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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Another precursor of The Big Kiss

image001

A few days ago Kit Galloway after his Networked Conversation with Randall Packer in the Third Space Network send Randall what might be the very first attempted transcontinental split-screen kiss – live via terrestrial microwave linked TV.

Jerry Lewis in Los Angeles and Celeste Holm in New York (She was an actress and the mother of Ted Nelson, the inventor of hypertext)  opened the 29th Academy Awards – the Oscars in 1957 with an “akward”, prude kiss.

HalleckKiss

The other precursor was 17 years later in 1974 and was by Nam June Paik and Shirley Clarke. More about the discovery of this last version by the Videofreex here.

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precursor of The Big Kiss

In 2017

HalleckKiss

A The Big Kiss avant l’internet : A few days ago Randall Packer pointed me to what might be a precursor to my piece The Big Kiss from 2008. In his article Videofreex Chronicles #1: TV as Social Media he shows an image (by Deedee Halleck) of Explorations in the Videospace, Part I from 1974. It’s a splitscreen kiss performed by Nam June Paik and Shirley Clarke. The technical design is by David Cort of the Videofreex.

I am surprised and wondering if I would have been able to make The Big Kiss if I had know about it. Would it have been appropriation? And would I have been bothered by copyrights? Now, I know about it, I want to see these videos / TV images – do they still exist? Where to look for them?

I also found this one on pinterest posted by Rachel McBrinn. I wrote her and she answered that she pinned the image from teepeevideospacetroupe.org, which is now not a registered domain and didn’t know anything about the image.Nam June Paik Shirley Clarke Kissing - David Cort installation.

Andrew Ingall, the curator of Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz reacted in a twit to my call for more info : @annieabrahams @ShirleyClarke Not aware of video documentation of Cort’s exhibition at The Kitchen. Read more here: amzn.to/1I9citt.

And so I googled “David Cort The Kitchen” and found another same image with a Greek text that google translated : “In this Polaroid, the Nam June Paik and Shirley Clarke trying to kiss in an installation created by David Cort (the Kitchen, 1974). See. Pleasure Palace Theater of the Future.” So I have to look for an installation in an exhibition in 1974.

A few days later again I found the same image on a blogpost by DeeDee Halleck, and it turns out she was indeed the one who made the photo.

When looking further into Shirley Clarke’s video practice (Shirley Clarke – Is this reality?) I found that teepeevideospacetroupe.org was an archival website on her workshops made by Beth Capper. When I wrote Beth, she told me she couldn’t help, but that I should ask Andrew Gurian, a member of the videospace troupe, who gave her a scan of the photo.

So I wrote Andrew Gurian. He told me he owns what he thinks is the original Polaroïd, made by David Cort himself.
At David’s show–really more an on-going installation–the live video images of two people, sitting on opposite sides of the room, were combined into one by a special effects generator or similar device, as you can see in the photo. If I recall correctly, David was present and had a Polaroid camera. He snapped photos of any of the show participants who wanted one as a souvenir. I believe the photo is question is one such example.
David Cort is very ill and cannot be joined, maybe, maybe Tom Colley of the Video Data Bank, in Chicago may have more information; the Video Data Bank now has the archives of the Videofreex. Continues …

labise

In 2017 Kit Galloway pointed me to other precursors. Here is the timeline / the kisstory that resulted from that.

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Catalog Stadtgalerie Mannheim

catalogMannheim

Recieved the catalog Stadtgalerie Mannheim 2011 – 2015.
Editor Benedikt Stegmayer, Stadtgalerie Mannheim.
Published by Einraumhaus c/o Verlag
ISBN: 978-3-944128-50-4.
On page 65 there are two photos from the presentation of the video from The Big Kiss, a performance with Mark River, MTAA from 2008.
In the show Subversive Systeme, curated by the editor, this video was presented in the vicinity of a video by epidemiC, where Franco Berardi (Italian Media Philosopher) reads the source code of the “I LOVE YOU” virus at the D-I-N-A (Digital Is Not Analog) digital art festival.
I love the combination.
Thanks Benedikt.

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Subversive Systeme. Poetische Transfiguration des Digitalen.

logoSubversiveSysteme Subversive Systeme. Poetische Transfiguration des Digitalen. Group Exhibition Stadtgalerie Mannheim, Germany. Press conference: Tuesday, 21. October, 11 am. Opening: 23 October 2014 at 8pm. Open: 24 October 2014 – November 30 2014. Curator: Benedikt Stegmayer

Artists: Annie Abrahams, [epidemiC] / Franco Berardi, plan b, Volker Hartmann-Langenfelder, Igor Štromajer

I will present : The Big Kiss (2008) (with Mark River, MTAA)

Angry Women take 1 & 2  (2011)  (With Albertine Meunier, Anne Laforet, Caroline Delieutraz, Hedva Eltanani, Helen Varley Jamieson, Ienke Kastelein, Inès Kchaou, Julie Chateauvert, Karen Dermineur, Laurence Moletta, Laurie Bellanca, Lizvlx, Lucille Calmel, Simona Polvani, Martina Ruhsam, Hortense Gauthier, Olga Kisseleva, Pascale Barret, Paula Roush, Sabine Revillet, Suzon Fuks and Ursula Endlicher. – Co production : Labomédia Orléans, residency in the frame of Géographies Variables / Aide à la création Région Languedoc Roussillon)

