Time, John Clang

Intercepting portraits – Influences

There are several readings that I have referred to as influences for my project.

1. Hole in space, Sherrie Rabinowtiz and Kit Galloway

Hole in Space

“They could now see, hear, and speak with each other as if encountering each other on the same sidewalk. No signs, sponsor logos, or credits were posted—no explanation at all was offered. No self-view video monitors to distract from the phenomena of this life–size encounter.”

One thing that struck me for this performance is the fact that it has very little direction from the artist or creators of the installation. I think by not limiting or instructing the audience, viewers can be more open to experimentation or exploration, leading to their own interpretation of the work. I hope my end result is also an installation or experience where the viewers decide how they want it to be, rather than be told how to participate in the video.

Also, the scale of life sized images also added to the impact of the installation. It is also something that can be considered as a possibility for my work, even though it is not likely with the limitation of equipment in school.

2. Telematic dreaming, Paul Sernon

“When you “touch” another individual in the third space, why do you feel a connection as though you were physically present? Why is there a sense of intimacy in the third space, even though you are remote from the other person(s). Telematic Dreaming asks these questions while looking forward to how we are increasingly engaging with one another and forming relationships in the third space. ” – From hyperlecture

This work makes me think about possibilities for more intimacy between people who are connected in the third space. I feel that people do crave connections, but actions of intimacy such as a hug is not common in real life, especially for Singapore which is an asian country. Therefore if it is possible, I also wish to explore the notion of feeling the sense of intimacy or formation of relationship in the third space.

3. Shared Still life, Annie Abrahams

“This work explores the idea of the “telematic embrace,” a concept discussed by theorist Roy Ascott in terms of qualities of engagement in networked space. Here, cyberperformance artist Annie Abrahams explores the integration of two physical spaces as sets for a “still life,” in this case: a third space still life since the integration of these elements is only possible in this hybrid electronic space. As the performers combine their telematically connected bodies in the third space, they attempt to reach through the digital divide, to explore a kind of extended human presence across the network.”

I am intrigued by the digital divide that separates the two world, yet happenings in both screens combines together to become a single narrative. The divide made a distinct separation and make the viewers notice the difference between the 2 spaces even though they are on one single screen. If each divided screen represents a narrative, then combining 2 divided screen  would mean a new narrative. I also like the idea that there is an extended human presence across the network.

Also, there are important factors and points that are listed along with the project on the hyperlecture that I must to take into consideration with my project  as it involves web cam and a third space. They are as followed:

  • They are connected, using a webcam, to a shared interface where they can see images and hear the sounds from all the other performers and themselves.
  • This interface has the form of a grid.
  • They share image boundaries and can interact spatially with the other performers.
  • The sound the performer hears is a mix of all the sounds from the other performers.
  • Because of network delays the way the interface has been constructed, no two performers receive the same images and sound at the same time.
  • To avoid delay – difficulties while speaking, performers cannot hear their own voices, and cannot judge their participation in the total sound environment.
  • The performers must wear a headset to avoid feedback.

Consideration of these factors will allow me to better plan the project and execute it, since I am not aware of its limitation and possibilities. The possibility to see sounds and images from all other performers, even though delayed, may provide an interesting experience or even allow a new meaning to be born. Also, I have to take note that performers are not able to judge their participation in the total sound environment and thus I should work even more to reduce the inclusion of sound as a control for my project.

4. Trapped to reveal, Essay, Annie Abrahams

Her essay provided a substantial amount of research of what other artists have experimented with the web cam.

 “Did nobody understand that collaboration using machines wasn’t easier, maybe not more difficult either, but simply different from ordinary face to face communication?” – Annie Abrahams 

Taken from the writeup was also a quote from Brad Troemel’s in his work Why You Should Make Yourself Someone Else Online: “It argues along the same lines, “The process of image management on Facebook is already less an outpouring of expression than it is an exercise in omission of information about one’s self”.

Therefore by this statement, it is an interesting concept to explore. Images are uploaded and edited on facebook has become something that is not reflecting our life, but in fact something that tries to omit details from our life. We always present the best from ourselves (or for some, they’re always sad), but there are things that they do not notice themselves. For this project, if I were to let viewers decide which part of their face or body do they want to present, what would they choose to show or omit?

5. Huis Clos / No Exit – Tout va Bien, Annie Abrahams

“In one way or another, all digital artworks and environments are concerned with possible relationships between the physical space and the virtual, and what distinguishes them are the balance between these two realms and the methods deployed to translate one space into the other. Some artworks try to translate qualities of the virtual world into the physical environment, others strive to map the physical into the virtual; and yet others are aimed at fusing the two spaces.” – Christiane Paul

Likewise, I think this work becomes interesting as a result of compositing different spaces into one. There is not only one vision that propels the narratives. What if the conflicts of different spaces become the focus of the whole space itself?

Other influences:

These are other artworks whose aesthetics and concept inspires me in the project.

6. “Me and my friends”, “Time”, John Clang,

Me and my friends, John Clang
“Me and my friend”, a composite of several people to shape a new identity

I think this work is interesting, because the composite creates a new identity, yet it diminishes each of the individual’s true appearance. To some extent, it omits their details, while we are only left to admire the result that is created by compositing them in a single space.

Time, John Clang
“Time”, a composite of the same street taken at different timings

Similarly, the use of third space also allows the bending of time to bring about connections between one another. As webcam is prone to lag and delay, it is also a possibility that different results can be achieved because of that same fault.


 7. “AIDS DIALOGUE”, Drew Ludwig

"Aids dialogue", portraits of models who support the Telluride AIDS Benefit group are cut out and sticked onto the artist's face
“Aids dialogue”, portraits of models who support the Telluride AIDS Benefit group are cut out and sticked onto the artist’s face

“Aids dialogue” presents a face that is presented by compositing numerous faces over the body. The end result is a psychedelic look-alike aesthetics that allows viewers to examine it in closer details.

8. Nicolas Desmet, L’Oeil de Links: Digital Compositing




These are digital compositing works for a TV show that I thought was intriguing with the concept of bringing the digital space along with you into real life. Are they the same identities, or are they separated identities that will have consequences once we merged them together?

As the project is still in its preliminary stage of planning, there are lots of information and influences that I am still looking into. I also understand that there is still a need to single out a single theme I wish to explore. Similarly, I also have to look at the software that is available as well as my IT capability so I can draft up a final project that is most suitably possible to execute.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *