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Project Hyperessay: Conclusion


1. Gratitude

I am grateful of everyone from OSS and whom have been part of this experience, and Randall having such a strong standing from from conception to execution. A project that is so open-sourced, having input from everyone, culminates great spirit. Everyone helps each other to grow. It is a journey, seriously, for me, and almost transformative to have me this performance piece up and out.

2.  What is it?

Project virtual awkwardness is the virtual manifestation of what in physical space we call social awkwardness. As a digital native today, it is very much within our nature to be attached with our electronic devices, whether is it mentally, physical or emotionally. In this performance, I’m transposing the life of a digital native onto virtuality, coexisting on the same plane as reality performing everyday action as a force of nature. The 24hr aspect completes a cycle; this performance never ends. To place myself on the pedestal on the stage and broadcast my private concentration in the public space is to refine the boundaries of what is known to be private and public based on individual perception. I have been made as a sculptural form of what is it to be a digital native.


Chris Hables Gray emphasises n his introduction to the The Cyborg Handbook (1995), there are no clear-cut definitions of the cyborg.

McLuhan’s 1964 Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, which includes a range of “man’s extensions” besides broadcast or film media.

Donna Haraway’s utopic ” A Cyborg Manifesto” (1985).

Katherin Hayle’s analysed that people become post human when they think they are post human.

3. Why is it so?

I have found the likeness of binary opposites the for one to be socially awkward, one is not virtually awkward, vice versa. Distilling the complexity of technology to its essence is its utilitarian purpose of “bridging the gap”. The world is evolving is neither right or wrong to be falling into either extremes but the embracement of it brings forth the peculiar situation as us being likened  to a cyborg.

What are the social rules in virtual space are we to observe and under which situation do we escape from or confront? In both spaces, we have a choice.

4. How is it like as a 24hr performance?

Bodily functioning:
The sense of time and space is ethereal in virtuality without day and night.
Appetite becomes subjected only to outsiders of my own body to have food intake.
Mind’s potential can be tapped into as the third space serves the prosthetic ability to live beyond physicality of the body.

Social and virtual functioning:
The sense of celebration from coexisting in the hybridisation of spatiality, in spite of immateriality. The mediated. The virtual.

More updates 

1. Research relations will be organised and described in more details (those mentioned in presentation)

2. Stitching of the 24hr performance in a different form will be discussed

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Test Setup

ADM Building, Lobby

4th April 2014, Friday

3:30pm: Equipment negotiation and loan
4:00pm: Equipment set up

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There are wandering souls and friends who passed by to say hi and enquire.

Audience are mainly passersby

Audio feedback
Logged in to Adobe Connect and currently UI does not indicate webcam and voice call.
Logged in to Skype and troubleshoot with Mike Tan, friendship favour.
Tested with Audio Skype Call and feedback are insidious.

The projection is hazy in the presence of sunlight.

Special thanks to Mr Lau Kheng Hock, Mr Kumar Chockanathan from IT department, and Mr Poh Zhuang Yu from Interactive Media office. Mike Tan from Skype.


Project Hyperessay: Technical Realization

Open Source Studio — Public Intervention

11th April 2014, 1600hrs to 12th April 2014, 1600hrs

Real space: ADM Building, Lobby
Third space:


2x long-throw projector, vga cable, mac adapter, power cable


2x short-throw projector, vga cable, mac adapter, power cable


2x iMac


2x speakers, XLR, power cable


1x sub-woofer


1x mixer


2x webcam


2x projector screen


2x trolley


1x Kewpie






  • Information and details of actual event on the internet
  • Instructions on undertakings to connect over the third space
  • Log sheet and catalog of interaction and activities
wall light

The Physical Impossibility of Virtual Awkwardness in the Spatial Reality of Someone Living

Allegory of the Open Source Studio
From Plato’s cave to the Third Space

Fig. 1: Art History

Fig. 2: Manifesto

Fig. 3: Alter ego

Fig. 4: Skype

A progressive study through embodiment of steganography.

Art History
The liberation of one’s self from soul in an encounter larger than life with T. K. Sabapathy.

Mantra in the floating world of new media.

Alter ego
Impermanence in states of being allows for versatility

I want to forget

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Virtually Awkward Silence

“Three Listening Modes” by Michael Chion:

  • Casual Listening
  • Semantic Listening
  • Reduced Listening

Cinematic Silence

Sound Designer, Roger Low (, on the emphasis of silence for films do not imply the lack of sound, but ambience helps in establishing the context and certain devices such as clock-ticking could emphasise that tension and then release.

