Monthly Archives: February 2014

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Nam June Paik – Global Groove, 1973

‘This is a glimpse of a video landscape of tomorrow when you will be able to switch on any TV station on the earth and TV guides will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.’ Paik’s introductory statement stands for the tape’s compositional principle and message – global channel zapping, in 1973 a visionary precursor of subsequent developments. The spirit of the tape conveys Marshall McLuhan’s theory of a future ‘global village’, which Paik matched with an idea of his own: ‘If we could compile a weekly TV festival made up of music and dance from every county, and distributed it free-of-charge round the world via the proposed common video market, it would have a phenomenal effect on education and entertainment.’

A typical Paik mixture, the tape includes excerpts from TV programmes, contributions by artist friends such as John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, Charlotte Moorman and Karlheinz Stockhausen, footage by other video artists like Jud Yalkut and Robert Breer, and excerpts from earlier Paik videos. The combination of mass media and avant-garde was aimed at art-lovers and ‘normal’ TV viewers alike.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 7.51.36 pmSource: Google Books

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INFLUENCES – VIRTUAL WORDS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfES57VS4eI#t=31

“Through current technologies and the widespread use of social media, real-life public speaking has become a bit of a lost art. People used to congregate in city squares in order to share their opinions and to debate. Instead, they now use social media. With that in mind, Montreal multimedia firm Moment Factory designed a new art installation called Megaphone, located in Downtown Montreal through November 4th, that mixes both old school public speaking and modern technologies.

With Megaphone, people are invited to share their ideas and opinions into a voice amplifier. Their words may relate to any subject but thoughts regarding the current status of the city of Montreal are encouraged. The twist: using a voice-recognition system, the words spoken into the megaphone are immediately projected onto a giant wall. As speakers keep talking, their words are integrated into the video installation, which lays out the sentences over historic public speaking footage, using a modern aesthetic that could be likened to website headlines and keyword widgets. In this manner, Megaphone becomes a sort of hybrid between the written word used on social media and the face to face reactions that happen only when the sharing of ideas happens in front of a live audience.”

Source

This project is especially interesting as it talks about how public speech has been transformed into texts on social media. People no longer speak out but hide behind the screen and leave their opinions structured and nicely typed out. This installation makes me think deeper about my project like how virtual text actually kind of also replaces our voice? Which is very much similar to the debate about how texting make us less able to communicate in real life.

I also love to observe how people like quotes and reblog it over and over again on their social media platform such as tumblr, twitter, instagram, facebook, etc. The main thing about quotes are that it gives a false image of positive and inspiring messages when we first heard about it. Yet, positiveness is only a sub category. Sarcasm quotes often brings a great laugh to people. Depressing ones often speaks about the reality that people need to accept. Quotes are just something that really get to people and touches people? Those words that form meanings and images sometimes recharges our energy and is some ways perhaps, for us to express ourselves. It is also interesting to look at how people respond to it.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 6.05.32 pmSouce: weheartit.com

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 5.58.05 pmthose who liked this probably agree with it like me.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 7.08.41 pmFAT AMY / Is like twitter have really funny people retweeting funny stuffs.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 7.21.45 pmHAHAHAHAH!

Thinking about how people got stuck in the virtual world daily for hours, mostly reading quotes and words, commenting, reposting. We really can’t underestimate the potential of virtual texts that influence our life.

I am still thinking about what performance am I going to present at the end of this course. But thinking about the things I am exploring, it is sure exciting :)

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INTRODUCTION – VIRTUAL WORDS

When we think about the virtual world we think about avatars, we think about images and videos. What people often forgotten is the font, the types and the words that appears everywhere around in the virtual space. How the status in your Facebook page can evokes certain reactions from people, how words presented visually is translated into our brain like a normal conversation face to face. However the the fact is everyday we are just roleplaying and imagining the whole scenarios out from our mind with just words typed out on our textbox. Sometimes I do feel that the whole chatroom thing is actually a script by itself. Not to also mention that how different fonts actually evokes different feelings.

The whole idea of my project is to actually explores how Words in the virtual world affects our lives. How messages, quotes, advertising literally filled our days that we don’t feel their existence anymore. Yet, we are (sliently) intrigued by words or the opposite, we block them out.

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Avartar: Amie Goode

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Tired of the harsh realities slapping you again and again, seeking for acknowledgements, finding hard to communicate face to face… and the virtual game world provides exactly what that filled all your emptiness. You could be a plain Jane but in there, you are a hot star popular and eye catching. You could wish to be a kid that never grows up and there the game allows that. You want something your true love life cannot provides you and there you find another one who can fulfil everything. What is real and not? When you think that first life itself is delusional enough, then does it even matter to be stuck in the virtual world for self satisfactory? 

