Category Archives: Research

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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).

(www.Jennicam.org)

 

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.

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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.

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‘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 (www.fishcam.com) and eagles (http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles) are telematically present in 2014, there is once a human biologically identified to be female (www.jennicam.org).

 

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.

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High-brow, Low-brow — Dara Birnhaum: Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman


Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, by Dara Birnhaum (1977-78)

Video art challenges conventional ways of TV broadcast which is in a linear and structured manner. Similary, Dara Birnbaum’s mashedup was stitched in the dynamics of a 3-act-structure, despite relentless gifs of her power performances.

Perhaps it was through tinted lens do I see it as the amplification of atrocities and justified troll. It appears satirical to a contemporary audience and rouses skepticism in light of the banality of the overdone visual effects. Suggestively regressive in film editing techniques, one must, however, acknowledge the subversion of the everyday consumption of television then, unnecessary in adherence to Walter Murch’s evaluation. Contextually a keystone in Birnbaum’s artistic career, it is in the art happenings in the period of 1977-78, where feminist art movement was very much favoured we may savour layers of her media manipulation attempt.

 

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The subject of this work of art involves Wonder Woman, a cultural icon since inception. When William Moulton Marston brought Wonder Woman to life in 1941, he gave it up to feminist ideals and female empowerment. “(She) encourages women to stand up for themselves, to learn to fight, and be strong, so they don’t have to be scared, or depend on men”.

At first sight, Birnhaum’s work was in dominance in relatable concerns to pioneers of video art in technological production. It was also an ideological critique of the popular culture, as such, comics. Many, like artists, were seeking to “talk back” to television, the medium for broadcasting. On the other hand, video was also an advancement in search for a new visual language. This “new media” technique, through sampling and collage fulfilled the mechanism of deconstruction in sexist ideology, beckoning the wild reception.

Much contradictory to the notion of kitschness, Dara Birnhaum’s critique was high-brow from a critical distance on low-brow mass consumerism — not of condescension, but rather, a facilitation on the celebration of feminism.

 

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Life 2.0: Asri Falcone 2.0

About
Life 2.0 is a feature-length documentary recounts the lives of individuals and how their engagement in the third space alters their lives in real time for the better or worse.

Real and Second Life
Asri Falcone asserts that her avatar is not of a separate entity but her very self. In the film sequence, filmmaker Jason Spingarn-Koff consciously decides upon the juxtaposition of Asri Falcone’s successful entrepreneurship in virtual world, and obese black woman who chain-smokes and sleeps till late in the day.

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Asri Falcone in Second Life.

black sleeping beauty
Asri Falcone in Real Life.

Cinematic Techniques
Introduction of Asri Falcone evokes shock and disdain in view of her lifestyle and sense of self. It reminds of the notions of real and virtual life disparity in which Second Life offers this chance for escape. Undeniably it might have been an intention for gameplay, Life 2.0 offers a warm wrap for the depiction of Falcone, which serves as a reference for contemplation of the dilemma in virtuality and reality. Especially since Second Life is based upon realism of human, environment, and propagated interactions.

mistyFalcone and Misty embracing in real space.

In Falcone’s relationship with Misty, a fellow playmate in Second Life sharing a dedication in their gameplay, they engage with each other in entertainment and many other bonding activities. It attributes both character’s moments of intimacy to their common ground established in third space.

caseFalcone pursued for justice in real court.

Asri Falcone’s entrepreneurial spirit was apparent. Her victorious case from the sue of copyright infringement from virtual assets validates beyond the study of identity and extends towards economy. Liken to Bitcoins*, Linden currency in Second Life is not only virtually exchanged but to state currency and vice versa.

Elaborated on

Bitcoins*:
What is a Bitcoin?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Informal

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Tribute to Asri Falcone:

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The Post-Human Condition: Nam June Paik Humanizes TV

Nam June Paik was a notable video artist who helped ushered in the new development of electronic technology. Paik transformed literal representation of moving images to expressive elements. Formally trained in music and performance, Paik approached TV as an artistic tool to work around time-based art.

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“I think I understand time better than the video artist who came from painting-sculpture. Music is the manipulation of time. All music forms have different structures and buildup. As painters understand abstract space, I understand abstract time.”

 

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In the late 1960s, Charlotte Moorman, a cellist, performance artist, an produce of the New York Avant-Garde Festivals is a significant collaborator with Paik.

 

 

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TV Bra For Living Sculpture by Nam June Paik, 1969

In TV Bra For Living Sculpture, he is moving the TV from traditional setting into wearable technology. The hypnotic quality of the glitchy images immerses the audience. The “male gaze” in feminist theory is challenged when looking at the female body to fixate in a non-sexual manner. A  woman’s body perceived as a “living sculpture”, instead of instant objectification.

In many instance, Paik’s “human” element and its intersection with art and technology is frequented. TV Cello is one other.

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TV Cello by Nam June Paik, 1961

 

 

Paik created the form of a cello using monitors for which Charlotte Moorman, performs with. Moorman drew the bow, causing the images on the monitors to change.

 “Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.” 

Both works of art by Nam June Paik distinctly accentuates his desire to humanise the TV, or rather the TV and an extension of Moorman’s body. Paik envisions technology as an artistic tool that liberates expression and transforms the world. His visual and conceptual influence has extended to today’s contemporary art practice.

 

 

Bibliography:

Garrett Landry, 2010. Nam June Paik: Electronic Expression. Retrieved from m:

http://namjunepaik.wordpress.com/

Carla Hanza, 2001. International Sculpture Center: Publisher of Sculpture Magazine, 20(5). Retrieved from:

http://www.sculpture.org/documents/scmag01/june01/paik/paik.shtml

what people think i do

Third Space Research Series: Intimacy and Technology

#ossntu

In relation to the Third Space, both works of art are exemplary in the investigation of the notion of intimacy and the evolution of technology.

Catch-22 is that we are connected and alienated simultaneously. Intimate and isolating at the same time. The contemporary art embraces binary opposites and such marriage marks incredible milestone in art practice, as the role of an artist draws on parallel to a facilitator in creative process and viewer’s reception. Art critic Robert Hughes suggests a truly significant work of art is the one that prepares the future. Digital natives, it is as important to be concerned about the integration of third space in the everyday, vice versa.

The Big Kiss attempts to construct a shared experience through the participation fostered by the third space. What is noticeably challenged is defined by physically, and tactile sensation.
In Telematic Dreaming, such is enhanced with the placement of bed, a physical manifestation of the third space for the two participants situated remotely.

Telematic Dreaming by Paul Sermon, 1992:

telematic dreaming statementArtist’s statement on Telematic Dreaming.

In Telematic Dreaming, Paul Sermon enforces telepresence with the place of bed as a stimuli to foster the feeling of that other location. Telepresence videoconferencing allows artist-viewer* to share and without them, it just an empty space. Paul Sermon as a facilitator contemplates on how to engage the audience and therefore ownership within an environment.

artist-viewer* suggests viewer as artist and artist as viewer through participatory gesture to render an art experience.

Moving forward from existential angst and loneliness staring into the abyss of HTML, the inception of HTML5 in 2008 has been a tool to pull strings for difference spaces in a browser. #stingtheorypun

The Wilderness Downtown by Chris Milk, 2010
downtownClick on image to be directed

The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive music video for Arcade Fire’s song “We Used to Wait.” Visitors are prompted to enter their hometown’s address, and then the site calls upon Google Earth and HTML5 to create a personalised music video that takes the user on a journey back home.

Also note that besides the comparative incitation of third space, some of the most interesting and important works of art conceived and built upon on the internet challenge the convention of museum-going; web-browser replacing art gallery, as that of the third space replacing real place. I digress.

The Kiss by Annie Abrahams, 2008:

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Artist’s “statement” for The  (Big) Kiss.

Annie Abrahams creates situations where people reveal things of themselves they normally don’t show, being real and acting out of what is normally accepted, referring to it as an “intimate moment”. The idea is that in such a situation, people invest their thoughts and emotions while conferencing in the third space. In retrospection, it pricks to pick on their performance, in The Kiss, both performers self-consciously gestured a kiss. A kiss and its various cultural connotations deconstructed in the third space.

Man falls in love with operating system.

Watch trailer here:

Her, written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, 2013

What does it mean to hold a relationship through electronic media? Annie Abrahams is appreciative of the realness exhibited by the man behind the webcam. From Spike Jonze’s film, Her, the protagonist in flesh develops a relationship with a machine, an OS. The revelation is that authenticity exhibited, regardless of machines and devices, contributes to the foundation of the third space.  Life is evoked by life intertwined with memory and nostalgia. #meta

and yes —
http://viooz.co/movies/23503-her-2013.html

You are welcome.

 

Bibliography:

Alessandro Tomasi. 2008. Journal of Evolution and Technology. The Role of Intimacy in the Evolution of Technology, 17(1): 1-12. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

Umut Sumnu. 2011. Image, Time and Motion: New Media Critique from Turkey. What is Absent in telepresence?, 135-138. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.