Huis Clos / No Exit – Beyond (spectacle) I, II, III – Exposition on the New Aesthetic. – Newer Aesthetic. – The internet is not as good as it was yesterday. (2012) (With Igor Stromajer, Nicolas Frespech, Ruth Catlow, Ursula Endlicher – co-production ELMCIP) Read the rest of this entry »

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The Big Kiss in Ljubljana

The Big Kiss (20 & 21 June 2009)
Live Internet Broadcast Performance by Annie Abrahams (Ljubljana)

The Big Kiss in Ljubljana

“Machine mediated kissing in a performance = drawing with your tongue = taking pleasure, while constructing an image = a way to be superaware of the other = never totally abandoning yourself = ???????? = not at all like real kissing, it is better! This might be a female point of view.”
Annie Abrahams

pascsaq commented this video :

“L’image du baiser, ou plutôt de l’acte d’embrasser, comme j’ai pu le voir dimanche, dans cette performance, me semble une forme de communication très primaire et très belle. Un langage primordial d’avant le langage, animal ***les léchouilles des primates!!!!***. C’est très fort, je crois, mais on n’en perçoit pas toute la dimension lors de la performance en ligne. Par contre, c’est tout à fait pertinent dans cette vidéo…”

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Le baiser le plus long …..

Car dans la performance d’Annie Abrahams, The Big Kiss, réalisée le 10 octobre dernier à OTO (Over The Opening, New York), la réflexion n’est pas tant la durée, mais à nouveau le rapport réel/virtuel, chair/image, que l’artiste avait déjà développé dans son précédent “L’un la poupée de ‘autre”……………….

Suite : “Le baiser le plus long… ou pas.Article de Troudair pour Fluctuat. 31.10.08. (French)

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The Big Kiss

the big kissImage from the performance “One the puppet of the other” with NicolasFrespech, May 26th 2007, Centre Pompidou Paris.

On October 10 2008 , from 7pm to 10 pm, Over The Opening is pleased to present The Big Kiss, a performance installation by Annie Abrahams.

OTO N6 Street, Brooklyn New York

What’s contact in a machine mediated world? What’s the power of the image? How does it feel to kiss without touching? Does the act change because we see it? What does it mean to construct an image with your tongue? And is there still desire? Does the act provoke it? What’s contact in a machine mediated world?

Machine mediated kissing in a performance = drawing with your tongue = taking pleasure, while constructing an image = a way to be superaware of the other = never totally abandoning yourself =  ???????? = not at all like real kissing, it’s better! This might be a female view point.

Video : 5 min extract while performing with Mark RiverIf not available you can watch the video on vimeo.
A 20 min hi-res version is available for projections and installations on demand.


More photos from the 3 hours lasting Big Kiss performance at OTO on October 10 now up at OTO’s Flickr Set.

Overview of the installation while performing with a Ursula Endlicher.

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Thanks to the Consulate General of the Netherlands for their generous support which made my stay in New York possible.

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Annie Abrahams
is a Dutch artist living in France. Abrahams work is featured on her site “Being Human / Etant Humain”: a big interlinked universe that concentrates on the possibilities and limitations of communication as well as at aabrahams.wordpress.com

OTO Over The Opening. Once a month, from 7PM to 10PM, the artist collective MTAA convert their N6th St. Brooklyn studio into a venue for the presentation of time-based art.

MTAA artist collective. Michael Sarff and Tim Whidden formed the artist collaboration MTAA in 1996. MTAA has presented artworks and performances at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Postmasters Gallery and Artists Space, all in New York city; The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; The Beall Center for Art and Technology in Irvine, CA and at The Getty Center in Los Angeles.

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The Big Kiss (français)

Image de la performance / vidéo “L’un la poupée de l’autre” avec Nicolas Frespech,  26 mai 2007, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Le 10 octobre entre 19 et 22h 10,  Over The Opening présente The Big Kiss, une performance installation de Annie Abrahams.

Qu’est-ce que c’est le contact dans un monde où tout est médié par une machine ? Quelle est la puissance de l’image? Qu’est-ce qu’on ressent quand on s’embrasse sans se toucher ? L’acte change-t-il parce que nous le voyons ? Qu’est-ce que ça signifie de construire une image avec sa langue ? Y a-t-il encore du désir ? L’acte le provoque-t-il ? Qu’est-ce que c’est le contact dans un monde où tout est médié par une machine ?

Si vous êtes à New York, vous êtes invité à participer à la création d’un baiser collective à OTO.

Plus d’information, vidéo, photos :  http://www.bram.org/toucher/TBK.html

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Upcoming

* Unaussprechbarlich 10/11 16h  Frauen-Theater-Festival Theater Antagon, Frankfurt.
*1/12 19h30 Distant Feeling(s)#4 – online.
* 4-9/12 Qu(o)i <=> agence <=> Quand Résidence Labo NRV 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 in Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta, Feldafing, Germany.

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Annie Abrahams
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