Tag Archives: ossntu

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Media Addiction: A Virtually Awkward Troll

Context: #ossntu

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By using the #ossntu hasthag, we contextualise subjects written in 140 characters or less to alternative interpretations.

Identity: Troll

I was a troll.

“In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”


Ask 10 people what they think about Internet trolls and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. One person might focus on harmless pranks, another on the lulz, another still on hateful tweets or harassment, generally. Some might even argue that the category doesn’t exist. The Internet seems to be virtually overrun with trolls—but no one can agree on what that term means.

Read A Brief History of Trolls, by Whitney Phillips, for elaborative insights and consequences of “trolling” as a label. 

Introspectively, I have exhibited behaviours, such as checking Twitter feeds for updates, that inclined towards media addiction. A confession for media addiction, while common, is self-shaming and guilt-tripping. I confront anxiety even as to responses from avatars despite familiarity for my trolling efforts. I could not detach myself from a virtual character I created for a micro-theatre performance. 

The notion of a staged performance does not imply an act of pretence, but being real in an artificial context.

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Dr. Ruben de la Nuez, an art critic and theoretician, on the difference between theatre and performance art.

Research and Statistics

Psychologists at the University of Manitoba conducted a study to determine if trolls have character traits that fall into what is known as the Dark Tetrad:

1. Machiavellianism – wanting and being able to manipulate and deceive others

2. Narcissism – extreme egotism and self-obsession

3. Psychopathy – a total lack of remorse and empathy

4. Sadism – taking pleasure in others’ suffering

Trends E.E. Buckels et al, “Trolls just want to have fun,” Personality and Individual Differences, 2014.

Case studies:

1. Trolling @emo_kidd91

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Clearly, @emokidd91 unveils a depressive episode on #ossntu. Instead of establishing an emotional rapport and a support system for the poor kid:

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2. Trolling @whalebiologist_

In continuity with sexual nuances:
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3. Trolling @HWL_OSSMP

Severe incoherence:
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4. Trolling @Zeltaru

In far-fetched response to @Zeltaru’s mention of “brownian motion”:

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Translated as an animation in code:

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5. Trolling @prakashph and @MNasiruddinBar

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Seriously, who is Sally?

6. Selfie — the ultimate art of trolling

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The image of gods and goddesses since pre-modern times are portrayed via the projection of self in the studies of iconism. The proclamation that the Buddha is a bff (best friend forever) highlights self-importance and narcissism on extreme. To visually analyse such portraiture* is political.

Portraiture* here refers to the selfie shared by the narcissist and Buddha statue.

The Buddha on pedestal of significance is cropped out and in the form of a selfie, the relationship of the onlooker and the buddha is changed. The sandstone figure of Buddha protected by Naga Muchalinda could be identified to be from 11th to 12th century Cambodia. It was time when the Buddha is modelled in likeness to Cambodian king Jayavarman VII.

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Source: Statue of King Jayavarman VII at Bayon Temple near Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

The representation of the onlooker’s identity sends subliminal messages to inform her status beyond a “bff”.


The Internet culture is progressive in time, opening up to more possibilities and vulnerabilities that requires discerning eye in information literacy. An avatar could be brought to live as an extension of reality. An avatar could also be an illusion that disillusions in the light of reality.

“The key to growth in the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness”
-Lao Tzu

Meanwhile, What Is an Internet ‘Troll’? How Should I Deal With Trolls? offers reliable perspectives and practical advices to deal with internet trolls.


The act of writing as a catharsis and its records of an avatar helps to erect boundaries between effects of media addition and self. Thank you #ossntu as micro-theatre platform and Prof. Randall Packer for his introduction to Hyperessay practice. #clarity


Chris Mooney (2014, February 14). Internet troll personality study: Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/02/internet_troll_personality_study_machiavellianism_narcissism_psychopathy.html

Kyle Chayka (2014, February 13). Internet Trolls Are Sadists and Psychopaths, Psychologist Report Finds | TIME.com. Retrieved from http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/13/internet-trolls-are-actually-sadists-study-finds/

Mark Prigg (2014, February 15). Online trolls really ARE horrible people, researchers find | Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2559860/Online-trolls-really-ARE-horrible-people-researchers-Narcissistic-Machiavellian-psychopathic-sadistic.html

Whitney Phillips (n.d.). Internet troll personality study: Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism. Retrieved from http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/phillips-brief-history-of-trolls/

what people think i do

Third Space Research Series: Intimacy and Technology


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 —

You are welcome.



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.