All in my life till now, I am not allowed to touch computer games. Ironically the one who bans me from playing them is the one that is stuck, addicted to the virtual world – my own elder brother. I did play one or two rpg when I was really young, but after that I never really touch it. I am not really sad for not playing, because it has come to a point I have lost complete interest in playing computer games perhaps really because I suck at it.  I remember secretly logging in to Maple Story which was the most hit game back then and I logged out after five minutes. I can’t even stand that five minute of boredom. As I watched my elder brother being so addicted that he neglected so many things in his first life, computer games truly turns me off. I saw extreme personality change when he was in the virtual world and from the real. And I saw true selfishness.

Exactly. Selfishness, which brings me to my main point. Amie Goode, a housewife in the real world, married, with kids, living in fairly comfortable house yet, claims that something is lacking. I do not doubt her words, regarding that her life is lacking something, but it also shows her discontentment with her life and I reckoned, most likely her marriage life. Yet how far should one push the limits to getting what they want? Should one for her own wishes abandon all moral values and disregard the other parties that may get affected for the decision she made? To me, that is plain selfish. This is exactly who Amie is, abandoning her husband, allowing her child to goes through the process of parents divorcing, accepting another new ‘dad’ in her life. Worst, I don’t sense any remorse from her – “I guess she doesn’t know Mommy is a woman too. haha!”

Unhappy with probably her marriage life, she went to the virtual world to seek for her ‘perfect’ soulmate. It makes me wonder if the reason that people treat the virtual world as real is because they knew that the avatars inside are actually controlled by true human being instead of a computer character. She thought she found him – Bluntly Berblinge.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 6.02.34 pmThe documentary proceed revealing them to be a perfect couple in the virtual world however, their relationship goes on rock later when they decided to get together for real in their first life. They claim that they are ’emotional’ adultery. The intimacy inside the virtual world may not be real, but the way they speak to each other, their passionate voice when they are having sex in the virtual world seems to me, no difference from a real adultery.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 6.03.41 pmThis raise another question in my mind – the fact that the participants actually feel something in the virtual world, even if the intimacy are between the two avatars, they actually feel that is them, how is this more unreal than the real?

Perhaps because of how real it is, Amide therefore believes strongly at first that Bluntly is the perfect man for her. This brings me to my next point – communicating through the virtual does not really tells you who that person really is. Even with communicating in real life, it is difficult to really understand who a person really is, not to mention Change happens over the years. Every single day, each of us are discovering something new about the people that appears in our life. Every single day, we are discovering more about ourselves too. Communicating in the virtual world, especially in second life, does not even allow you to see the facial expression of the person. Furthermore, the avatars are created the way they are for many reasons  – a second self you fear to reveal to anyone for you, someone you wish to be, etc – fulfilling your inner desires.

In the end the couple skype each other and end up meeting with each other for real.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 6.02.55 pmWell, it was certainly sweet at first, but I guess they were too naive to really think that everything will be the same as when they were in Second Life. Stress and pressure build up as they tries to compromise to each other and not to mention trying to gain her daughter’s agreement to Bluntly.

At the end of the video she said “I am real and he is fake.” Picturing herself as the victim. But to me, avatar may just reveal a certain side of the person and not all. Both are real and fake in the virtual world to me.

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On a side note, I find it amusing how the documentary reveals how Second Life affects or ruins people’s life and at the same time shows how the producer of the Game simply do not care. Well it is true that what they have provided is only a platform – “it was only an island with trees.” – and amazingly how people started a community and a whole civilization started.

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Miro-Project 3 – Virtual Soundscape

People often says that they wanted to die peacefully, in their sleep.

But is it really peaceful to wake up and finds out that you are no longer in the same world?
That you have bid goodbyes with every one you are in love with deeply and that… actually, you are all alone.

What if, dying peacefully means you are not even aware of your own death?

Nam June Paik / Charlotte Moorman – TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969)

Brassiere for Living Sculpture (Charlotte Moorman) is one sharp example to humanize electronics … and technology. By using TV as bra… the most intimate belonging of human being, we will demonstrate the human use of technology, and also stimulate viewers, NOT for something mean, by stimulate their phantasy [sic] to look for the new, imaginative, and humanistic ways of using our technology. —Nam June Paik, 1969

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The piece consists of a pair of three-inch television screens mounted in plexiglass cubes which are strapped over the breasts of the cellist. The televisions display oscillations created from signals from a pickup on the cello. This shows direct relationship and impact between the Human and the Technology, which is the major key to his point on Humanizing Technology.

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Before I read into the details of his performance, I was thinking this is another piece that embodies female sexuality and desire as the performance piece. Well, perhaps, one of the best way to capture attention and input strong impression on people is to use the female body as the protagonist and this may be the Paik’s intention too.

As I research,  I realize his true intention and truly admire his vision of the use of technology in future.

Although TV today has somewhat been replace by computers, however, it is still something that is not detachable from every households. TV Bra for Living Sculpture is one of Paik’s first experiments that embodied his foresight towards the rapid progress of technology. I think by distorting the already accomplished image of television, and transforming it to an intimate object, the women’s bra, he succeeded to attract viewer’s attention to present a television as an object of contemplation.

As an artist, I believe it is important for us to deliver our own vision of what the future will become in order for people to anticipate the future positive (or even negative) possibilities.