Live Streaming Networked Art


Week 4: September 3 – 9

Since the 1970s, artists have explored the re-invention of forms of radio and television created specifically for live broadcast. This class will overview the history of streaming networked practice, including: pirate radio / tv, satellite feeds, closed-circuit television, net art, Skype, Netcasting, and other examples of streaming media and other experimentation with live broadcasted media. We will also overview the project, a new initiative to create an artist-driven Internet channel. This presentation and discussion will be preparation for the final project, in which students will create programs for our own Internet TV channel. Location: Art B1-14


Due Next Week: September 10

1 – Reading

Packer R. “The Third Space,” (2014) in Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge

Be prepared to discuss the essay in class and see the WordPress assignment below.

2 – Research Critique: The Collective Narrative

You will be assigned an artwork to research for a short 250 word hyperessay about the work, the artist, and how it relates specifically to the topic of next week. Incorporate the reading (see above), as relevant, into your research post, discussing how it relates contextually to the work you are critiquing. Use next week’s Lecture Notes in The Third Space page of the Syllabus to prepare your research, where you will find documentation and links about each of the works.

Research Critique Assignments:

Here are additional instructions for the research critique:

  • Create a new post on your blog incorporating relevant hyperlinks, images, video, etc
  • Add a featured image
  • Apply the “Research” category
  • Apply appropriate tags
  • Post a comment on at least one other research post prior to the following class

Works for review:

  • Telematic Dreaming by Paul Sermon
  • Grand Theft Avatar by Second Front
  • The Big Kiss by Annie Abrahams

3 – Micro-Project:  Pirate Broadcasting

From you mobile phone, you will simulate a broadcast from anywhere you choose. See additional details:


Hyperlecture: Live Streaming Networked Art

Works for Review


“For so long – too long – we had defined our work in terms of what we weren’t: the networks, commercial, corporate, beholden to the government or any central economic power.” – Parry Teasdale from Videofreex: America’s First Pirate TV Station and the Catskills Collective That Turned it On

While television has traditionally been a passive medium, programmed media received by the masses, the Videofreex turned the paradigm upside down when they bought the Maple Tree Farm and established Lanesville TV in upstate New York during the 1970s. The Videofreex, as they are still known today, moved their SOHO video production studio in Manhattan and formed a quasi hippie commune (they never liked that connotation) in an old seven room house in Lanesville, a sparse little town in the Catskills with a population of a few hundred people. It was here, in this setting far removed from the urban bustle of the New York City media center that they began their experimental television project to forge the first pirate tv station in America.

Videofreex was one of the pioneer production groups that formed when consumer video was first introduced. Over the nine+ years together (1969 -1978), the Freex produced several thousand videotapes, installations and multimedia events and trained hundreds of videomakers in the brand new video medium. They were part of a fast-growing alternative video network that covered the 1970s counter culture and the Movement (actually many political and social movements). Without regard for the rules of broadcast TV or for independent filmmaking, they strove to find out what was unique for the new, separate medium of video and passionately broke new creative ground.

The first members of the group met at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 (where their tapes recorded what happened away from the stage in the muddy temporary counter culture community). Over the first year, there were 10 founding members (David Cort, Parry Teasdale, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Nancy Cain, Chuck Kennedy, Davidson Gigliotti, Skip Blumberg, Carol Vontobel, Bart Friedman and Ann Woodward). Dozens more members later participated in collaborative projects.


“Good Morning, Mr. Orwell” was the first international satellite “installation” by Nam June Paik, a South Korean-born American artist often credited with inventing video art. It occurred on New Year’s Day, 1984. The event, which Paik saw as a rebuttal to George Orwell‘s dystopian vision of 1984, linked WNET TV in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris live via satellite, as well as hooking up with broadcasters in Germany and South Korea. It aired nationwide in the US on public television, and reached an audience of over 25 million viewers worldwide.

George Plimpton hosted the show, which combined live and taped segments with TV graphics designed by Paik. John Cage, in New York, produced music by stroking the needles of dried cactus plants with a feather, accompanied by video images from Paris. Charlotte Moorman recreated Paik’s TV Cello. Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel performed a new composition, “Excellent Birds,” also known as “This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds).” The broadcast also featured the television premiere of the video Act III, with music by Philip Glass.[2] The Thompson Twins performed their song “Hold Me Now.” Oingo Boingo played its song “Wake Up (It’s 1984)” to an audience that presumably had recently woken up on the first day of 1984. Others contributing to the project included poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and artist Joseph Beuys.

Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the founder of video art. He was married to the video artist Shigeko Kubota in 1965. Paik is credited with an early usage (1974) of the term “electronic super highway” in application to telecommunications.

Just watch the first few minutes:

  • Jon Cates, Bold3RRR (2012)

Screenshot 2015-08-23 18.09.40

BOLD3RRR… Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by jonCates (2012)

Review the depth of glitch and experimentalism of the Website by jonCates

jonCates reflects on Realtime across international timezones. Rendering Time in fragments, errors and overlaps, jonCates plays with recursivities. These feedback loops merge personal data and swim in associations from Chicago to Taipei to Boulder and back again. Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by jonCates (2012) was performed live via Skype for MediaLive 2012 at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, July 14 2012:

BOLD3RRR… Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by jonCates (2012) is a processed document of Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by jonCates (2012), screen recorded in realtime and camera viewed forward in reverse by jonCates (2012).

This work by jonCates demonstrates the possibilities of performing/streaming directly from the desktop. The real-time aspect of the work is essential, because it is pure process, the artist at work: making, creating, shaping the media in front of our eyes and ears. The work was performed live, there was no editing or reworking of the material, it is exactly what you see on the screen. BOLD3RRR is an example of networked streaming art that demonstrates connectedness: with the ability to look through the screen so to speak, a window that transmits out and allows us to enter in to openly view the artistic process.

Review the first 10 minutes of this video:

jonCates is the Chair of the Film, Video, New Media & Animation department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, known as the most influential art college in the United States. His projects are presented internationally in cities such as Aix-en-Provence, Austin, Berlin, Beijing, Boston, Cairo, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Linz, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, New York, Vienna and Warsaw, and widely available online. His research and writings appear online and in print publications from MIT Press, Gestalten, The Penn State University Press, Intellect Books and Unsorted Books. In 2005 he created the concept of Dirty New Media and is widely recognized as developing concepts, communities and discourses of Glitch Art.


* The Pirate Cinema reveals Peer-to-Peer information flows.
* The Pirate Cinema is a composition generated by the activity on file sharing networks.
* The Pirate Cinema immerses the viewer in network flows.

Be sure and review the Pirate Cinema Installation & the Streaming Version (see below):

Pirate Cinema Installation: In the context of omnipresent telecommunications surveillance, “The Pirate Cinema” makes the hidden activity and geography of Peer-to-Peer file sharing visible. The project is presented as a monitoring room, which shows Peer-to-Peer transfers happening in real time on networks using the BitTorrent protocol. The installation produces an arbitrary cut-up of the files currently being exchanged. This immediate and fragmentary rendering of digital activity, with information concerning its source and destination, thus depicts the topology of digital media consumption and uncontrolled content dissemination in a connected world.

The BitTorrent protocol can be used to reduce the server and network impact of distributing large files. Rather than downloading a file from a single source server, the BitTorrent protocol allows users to join a “swarm” of hosts to upload to/download from each other simultaneously. The protocol is an alternative to the older single source, multiple mirror sources technique for distributing data, and can work effectively over networks with lower bandwidth. Using the BitTorrent protocol, several basic computers, such as home computers, can replace large servers while efficiently distributing files to many recipients. This lower bandwidth usage also helps prevent large spikes in internet traffic in a given area, keeping internet speeds higher for all users in general, regardless of whether or not they use the BitTorrent protocol.


Pirate Cinema Online: The hidden activity and geography of real-time peer-to-peer file sharing via BitTorrent is revealed in The Pirate Cinema an online piece by Nicolas Maigret. In this monitoring room, omnipresent telecommunications surveillance gains a global face, as the program plunders the core of restless activity online, revealing how visual media is consumed and disseminated across the globe. This live work produces an arbitrary mash-up of the BitTorrent files being exchanged in real time, based on the traffic of the Pirate Bay’s top100 videos. These fragmentary contents in transit are monitored, transforming BitTorrent network users (unknown to them) into contributors to an endless audio-visual composition.

