Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Virtual Text – Conclusion

I have really come a long way in exposing myself to the online chat world.

let’s record some of the events that happened.

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it all comes off with an idea of misinterpretation of words through messaging and also the power of quotes. Then I came around looking at some artworks that involves virtual texts, eg. megaphone, which sparks me off with the idea of real expression and virtual words typed out.

I went and do some experiment on social network, leaving off some quotes and found out that in the social network, where it is so publicly expose, people rather private message me for more serious topics about why did i post such a serious or emotional quotes. The comment box however are light causal talks.

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and is by being introduced to the idea of flaming, i did some test too using a fake account. I still remembers how hard it is for me to flame. And it indeed provokes me further to question about people who spend time flaming people in front of the internet. How does this satisfy them?

As you can see, my work, without know has evolve into something that really question about public and private space and about the social problem of cyber bully.

I came to the idea of really chatting with strangers i have never met before, through virtual text. And the only way I could do that, is through online chatroom. Being introduced to Chatroulette and Omegle, really challenged my boundaries of getting real comfortable with strangers from the start, talking about real private stuff. Frankly, it really scares me. But I want to see my reaction to their text vs. the way i provoke them in a positive or negative way.

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my first time chatting online makes me feel really uncomfortable. and i was just really being myself. So when they asked about my identity and they pushes me to show my face, I just feel extremely stress. Then i realise no words i said could provoke them. When i try to put quotes, they left the conversation. When i tried to spam them with vulgarities, they left too without fighting back. I was many time, speechless and lost.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 7.37.46 pmMy second time, i tried by asking them questions about why they uses this platform? why they do not want to meet real friends? But most of them do not go deeper into the topic and goes on about my body, my face, sex and more sex.

And so I went back i reflected. I realise I couldn’t provoke them in any ways but to sexualise myself. Diana did somewhat a demo in front of me, and I was really impress. And I went back to do more test. And the results were splendid.Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.23.33 am Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.23.39 am Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.23.44 am Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.23.48 am Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.23.54 amThis is just one of the chat i screenshot. Is sad because I actually forget to screen captured this.

My conclusion for my project?

Online virtual world really did blur the line between public and private to the fact that people ask really “personal” question about you. But the degree of personal is different. It is sexual. You still will never know who and what they are. You will never understand their thoughts. And they could just be like me, provoking reactions. Several times, when I asked them about their personal facebook account they will back off. Cause maybe they are real careful too. The responsibility of letting someone know who you are when you are doing socially incorrect things are perhaps too heavy. My initial motive of hoping to motivate people somewhat through quotes or in fact inspired them is really hard. The wall build up by them is strong. Perhaps, people really do not want someone to chat when they are there. Or private heart to heart conversations with strangers are still  private somehow. Like I mentioned in the previous chat, the virtual world seems real to them, to the degree they can get turned on just by chatting, or maybe is just like reading any other storybooks which describe the sex process, their imagination and role playing inside their mind is what make it seems real. Yet to a very large extent they knew it is not real, for, true-friends-with-heartfelt-conversations-never-existed as they knew this stranger will be gone once the stopped button is pressed.


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(I put password for all my oss videos because I don’t want the whole world to excess them. Ask me personally for the password :> )

I have been trying to upload  TEST 2 for the longest time which include splitting the video into 3 parts just so it can fit to the ” You can only upload a maximum of 500 MB” for Basic Vimeo user. But damn, when I finally had each parts to be (abit) less than 500 MB…… I was told by Vimeo that I can only upload a total of 500 MB of videos per week! (ok, maybe i sound a bit confusing here….)

Anyway, for now I have only Part 1 uploaded. This time i found an alternative platform, instead of Chatroulette required me to give my handphone number in order to verify the account to continue chatting. Well, I am not very comfortable in leaking such personal informations online especially on a chatroom website. I thus, introduced by my good friend, found Omegle, a free online chatroom that also functions like Chatroulette.

The whole process was much more fun than the previous one because I actually have friends suggesting to me on what to type next.

It amazed me on what they can actually come up with.


and here’s some interesting replies from the stranger(s):

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it was an interesting one hour session although i was constantly battling the awkwardness of strangers being overly “friendly” to me. Something that i noticed is that the strangers are pretty careful themselves, most of those that talked with me for longer period, do not have their webcam on. Does this also mean that they are afraid to show their identity to a stranger like me? However the annoying thing is all of them only want the other party to show their face first. There’s one who went offline right after I told him he didn’t showed his either!

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The second test left me with questions to whether i did deviate from my initial aim of the project. I asked myself if they are even looking at the words text i typed, did it even affect them? but it seems more like all they care is to get me on my webcam and they just ignored whatever i typed – how i was feeling awkward, how i clearly don’t wish to, etc – but none, except for one,  respected my decision. Well, in the end, with my friends’ help, i came to realise that only by sexualising myself, giving a false idea that I am interested in “showing myself”, then I could get their reaction.

Well, certainly it seems i also became the test object, getting pressurised by their words. And i realise a new element in typing – speed. The speed you type to a person, (which we call it spamming.), actually kinda overwhelms someone in the other space reading your text.

It seems that I did not deviate from my initial aim but just that the whole test led me to a new discovery of how real the virtual world can mean to people. I started to feel that my project is also evoking questions on social problems brought in by the virtual world which is something i did not expect.

So what do i mean by real? The question that kept popping in my mind when I use the chatroom is why did people want to have nude chats? why did they get excited over something shown on the screen itself? Which is suppose to be “untouchable” , “not real” in their space. If they are so excited about nudity showing on their screen, what did the virtual world on chatrooms provides that is different from the porn movies they can find online?

It comes down to one answer is that on the virtual chatroom, you get responses. The person on the other side of the screen is able to respond to you, and right now right then, it seems, you are the only person on this world that can see the “show” the other party is performing. Perhaps strangely on the internet, (where whatever you do on the webcam can be recorded down and expose to the public), people actually felt a sense of personal space in front of the webcam in the “private” chatroom. It gave them a fake idea that exposing themselves in virtual world is private. Just like you would have sex in a close room in the real world, it is similarly private. Moreover, the fact that the other party do not know their true identity also made them felt safe in a way i guess. Or there might be some who just loves exposing themselves to the whole world. And it felt real because you get immediate responses. A pleasure they wish they could find in the actual real world, but they can’t due to social norm, due to identities crisis. The virtual world provides that platform, that freedom.

Special thanks to my friends who have been providing me ideas when I am really lost for words. Having people you know on another virtual world chatting with you really makes you less tense and less afraid. Not to mention on their creativity. hahaha.

I am glad I enjoyed the session this time :)