net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

On Love


11 04 2013 8.00 pm
CB4 (the theatre), ATRiuM,
Cardiff School of Creative & Cultural Industries,
University of Glamorgan,
Adam Street,
Cardiff, Wales, CF24 2FN.

On Love performance by Annie Abrahams FR, Denise Hardman UK, Ben Robinson UK, Tony Chapman UK, Derek Piotr USA, Hedva Eltanani UK, Martina Ruhsam SI, Antye Greie FI, Pascale Barret BE and Ienke Kastelein NL

Lead performance, invited by Garrett Lynch for the conference Remote Encounters  – Connecting bodies, collapsing spaces and temporal ubiquity in networked performance.

Remote Encounters, a two-day international conference with performance evening, aims to explore the use of networks as a means to enhance or create a wide variety of performance arts. How do networks as a site for performance provide opportunities for us as artists and performers? In particular how can we remotely collaborate, merge geographically separate places and times, reconfigure the space of performance and the relationship between artist and audience?

More information from

On Love: nothing can go wrong, all is part of the game, but you should never abandon.

Screencapture near the end of the performance
end onLove
21 more screencaptures by Ienke Kastelein : Slideshow on flickr

This video shows some of the dynamics and a part of the Question and Answers we had afterwards live with the public. Are you all alone in front of your computer? Do you miss the public? Are you not also your own audience? Is this the first time you talk about love together?

More information on

Article Meaningful connections: exploring the uses of telematic technology in performance by Elena Perez in Liminalities issue 10.1 Special issue of the journal of performance studies, Liminalities, based on the outcomes of the Remote Encounters: Connecting Bodies, Collapsing Spaces and Temporal Ubiquity in Networked Performance conference in 2013.  Edited by Garrett Lynch (University of South Wales) and Rea Dennis (Deakin University).

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Annie Abrahams. La performance numérique, nouvelle anthropologie?

revue diapo

La performance numérique, nouvelle anthropologie?
Chronique de Madeleine Filippi dans la revue DIAPO #7

DIAPO est une revue on line trimestrielle, zone de passage et de transit, un interstice pour la connaissance et les réflexions sur les formes performatives, expérimentales et alternatives.

“Sa démarche résolument sociologique porte l’estampille de la curiosité anthropologique, vestige de sa formation en biologie. Elle élabore un processus créatif très strict autour d’un protocole de base, fonctionnant sur le principe de la catharsis.”

Catharsis (féminin, « purgation des passions ») La catharsis est l’une des fonctions de la tragédie selon Aristote. Il s’agit de libérer les spectateurs de leurs passions en les exprimant symboliquement. L’idée est que le spectacle tragique opère, chez le spectateur, une purification des passions.
La catharsis peut se comprendre, à l’instar du rêve, comme un accomplissement des désirs, ou un exorcisme des craintes.

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Live or Faked.

Theme Song Revisited – After Acconci will be screened during the ISEA2012 Latin American Forum on the 22nd of September.

I found some notes on the piece and on Low Lives (published on New Media Curating mailing list) that I would like to share here again :

“One of the important things about Low Lives, is that it tries to open up webperformances to the regular art world and on the other side may help regular performance artists think about what is specific about performing using streaming. This means the festival contains a lot of performance that only sees it as a performance venue, but there are also some exceptions.

Last year I did a performance called Theme Song Revisisted – After Acconci. Acconci at the time when he made Theme Song reflected in this work on the difference between cinema and video (on the intimate qualities of video) in a time artists started using video, but when videoart in galleries and museums wasn’t accepted yet. By taking Acconci’s protocol and adding just a layer on the image with my telephone numbers I tried to stress the difference in communication possibilities between 1964 and 2011. Unlike Acconci I was available directly for contact, the public just had to call me and I would show my face, start a live conversation with who ever might call. To my surprise nobody called but my friend Helen Varley Jamieson when the performance was almost over. Of course, I thought later (and reading Sherry Turkle’s book “Alone Together” confirmed this) telephone has become an intimate, almost private and dangerous way to contact people.

