net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

more precursors – a kisstory

You can make a story of telematic communication by looking at how people experiment with distanced kissing over time. Can you?

Kit-Sherrie-composite-kiss_edit_a3txt_150_dc(Image from the collections of Galloway & Rabinowitz)

In 1975, five years before their groundbreaking Hole-in-Space piece, Sherrie Rabinowitz and Kit Galloway used a selfmade experimental setup in the Sony Salon on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Kit had a key and so they could use it after the opening hours of the showroom.
Kit and Sherrie did a lot of “Aesthetic Research in Telecommunications.” When I visit the website that documents this, I recognize they discovered and practiced probably all formal possibilities of being together in a composite image space. A feast of recognition.
They used split-screen, key images, life tv-footage and sometimes props. In what they called the space with no geographical borders they wanted to get rid of all borders, the split-screen border included and the above image of their kiss is an excellent example of the sensuality the merging of image-ambassadors can provoke.

Later this technique was used by Paul Sermon in Telematic Dreaming, a ISDN digital telephone installation from 1993. Nowadays, Daniel Pinheiro in Will you dance with me?! (2017) starts working in this direction. Station House Opera (among others) in 2016 was also using this technique in the At Home in Gaza and London performance project.

A Telematic Kissing Timeline?

  • Early twentieth century Telegraphic Kiss. (postcard see at the bottom)
  • 1938 Facsimile telegraph transmission kiss (article in Popular Mechanics )
  • 1957 Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm split-screen kiss – live via terrestrial microwave linked TV. Image, info, video here.
  • 1974  Nam June Paik and Shirley Clarke splitscreen kiss – technical design of the installation by David Cort of the Videofreex. Image, info here.
  • 1975 Kit Galloway, and Sherrie Rabinowitz composite image space, using Sony Salon technology – In 1977 they start experimenting with satelite transmission.
  • 2007 Annie Abrahams and Nicolas Frespech, One the puppet of the other, live split-screen internet performance.
  • 2008 Annie Abrahams and Mark River The Big Kiss. Durational performance in an split-screen installation.
  • 2011 “Kissenger” the world’s only kiss transfer device.
  • 2014 Lancel and Maat develop E.E.G. Kiss, a tentative to device a communal kiss.
Facsimile-KISS_Pop-Mecs_5-1938Image from the collections of Galloway & Rabinowitz  1938 http://blog.modernmechanix.com/telegraph-kisses-are-new-fad/
telegraphickisspostcard
Telegraphic Kiss Postcard – early twentieth century. https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/tag/vice/
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Upcoming

* 5/3 – 16/3 Workshop La performance en ligne comme outil de dévoilement ? ESA La Réunion.

* 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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