Nicolas Maigret exposes the internal workings of media, through an exploration of their dysfunctions, limitations or failure thresholds which he develops sensory and immersive audio visual experiences. As a curator, he initiated the research, a critique of the innovation propaganda. He teaches at Parsons Paris and cofounded the Art of Failure collective in 2006. His work has been presented in international exhibitions and festivals: Transmediale (Berlin) – File (Sao Paulo) – Museum of Art and Design (New York) – 30th Chaos Communication Congress (Hamburg) – NWFF (Seattle) – SAIC (Chicago) – China Museum of Digital Arts (Beijing) – The Pirate Bay 10th Anniversary (Stockholm) – Palais de Tokyo (Paris) – Eastern Bloc (Montreal) – (Birmingham).

If we could only catch up with the wave of information… we would at last be in the now… to digest and comprehend [its] totality would amount to having reality on tap, as if from a fantastic media control room capable of monitoring everything, everywhere, all at the same time.  – Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock

MediaTorrent10Our media diet consists of a smorgasbord of undifferentiated news, entertainment, and the latest viral media in shockingly fragmented doses. With the rapid-fire ingestion of media, overtaking our experience of the physical world, we are clearly losing the distinction between that which is real and that which is not, between the real and the imaginary, hence: the post reality.

As the (carrier) host of, I am situated in the spectacle of media and the elements of seduction through a total embrace of its intoxication and disorientation of the senses. With, I am deeply embedded in the media torrent of my high-tech underground studio bunker in Washington, DC: channeling and redistributing the hypnotic repetitions, dense layerings, and sheer velocity of the kaleidoscopic images, sounds and manipulations that are fired across the trajectory of my screens.


  • Remember that next week we begin the Adobe Connect sessions. Find a place at ADM and login to your computers as soon as you can (for those in Vladimir’s class) so we can start at 7:45pm. Preferably somewhere quiet. Be sure and use your headset or earbuds.
  • Has everyone joined our Facebook Group page?

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect Virtual Classroom:

For the next 5 weeks we will use Adobe Connect for our virtual classroom environment. I am asking everyone to use a headset or earbuds in order to maintain the best quality input/output. Adobe Connect provides the third space environment that allows to examine the creative possibilities of the medium, and to critically reflect on our networked lives. Next week we will explore the concept of the third space in depth, reviewing several artworks that could only be possible in a networked environment.

It is critical that we have a solid understanding of Adobe Connect to maximize its effectiveness as a virtual space for class, presentations, and creative work. We will go through the logging in process and review the various components of Connect.

(links below access the OSS User Manual)

The Collective Body Micro-Project

We will review the results of the micro-project to discuss the idea of the collective narrative as told through a sequence of photographic images taken of our bodies in the media space.

OSS NTU Flickr Group Page

Screenshot 2015-09-03 11.21.50 Screenshot 2015-09-03 11.23.18
  • How does the collective body project constitute a visual narrative?
  • How does the project reflect on the way we insert ourselves collectively in social media?
  • How does the project depart from the traditional portrait, or even the selfie, as a portrait of multiple selves and bodies?


After reading the statement, we will organize our thoughts surrounding the idea of reimagining tv. We will discuss the following:

  • Background information on the Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium and the @Home with Furtherfield broadcast.
  • How might live broadcasting give greater voice to the artist?
  • How is live broadcasting, such as what we saw with the Videofreex, Good Morning Mr. Orwell and other projects, a radical act of artistic expression and means of democratizing the media?
  • How might television broadcasting be a collective act? What does it mean to be part of a broadcast community? How can artist collaborate in the creation of a broadcast? We can take cues again from the Videofreex, and Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, as well Hole-in-Space from last week. We also see an example from Now[here] created by Helen Varley Jamieson from the Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium.
  • How is the digital culture shifting to Internet media as a replacement for traditional forms of television broadcasting? While not necessarily live, what are the new modes of viewing television in the age of the Internet?
  • As preparation for the creation of our own Internet channel, what are the possible ways you could create a program for live broadcasting? How can we bridge local and remote spaces as we saw in other works?

Final Project

After reflecting on the streaming projects this week and the history of artist-driven broadcasting, we will brainstorm ideas for the final project. We still have time before finalizing our ideas, but after looking at the various works tonight, what is everyone thinking?

Next Week’s Assignments

Review of assignments, readings, micro-project and research critique for the next week.