This example illustrates an important issue in webperformance: Is it live? Isn’t it faked? Yes this time it was life.
But does it make a difference? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have assisted in webperformances that turned out to be videos. I didn’t bother me because I believed in the story and it could have been live (fake glitches, time lapses etc. were carefully mounted in the video)
In my own work it always does make a difference. This is because I don’t tell stories, but do research :).  At the same time you can find lot of videos of my performances online. Why not? Some are proof or witnesses; some have the status of stand-alone videos others of remixes or even cinema. They are as real as the performance moments were, but they exist in a different conceptual frame and serve other goals.
Because in these performances the performers control their own image, a performance can also be staged as a live production of a video, and sometimes I think that this might be the only thing that makes it different from reality TV, but that is another subject.

For me the most important aspect of the live issue is the way it relates to control and power. Life performance always means accepting to show one’s own vulnerability, it includes the possibility of mistakes, errors, breaks, failure, etc. This absence of total control leads to extra excitement for the public (whether online or offline)”

When I showed the video of the performance in the show Training for a Better World in the CRAC in Sète, I had about two to three calls a week of amazed people checking if I really used my own phone numbers – Will people  call me again during this screening at ISEA?”

Cinzia Cremona, PhD student at the University of Westminster, London. asked me some questions about this piece by mail and on that occasion I wrote her another detail : “to be honest – I also wanted to play with my age. Giving the public only my voice and skin and then suddenly appearing as an older lady – I thought might de-stabilize my caller and so give the whole some extra “pepper” / I thought this augmented it’s potential to reveal honest human behaviour. It was a way to go against stereo types.”

More info on the Low Lives presentation at ISEA :

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Video Beyond (spectacle) – test

Performance Arnolfini Bristol – Performance Writing Weekend – ELMCIP Seminar.

Igor Stromajer in Hamburg Annie Abrahams in Bristol united in a webperformance interface are the marionettes put into (e)motion via text written by the public at Arnolfini’s, using their labtops and smartphones. Two speakers are reading this text aloud in front of the public.

Marionettes / Scripting Reality / On Manipulation / Txt Theater / Public Collaboration Dynamics

As much an exercice in collectif writing as a performance.
Texts written by the audience:

Text for Annie :
close your maouth
say hello
smile at us all
touch your chin like you’re thinking profoundly
touch your heart like you mean it
try to intimidate the audience
Please sing:Row, row, row your boat,Gently down the stream.Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,Life is but a dream.
remain imaginative
appreciate our silent applause
Look In!
raise your eyes
Mime sailing
a decadent artist
mime drowing silently
turn to the other
look the other way
eat a sandwich
words, words, words
go on
lift that weight

Text for Igor:
think about your future
robots should be created free
finish speaking
finish speaking again
use your tongue
put your hat on upside down
Please do a RTD2
pull your eyebrows
describe the room
enough starwars
say a 4 letter word
express a tragedy
exploit the creative opportunities that arise from your wearing a turtle-neck
no light jazz songs
Come back
breath deeply the gathering gloom
look the other way
melt completely
electric shock
save some for us
go on

More information

Beyond (spectacle) Episode I
19 October 2012

Glitched version found on my computer in 2015

Presented in ϟℙ∀ℳℳ▁ℙϴШ€ℜ
Curators : Ellectra Radikal & Systaime
April 2017.

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Beyond (spectacle) – test

Performance Writing Weekend

Digital text and the Body
Annie Abrahams (NL/Fr) Donna Leishman (UK) cris cheek (UK/US) Joerg Piringer (Austria) J.R.Carpenter (Can/UK)

Arnolfini theatre
16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA UK
04/05 2012 6.30 pm
free but ticketed
T: +44 (0)117 9172300 / 01

Beyond (spectacle) test
Annie Abrahams and Igor Stromajer
Interface Estelle Senay – x-réseau, Théâtre Paris Villette

web performance interface actor side with Annie and IgorPlease click on the image to have a better view of the interface.

Igor in Hamburg and Annie in Bristol will be united in a webcam performance interface. Igor and Annie will be the marionettes to be put into (e)motion via the text written in two chat windows. Two speakers will read this text aloud in front of the public while Annie and Igor will execute as good as they can the protocol and commands proposed to them, they won’t kiss.

Marionettes / Scripting Reality / On Manipulation / Txt Theater / Public Collaboration Dynamics

Event related to E-literature in/with Performance, an Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity in Practice (ELMCIP) Seminar  hosted by the University College Falmouth.