Sound Design(ed)

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Virtually Awkward Silence


Project Hyperessay: Influences II

The Pinterest Instinct by Tan Pin Pin

Tan Pin Pin reveals her process that resulted in two recent films Snow City (2011) and The Impossibility of Knowing (2010). The first grew from her huge and random archive of Singapore scenes shot for another film (that were never used) and the second, from her 10 year collection of Straits Times news clippings detailing crimes of passion. She hopes to show how the Pinterest Instinct can be used as a vital creative resource.

Tan Pin Pin is an award-winning director who is known for her body of work on Singapore and her histories. Her films have screened in Berlinale, Busan, Vision du Reel and the Flaherty Seminar. In Singapore, the films have received sold out theatrical screenings and toured schools. She has won awards from Cinema du Reel, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, as well as a Student Academy Award for Moving House. To Singapore with Love, about Singapore exiles, was awarded Best Director at the Dubai International Film Festival.

One’s reception draws from observational basis as much as local filmmaker Tan Pin Pin did. The connection that was drawn from places, people to situation generates such austere and yet, gently humorous in circumstantial nuances. The art of drawing point to point from cloud data is an artist’s reflex. I also appreciate the relevance drawn contextually. Her process with the thematics of curated talk series, History and Its Currency, mapped clarity in procedural craftsmanship of important films made in Singapore to date.

In Project Virtual Awkwardness, an act of troll that has the undertakings of such sophistication requires clarity in thought and stoic calmness in propagation. In Project Virtual Awkwardness, it not of binary opposites to be or not to be, but a contention to the extremes and call for a measurement to the degree of which. Truly it is an act of elegance, and a practice of chivalry and meditation.


Project Hyperessay: Role of the Viewer

Virtually Awkward Manifesto

1st RULE: You do not talk about being VIRTUALLY AWKWARD.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about being VIRTUALLY AWKWARD.
3rd RULE: If someone disconnects from the third space or lags, the session is over.
4th RULE: Only two converse at a time.
5th RULE: One speech at a time.
6th RULE: One identity logged in at a time.
7th RULE: Session will go on as long as they want to.
8th RULE: If this is your first time being VIRTUALLY AWKWARD, you HAVE to keep calm and carry on.
  • Viewer accesses the Adobe Connect link: 
  • Viewer is required to login to Adobe Connect as guest on computer via Firefox browser. Viewer may also choose to login using Adobe Connect mobile phone app.
  • Viewer will be engaged in conversation with the host.
  • Viewer will also be prompted for actions.
  • Viewer’s interactions and responses most probably will vary, depending on degree of virtual awkwardness provoked.
  • Viewer will be adjusted and aware of the mutual virtually agreeable etiquettes, so to allow for greater control  the degree of virtual awkwardness. 


The Art of Being Virtually Awkward

Project Virtual Awkwardness: Seriously Awkward

When the director of Open Source Studio, Randall Packer, surrendered the third space to Diana Mafia, she went into a flush of virtual awkwardness. One by one were the minions of OSS called into this interrogative session. As the mistress of a short duration performance of awkward culture, three compliant accomplice responded in favor; uncertain, bemused and somewhat awkward. The performative aspect of copycat actions has granted allowance for letting go, that one participant, Min, routed a towel around her head when the host, Diana Mafia bundled a turban. One victim, Wei Long, was hesitant. An authentically indian indian man, Prakash, was befitting of a towel turban. Anyway, all of them are embroiled into a series of NSFW (not safe for work) conversation, where content is, however, non-explicitly challenging but with an undertone that incurred awkwardness. What is peculiar and the most attractive situation was that behind the screen, the options are limited to binary opposites. Audiences are to participate in almost ritualistic desires of the chief. Due to the nature of virtuality, there is a chance for second-guessing, which traps respondents in themselves, thus unsure about the socio-virtual normality in reaction.

The pinnacle of this situation is most viably addressed with the expression “virtual awkwardness”, where the reality of society is transposed through the real space to the third space. “The real” has permeated from physicality to virtuality. The psyche of acting and reacting based on social contract of agreement and judgement in acceptability has to be rewrote, through this instigation, where formalities become informal, and the informal is subjected to be re-interpreted and perhaps, accepted.

In line with the Open Source Studio inception in classroom conduct, Randall Packer has verbally approve of a conversation log that runs throughout the class which would have otherwise never been approve of in conventional real classroom settings. A student is distracted is he is using other communication devices and deemed as not paying attention, in fact, unmannerly in due respect to the real space host. In a AdobeConnect class time, lines of messages are exchanged and would not be classified as a bane and competitive towards attention for the host. In this very manner, the socially acceptable behavior has transformed. Or rather, it is virtually acceptable.

