Je découvre aussi qu’elle contient un très beau portrait de Yann Le Guennec, le plasticien internet qui est décédé le 12 juillet dernier à seulement 45 ans. J’aimais bien Yann.

animation Yann Le Guennec* – collectif d’artistes internet 1997-1999 – membres : Pierre Cuvelier, Nicolas Frespech, Antoine Moreau, Eric Maillet, Annie Abrahams, Jacques Perconte, J-P Halgand, Yann Le Guennec, Sylvie Bourguet, Karen Dermineur et Clément Thomas.*

Si vous avez envie de participer, écrivez-moi quel personnage vous voudriez “incarner” :
Acteur1= celui qui chante pendant l’intermezzo
Acteur2= celui qui chante également pendant l’intermezzo
Acteur3= celui qui agit
Acteur4= celui qui parle peu, mais est enthousiaste
Acteur5= celui qui rigole, mais se met de plus en plus en colère et qui danse pendant l’intermezzo
Acteur6= celui qui tourne en rond quand il participe.

Concept de départ et d’arrivée de lieudit :
 Lieudit constitue une expérience pilote de rapprochement des pratiques artistiques individuelles à priori dissociées. Les modalités technologiques du réseau sont mises à contribution dans des développements générateurs d’une organisation des comportements, les uns au regard des autres (échange
des codes d’accès, des fichiers, partage de l’espace).
Le réseau devient l’espace d’une réalité relationnelle. Les différentes propositions participatives engendrent une réactivité créative où les travaux individuels fonctionnent à l’intérieur des processus d’échange, donnant à voir et offrant la possibilité de participer à une méta-création en constant renouvellement. Yann Le Guennec 1998.

Images : Yann Le Guennec.

Photo de la performance, script ici .

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Exercises in remote collaboration – Huis Clos / No Exit – (or, “how cyberformance reveals intimacy”)

by Annie Abrahams for ISEA 2011 Istanbul

In 2009 I started the artistic research project Huis Clos / No Exit. In this project I use a specially developed interface to unite several people remotely in a shared performance space that becomes subsequently both a laboratory and a playground. The performance experiences using this interface, suggest that today’s intimacy is no longer revealed through private images but through behaviour captured in real time interactions.

Nowadays, people use webcams to film themselves and to express their ideas and feelings to the unknown other that will look at their videoblog. People rarely use their web- or phonecam to talk to someone else. The use of Skype is either very business like or restricted to family members. In Internet applications as Chatroulette people rarely exchange more than a glance. What they look for is their alter ego or an opportunity.
In her book  “Alone Together” Sherry Turkle [1] describes how we hide more and more behind technology, how intimate communications start being something to avoid rather than to look for, how smartphones help us to flee our fear for the other, how we learn to control our relations via interfaces and how we are adapting our behaviour to this new situation.
Facebook teaches us how to simulate intimacy, how to make relations easy, clean, and without danger.  At the same time these relations also become superficial and makes us ask: Who are we when we don’t perform? Why can’t we show our vulnerable, messy sides? Why can’t I be boring and cherish solitude anymore?
In a society where authenticy and privacy become endangered it is important to find ways to access our vulnerabilities and doubts, to make them public, to cherish our messy side, to make place for the beast in the beauty, to go back to reality, to claim the human.

In 1998 I worked with at least 8 other French artists, I never met, on a collaborative website called . The site and the collective died in 2000 but I still have very nice memories of for instance our IRC rendez-vous during the launches of the virtual exhibitions we organised. Collaborating in a shared website was very stimulating, but in the end we couldn’t find a common goal to make us negotiate better our differences and so we split up. It was very frustrating to learn that behind our machines we couldn’t overcome these political and philosophical and emotional differences, that problems were exaggerated and stayed insurmountable.

This was the first time I noticed that collaboration using machine wasn’t easier, maybe not more difficult either, but different from ordinary face to face communication. Later experiences with online collaborative creation interfaces as for instance Furtherfield’s VisistorsStudio confirmed this.

So when in the early 2000 people started talking, dreaming and glorifying the advantages of Internet collaborations, I was very doubtful and somewhat vexed and decided to start thinking about how to use the recently developed streaming interface of for working on these problems. (1)

In telematic performances intimacy is not there where you think it is. The Big Kiss performed with Mark River (of MTAA) in New York in 2008 [2]  might have looked as an intimate performance, but in fact it was closer to a “drawing à deux” session than to a real kiss. (even if it did awake intimate feelings as drawing on paper of a kiss might have done too). In the telematic performance “One the puppet of the other” with Nicolas Frespech (Paris 2007) [3], we felt most intimate, most close together when we didn’t exchange, when we were waiting, when nothing happened.

In 2008 I started Huis Clos / No Exit :  A networked performance series investigating collaboration  at a distance – the project was also about relational dynamics in a dispersed group. [4]  With an interface developed by Clément Charmet ( and Estelle Senay (x-réseaux – Théâtre Paris Villette) I could unite the images and sounds of the webcams of up to 6 participating performers in a mosaic. The physically separated performers could share borders and interaction surfaces in a common virtual space and become co-responsible for the mosaic image projected in front of the public during performances. At all times they had this same mosaic image on their screen.