To see a video capture go

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Angry Men

Images utilisées par Olivier Baudu sans aucune authorisation .

Angry Men performance web avec 
Antoine Pickels, Bobig, Christophe Alix, Gaëtan Rusquet, Gaspard Bébié-Valérian, Patrick Tréguer, Philippe Boisnard, Sébastien Zaegel, Xavier Leton et Yel Fox.

12 avril 19h
Salle D2 – 3ème étage
108 Rue de Bourgogne – Orléans

Pendant 12 minutes depuis leurs maisons, devant leurs webcam, neuf hommes expriment leur colére.
Leurs images et sons sont combinées dans une projection vidéo que nous pouvons regarder et écouter dans la salle D2 au 108 à Orléans.

J’aimerais aborder cette performance comme une improvisation musicale autour de la colère, qui fait aussi surgir des questionnements autour de la collaboration et la dynamique des groupes dans la communication à distance.
Il n’y aura pas de protocole précis – aux hommes d’inventer la performance et de coordonner leur colère.

Performance dans le cadre de la résidence Géographies Variables à Labomedia Orléans.

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Margarida Carvalho : On Duet – Satz, A letter to Annie.

In fact I think that the series Duet – Satz as well as the first series MeetingS – ConversationS work on the idea of affect as perception of our existence in the world, our vitality and becoming, and so, too, of our ability to create and share other times and spaces. Affect implies bodies and, as it makes them porous, it also moves through the intercorporeal world. Maybe that’s why I find it so appropriate the coordination between breathing and the occupy movement that you weave in Duet – Satz 1, Breathing. “Occupy breath,” that is, “occupy one’s own body” is a principle of performative and political rupture with the spectacle of the manipulation of the affections, typical to the dominant neoliberalism, which leaves us precisely “breathless”, able to spend money but no time, immersed in permanent crisis and alertness

Extract from On Duet – Satz, A letter to Annie by Margarida Carvalho. This text is a reaction on a series of Domestic Streaming Performances by Antye Greie (AGF Poemproducer) and Annie Abrahams (1010 – 1011).

Margarida Carvalho is lecturer at the School of Communication and Media Studies (Lisbon Polytechnic Institute)

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Theme Song Revisited (After Acconci)

Theme Song Revisited  (After Acconci)
webperformance 5 min
Saturday 30 04 2011
9.30 PM Paris time
Annie Abrahams

Low Lives 3 International Festival of Live Networked Performances
April 29 – 30 April 2011
23 venues and online
Curator Jorge Rojas

I am not a performer, I use performance to do research.
I am not a researcher, I use research in my performance pieces.
I am a performer who uses research as a medium.
I am a performer researching encounters. 03 2011 Annie Abrahams.

Theme song Vito Acconci 1973

Theme song Revisited Annie Abrahams
Call me, show me you are real, make me real

If the video doesn’t show up go to the youtube version

The video of this performance has been presented in Annie Abrahams personal show Training for a Better World in the CRAC LR of Sète 28/10/2011 – 01/01/2012.

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removal – double bind

I already watched Robin Nicolas‘s video removal several times since he made a .mov version available on they became what they beheld. Now you can also watch a fullscreen version on vimeo. It’s simply  beautifull.

Removal – deletion, suppression, cleaning, disappearance, withdrawal, ablation, expulsion, transfer, liquidation, remotion, clearance, elimination, eradication, purge, riddance, dismissal – The deconstruction of space in response to the release of voice

Start : I don’t know if you are with me, if you hear me, if ……………..hello can you hear me?……………….End : Mrs Robinson, do you hear me? Can you hear me? Are you reading my lips? Can you hear me? What are you doing? Why are you looking out of the window? I am trying to talk to you. I need you to hear me. And that was it. She just turns her head and starts looking out of the window, and that’s the end of my story, there is nothing else left. That is it. End of  story.

Removal is the video version of  Robins’ participation in the  Double Bind webperformance series of 2008 – 2009.

As a biologist I learned Double Bind to be a situation with no exit, whatever one chooses one looses, and this leads to illogical, inhibited, ambivalent and misplaced behaviour. Double Bind is the result of conflicting cues about a particular situation. An animal that cannot decide between attack and flight is going to eat or scratch.
Does double bind describe our actual relation to technology?