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One other observation of distraction, then, would be the representation of an avatar through video. There is a synchronization of participants, interactive or not, with their static camera angle. It can be a well-defined distraction, not within the space in frame but the instability of the vision of one’s studio space. For instance, connecting through the third space on transit while walking. A situation like this with changing background (studio space) can be virtually unacceptable, as much as one might be paying attention. It is probably similar in vibrations to how a teacher conducting a class in real-time can be distracted by happenings like noisy students or just plain disruptions.

Above all, the organisation of the third space is ever-evolving, so are the rules to virtual contract of agreement. In the contemporary and modern Internet times, we consider virtual law and regulations to facilitate higher civilizations while tracking and managing conditions. We currently in this global climate of identifying and adjusting to the virtual, writing rules consciously or subconsciously to what is virtually acceptable. We live, breathe, acknowledge and embrace virtual awkwardness.


Jennicam and Project Virtual Awkwardness

My name is Jennifer Ringley, and I am not an actor or dancer or entertainer. I am a computer geek… I don’t sing or dance or do tricks (okay, sometimes I do) but not very well and solely for my own amusement, not yours).



From April 1996 to December 2003, the ‘ordinary’ life of a young Western woman was broadcasted on the Internet. It is stated the reason for closure is PayPal cutting her off. An overview could be found residing on Ashley Lai and Tan Chin Fang’s residencies in the Open Source Studio.


The examination of her immense popularity like any other success phenomena brings upon theories to substantiate. In this investigation, we challenge the notion of setting her private space public with our proposition of Virtual Awkwardness by Diana Toh, established from the grounds of experimental third space labyrinth Open Source Studio helmed by Randall Packer.



The premature adrenaline that pumps through your veins pulsating every single bout of arousal in the entrance towards dark and warm dungeon of Jennifer Ringley. Much to our dismay, her stay was long in human’s linear encounter of hours, minutes and seconds, but insignificant in the longevity of the Internet. The nature of online cameras which take images of themselves is ephemeral, fleeting, and transient — ultimately lost in time is it’s flavor while change is the only constant; embed in this world off mashups and remixes, and idolatry of oneself in virtual presence is very much a socially acceptable insanity.


A voyeur would approve of Jennicam’s camera angle and static establishing show of her room and her bed. A relationship exist only if she is willing to exhibit her assets, her affair, and her possibly humility that is so honest.


‘The media, by and large, adores making a big deal out of the nudity and sexual content on the site. I don’t strip. I don’t even sleep naked much. And since I started dating Geofry ten months ago, I haven’t had sex on camera a single time because Geofry is camera-shy.”

Ringley’s interview on Cybergrrl: Voices of Women, 2001.


Transgressing beyond, academics have avidly discussed upon webcam as a technology that transpose the traditional canvas “window”, now a digital one, into another space-time situation, conjuring the real and the virtual. Jennicam’s 24-hour performance exploits on the lack of formal theatre training, kitsch and banality, bringing forth a “new theatre” dramaturgy from contention of theatre academics to embracement of telematic reality presentation. The pinnacle of mediation after mediation takes on viewership to be critical on seeing and the act of looking.


While largely is there contention in her intention of her gesture, subjected to debate of exhibitionism, the banality of the everyday gives security to mundanity. While fishes ( and eagles ( are telematically present in 2014, there is once a human biologically identified to be female (


Do you think Jenni was virtually awkward? Was she attempting to overcoming virtual awkwardness? Was she trying to induce it, either for herself or the viewer?

— Randall Packer


“I keep Jennicam alive not because I want to be watched, but because I simply don’t mind being watched”, says Jennifer Ringley. This marks the borderline falling between self-objectification and empowerment.


The transcendental presence of Jennicam has been felt across academia to pornography host. Under Ringley’s management, Jennicam was directed to be originally unedited and uncensored. In the case of camera shy guests, she bears respect for the wishes to be left unidenitified. In essence, Ringley attempts to preserve a “reality” that would captured statically from the placement of the the webcam, archiving the less dramatic and not to give birth on representation. In the light of media, Jennifer Ringley’s portrayal is difficult to discover virtual awkwardness, an assertion of the lack of activities is also a meditation to his gesture.


In Project Virtual Awkwardness, the web session host breaks the fourth wall in direct confrontation with the audience. This is a peculiar situation where awkwardness arise much unlikely to be found in Jennicam. To follow on, this expression the host will investigate such instigation in the notion of troll, NSFW, and across Adobe Connect.