A first experiment took place in November 2008 in the International Laboratory Interactive digital media on stage organized by NU2’s in L’Animal a l’Esquena, in Celrà, Spain. In one of the tests I asked three performers to execute a protocol that stated that, before leaving the performance interface they were to compliment the others after having insulted them. It was strange and beautiful to see how they couldn’t stop complimenting and saying nice things to another. Later I became more and more aware of how the performance interface, besides allowing observation of behaviour in collaboration and auto-organisation, can also reveal private, intimate behaviour to the public. The cyberperformers are so occupied by their interactions, that they don’t have time to negotiate their image as they mostly do on the Internet.

I talked about machine-mediated  revelation of intimacy in an interview with Maria Chatzichristodoulou published in Digimag in Oct 2010. [5]

I always look for situations that make any attempt at escaping from exposure impossible. In general I do not rehearse my pieces. If this is necessary –for instance, due to technical reasons­– I write new protocols for the final performance. I try to find ways to penetrate the other performer –just for a second I want them to expose themselves to me (and to our observers) in an action, or a response, that is out of their control. I want them to unveil something they usually hide or only disclose in situations of complete trust, of complete intimacy. I want to know how they function, not by them telling me, but by me almost forcing them to reveal an instance of their ‘hidden code’ in public. I want us to go beyond self-representation and the control that this requires. Am I really forcing them to do this?… No I am not. What happens is that the situation in itself –that is, the telematic performance interface, the protocols, the flaws in the streaming connections– rewrites the conditions of communication in a way that makes this revelation possible, if not inevitable.”

Because I think we need to counterbalance the tendencies to make our Internet-mediated relations cleaner, faster and more and more secure I started paraphrasing Rancière “The real needs to be trapped in order to be available for thought”. [6] (2)


(1) From 2006 – 2009 I organised with the Breaking Solitude and later the Double Bind webperformance series . While they started out as performances around the idea of the internet as a public space of solitude they became more and more involved with experimenting “different ways of being together” What can we share, what do we share, how are we interacting and what is this technology doing to us?

(2) Because the Huis Clos / No Exit interface makes people film their own image, a collaborative cyberformance using it can also be staged as a live production of  an autonomous video, available for reflexion.


[1] Sherry Turkle, “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” (New York: Basic Books, 2011).

[2] Annie Abrahams, “The Big Kiss”, 2008, (accessed September 7, 2011).

[3] Annie Abrahams, Nicolas Frespech, “One the puppet of the Other”, 2007, (accessed September 7, 2011).

[4] Annie Abrahams, “Huis Clos / No Exit”,  2009, (accessed September 7, 2011).

[5] Maria Chatzichristodoulou, “Annie Abrahams, Allergic to utopias”, Digimag 58 October 2010, (accessed August 30, 2016).

[6] Rancière Jacques, Le Partage du sensible. Esthétique et politique (Paris: La Fabrique, 2000)

Panel : Intimate TV: Webcamming & Social Life-logging In the Surveillant-Sousveillant Space.
Chair: Paula Roush, Maria Lusitano
Presenters: Annie Abrahams, Margarida Carvalho, Cinzia Cremona, Eunice Gonçalves Duarte, Helen Varley Jamieson
Date: Sunday, 18 September, 2011 (13:00 – 14:30)
Location: Sabanci Center,  Room 3, Levent

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qui suis je? 1999 – 2010

*Image : Crowd Sign (CC) par/by Katmere

Magazine electronique du CIAC no 37/2010
Centre International d’Art Contemporain Montréal

qui suis-je? Annie Abrahams (1999) Review, article de Cyril Thomas, Rédacteur en chef de la nouvelle revue trilingue, Transdigital, dédiée aux arts de la scène et aux nouvelles technologies. Il collabore également à diverses revues papier ou sur internet, notamment Ciel Variable, Scènes,, et Patch.

“Je souris, parce que le temps travaille, ne résiste pas, la vérité est relative, ailleurs, là où ça n’existe plus, où on ne parle plus. Le “je ” dans “Qui suis je?” était le site, je l’avais personnalisé ce site, je l’avais fait parler, parce qu’il était menacé par le désaccord, par l’éparpillement, par .. , il était mort peu après … Je te souris. ” Annie à Cyril 01 09 2010.  “Cet article est comme une séance de psychanalyse.”

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Beyond Convention?, Key note, Symposium Cyberperformance: Artistic and Pedagogical Practices, 29 - 30 June, Gambelas Campus, University of Algarve.

ffaille and con flicting, multilingual animated poetry, made for ELO 2023 (12-15/07).

Bientôt! Entretien au sujet de Distant Movements Annie Abrahams, Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau, Alix de Morant, Dabiel Pinheiro, Muriel Piqué, p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e Création Research Vol.6 | 2022.

8 oktober 2023 tot en met 1 april 2024, Being Human presented in REBOOT, Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.

Constallationsss with Alice Lenay, Pascale Barret, Alix Desaubliaux et occasionellement Gwendoline Samidoust et Carin Klonowski.

Distant Movements with Muriel Piqué and Daniel Pinheiro.

(E)stranger. Research on What language does to you or not.

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Annie Abrahams
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