Author Archives: Tan Chinfang

Profile photo of Tan Chinfang

About Tan Chinfang

The world is enough now that I am happy

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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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FINALLY PROJECT UPDATE – TEST 2

(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, Omegle.com instead of Chatroulette.com. 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.

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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 :)

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CHATROULETTE TEST 1

Seriously most of the time I am just really trying real hard to figure out what to type. I wanted to type motivational words too but it just seems so out of place. But I enjoyed the randomness of this whole 10 mins process.

Interestingly, when I started flaming a lot of people just quickly click “Next” to find a new partner. Well in a way I am happy with what they did cause I guess it’s consider a reaction too. I mean if i type the same thing to someone that knew me, they will probably laugh or play around with me.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.51.22 pm(THE GUY ACTUALLY SMIRKED HAHAHAHA)

In a way people are more willing to stay and chat with me when I am being friendly and nice. (i guess is expected.) And me being me, I am really unwilling to give up my personal information to strangers. I started to feel scared which I had no idea why, and I even give fake name!!

<i>”What’s your name.”
<i>thinking thinking thinking…</i>
<i>”Estelle.”</i>

Many times I am so tempted to tell the other person that I am a guy, (which i did in one of the chat, but the person just skipped me. haha. are they sexist or what?) but I wanna see how these strangers are actually looking for women online to chat with and “befriend” with, so i decided to tell the truth, until this guy asked for my facebook and this time is me who retreat.

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Is interesting too! because me doing this experiment, I am being influenced by the words the partner typed too. And most of the time I am just nervous and panicky because nothing, just nothing came out from my mind.

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And when i look back, I think, my facial expression is just priceless.

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TECHNICAL REALISATION – VIRTUAL WORDS

After a few weeks of researching and reading. i finally came up with an idea of how am i going to present my project.

For my purpose is to show how virtual text actually affects us and how much it can be misinterpreted, I decided to chat randomly online with strangers. (which really kinda freaks me out because I feel awkward talking random things to people I never met before)

1) I decided to use Chatroulette as the medium for me to get in contact with strangers. I can’t think of a faster way than that as this website allows me to rotate around different people all around the world!

2) I will disabled the Webcam and Mic function in Chatroulette so that the partners are only able to interpret my intentions through the words I typed.

3) Using Photobooth, placed beside the Chatroulette window, it will capture down my actual expression while I am typing. This will reveal a comparison between reality and virtual – how the tone i use to type actually looks like vs. how I am actually really feeling.

4) Using Quicktime Player I can screen capture the whole process.

5) Perhaps after a few more weeks of recording, I can come out with a conclusion based on these experiments I made.  

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Jennifer Ringley – JenniCam

“American college student Jennifer Ringley has taken the cam phenomenon to one of its logical conclusions, installing a camera in her dorm room and linking it to the web. The ‘Jennicam’ updates every three minutes, and is never switched off. Whatever Jenny does, she does in front of a crowd. Her site, which is now hosted on a commercial server, is sophisticated and includes features such as a gallery of past Jennicam grabs, an FAQ, and a ‘spot the curve’ competition in which viewers are shown a scan of a small piece of skin and invited to guess what part of Jenni’s body it comes from. The phenomenon of a young woman quite literally anatomising herself via the web is an extraordinary one, and Jenni’s site has made her one of the web’s first real stars. In June she started charging, an arrangement which further problematises her status.

Occasionally Jenni will perform for her camera, and a market has developed for explicit grabs of her choreographed strip shows. Her site is linked to numerous commercial pornographic sites, which present her as an ‘amateur’ porn star, in the vein of reader’s wives pictures or images in contact magazines. But though Jenni occasionally uses it for sexual purposes, for the most part the cam shows an ordinary young woman’s life in all its drabness. Jenni talks on the phone, washes her hair, goes to sleep for eight hours a night. All this makes her voluntary abdication of privacy (which does not seem to be motivated by any political, or artistic agenda, and only latterly by a financial one) all the more interesting.”

it’s pretty amazing to me that someone can allow others to invade their privacy to this extent. For a person like me who gets paranoid for even having webcam on the table without switching on, I am unable to comprehend her actions. What is the true meaning behind invading privacy? Does it still counts as invading when one actually allow the “invasion”. Is just like the settings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the others social network,, where you allow or disabled or block someone assess to a certain information of yours. .. People feel okay as long as people only get to see what was allowed. So is this even invading privacy? Moreover her, who allows other people to see the most intimate part of her life.

She claim what was shown in the camera was real. But i doubt so. Even when you tried to behave normally, subconsciously knowing the camera is there, knowing somewhere on some parts of Earth there are people observing you, you tend to behave differently.  I can’t imagine the pressure she faced living under camera for 7 Years. Perhaps the initial thought was to experiment a “reality” show where such concept is rare at that era. Or it could be merely be her trying to gain recognition, like what some youtubers did nowadays. But we never know.

I do wonder does she really feels comfortable with it? and what forces her to close her site down in the end?

She even received threatening letters, hackers hacking into her site asking her to show more. In a way i feel that her performance is a real success in reflecting the society, regarding what is deem as pornographic, and how people can actually behave behind the screen.

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ROLE OF VIEWERS – Virtual Texts

I am combining my Role of Viewers with the recent experiments I had done during my recess week for i believe this is what best illustrate the role of my viewers.

As my project is about how Virtual texts affects people. I actually created a fake account (fang Iamdestroyer) on youtube and went around leaving random comments. I think flaming is extremely hard for me because I could take hours just to think of something to type. (Now i finally know that being a hater is not easy. And I wonder why there are so many out there.) The thing is, it is not that I have absolute no negative thoughts about some videos.. is just that I don’t see the point on really attacking it. But haha! i did it anyway and it is kind of entertaining to see the replies.

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Replies.. exactly. The role of the viewer in my project is to react to whatever I type on the virtual world. Is interesting how they interpreted my words. Well, on another level, people who knew me personally will react to my words differently!

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 4.41.00 PMOne thing that strike me from the previous lecture is that, how casual people are replying to the quotes i put online, which are suppose to hold some sadness, emptiness and seriousness. Perhaps it also shows that public post are meant to be reblogged, retweet, liked, and shared, with random funny comments. but not meant for personal talks and concern. Well, also perhaps, despite how ‘open’ we are in the virtual world, people still prefer private talk for serious stuffs.

I too wanna explore on the use of emoicons soon! 😀 :> :( :'(  how it affects the mood of how the texts are conveyed.

Oh I saw this interesting site introduce by Prakash, which consist of screenshots of post on the virtual world all over the place. Wondering if this can bring some idea to my live performance in the later date!

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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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