I asked 6 artists to reflect on this and to propose a performance in the double webcam performance series on

Surveiller Punir "Double Contraintes Foucault"Surveiller Punir “Double Contraintes Foucault” Pascal Lièvre reads a page of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish / Surveiller Punir, while attached to his friend Mathieu, who reads the same page. Their “échec” to read together in the same pace shows us the limitations of the machine power? Vidéo

Bras de tête et Tête de fer K.Kliniques, Justine Abittan et Caroline Delieutraz. They sing, cry, whisper their disconcerting foolishness while they try to be in one and the same space where there is not enough room for two, ignoring the empty space just besides.

julien plus agnèsPuzzled Julien Lassort, assisted by Agnès de Cayeux, shows a clown, a Pierrot, sensible, twofold, man and woman: robotised. Pierrots are generally know for their sadness and trusting naïveté, their oblivion to reality and their distant and moonstruck character.

renee turnerPostcards from her desktop Renee Turner cites Derrida : “I would like to write you so simply, so simply, so simply.”  Two simultaneous streams, a  RSS and  a mix of real-time transcription and pre-written material defied the transparent one to one relation between experience and language.

jean françois blanquetAuto/Hetero Jean-François Blanquet presents  two  heteronymes: jeanfrançois blanquet using his computer to find a job and  TITsANUS using his for fun. In the end the alternating presence of both of them seems to drive their author and the machines crazy.

The  Double Bind webperformance series of 2008 – 2009  was a follow-up of the Breaking Solitude series of 2007 – 2008 .

ps I am reading Double Bond the biography of Primo Levi by Carole Angier. “Something one cannot understand constitutes a painful void, a sting, a permanent stimulus that insists on being satisfied” Primo Levi, 1960.


“Between November 2006 and February 2008 I organized with two seasons of rendezvous on the web called “Breaking Solitude”, “different ways of being together”. 14 Artists accepted to do a performance in the experimental situation created in the virtual salon of panoplie.
Some features, such as time limits (between 5 and 20 minutes) and a refusal to pod cast the performances related these events to traditional contemporary art performances. Others like the participation of the public using a chat window made them to a new experience for both the artist and the public.
The performing artist was confronted to the brute and often emotional reactions of his public, which were not always as respectful as in art centres, museums and galleries.
The participating audience had the privilege to assist in a performance, to see and hear a person during an act of creation without having to subject to the social rites of the art world. The only thing that remains from the performance is its immediate feedback, the text written by the audience. (Archives have been destroyed – article « Breaking Solitude », dernier salon (du Net) où l’on cause  sur Poptronics – announcement on nt2 UQAM.

In this new season Breaking Solitude becomes Double Bind.

Is our relation to the computer and internet double bind, bound, bond?
I am your friend but you will never know me?
Remote presence, ubiquity, multiple personality, absence of the body? Does this make us schizophrenic? How do we adapt?”

Annie Abrahams September 2008.

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Double Bind web performances

15 December 20h30 Paris time web performance in the Double Bind series of

Renee Turner presents
Postcards from my desktop

“I would like to write you so simply, so simply, so simply.” **
Jacques Derrida, “The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond.”

Postcards from my desktop is a performance mixing RSS news feeds and simultaneous transcription.  Sending snippets of communiqués across the ether, the work plays with interpretation, point of view and the imperfections of streaming technology.
Seeing the desktop as an exotic place where the world converges through RSS, the performance explores the limits of translation, immediacy and communication.

A video of this performance

Renée Turner writes digital narratives and has been a member of De Geuzen: a foundation for multi-visual research since 1996.  Her work can be viewed at and

Double Bind is initiated and organised by Annie Abrahams.

Surveiller Punir "Double Contraintes Foucault"Oct. 20th.  Pascal Lièvre: Surveiller Punir “Double Contraintes Foucault” Vidéo

Nov. 17th.  K.Kliniques, Justine Abittan et Caroline Delieutraz : “Bras de tête et Tête de fer

julien plus agnès
Dec. 1st.  Julien Lassort : “Puzzled” Avec l’assistance d’Agnès de Cayeux.

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

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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