Tag Archives: performance

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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.

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.


Ecologies of Performance Art: Actualizing the Future

A visual blast(*) from Steve Dixon’s obsession in art as a gesture. There’s a little bit of blood, gore and grotesque, but that’s quite fine like a gentlemen he is. In Environmental Visions, his performance of his speech is theatrical and soul-grabbing.

Hell as a virtual concept; infinite loop of boredom with a robot that it is stuck in.

My experience with him is likened to Invocation of My Demon Brother happening in real time and space. Terribly charismatic.

Elaborated on  *.

* is also an extensive map and research of relevant artists. Updates are available.


tv bra

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.


“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.”


nam moor

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.



tv bra

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.


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.




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


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


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:

annie abrahams' comments
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.