Research Critique: Videofreex

John Dominis, Chuck Kennedy at his workbench, 1973, gelatin silver print, courtesy Parry Teasdale and Carol Vontobel (Videofreex)

The Videofreex has revolutionized television by bringing a sense of free expression that goes against the controlled, corporate, and mostly propaganda content that was broadcasted to the public at the time. With CBS dominating television back in the days, there were absolutely no outlets for regular people to access and experience broadcasting. The Videofreex pushed the boundaries and became pioneers to breaking that wall that separates the public and the television stations with broadcasting.

What the Videofreex did that was different from regular television was that they went out into the streets and documented events that the television stations chose to turn a blind eye on, possibly as part of the stations’ own political strategy. Part of the Videofreex’s agenda was to “overthrow” the government by having actual people, in actual unscripted situations, to participate in their interviews and documentations.

“The language of media is everybody’s language. Set up a camera and you can speak to the world.”

I especially enjoyed their footage of the Woodstock Festival where the Videofreex chose to interact and document the attendees instead of capturing the music. It felt more personal and candid, much similar to how we use and perceive social media today. They have allowed the viewers to be active participants as part of the broadcast. I feel that is how the Videofreex influenced our study of social broadcasting. We are in an age of social media where each and every one of us is a participant of the content we consume.

With the convenience of our camera phones, social media and our ability to post and share whatever and however we want to, it has created a sense of free expression in social broadcasting. And that is what I feel the Videofreex has provided us today.

Research: Case Study 1 and 2

Case Study 1 – Theme

Theme: Malay Textiles

“Cultural Treasures: Textiles of the Malay World”
by National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi

Malays are the race of people who inhabit the Malay Peninsula and portions of adjacent islands of South-East Asia. The Malay culture itself has been strongly influenced by the Siamese, the Javanese, the Sumatrans and the Indians. Hinduism had an impact upon the Malay community before they converted to Islam in the 15th century.

The Malay society has long understood the value of textiles, not just as a utility item, but for its commercial value as a major trade commodity. Textiles were also recognized as means of strong wealth, readily convertible form of currency, which could be used in the settlement of business and social debts.

Textiles played a significant role in the social, economic an religious life of the people in the Malay world. Opulent fabrics and dress are used to display the authority, prosperity and to gauge a person’s social grade, profession and religious affiliations through their costumes. Clothing is a mark of identity in where it could be indicative of a person’s age, gender, marital status, place of origin or even occupation.

Garments and fabrics have significant value, expressed by the colors and ornamentation used for their design. Motifs may have religious, ceremonial functions or indicate the power and the social status of the owner. Symbolic meaning behind a design or motif is as important as its ornamental value or sometimes even more so, since it carries an extra dimension for those who believe on its special significance.

The Limar Cloth
The Songket Cloth
The Pua Kumbu Cloth
The Batik Cloth
The Telepuk Cloth

 Case Sudy 2 – Artists

Artist 1: Marino Capitanio

“Botanica” is a collaborative multimedia live performance by Italian music group Deproducers and visual artist Marino Capitanio. The performance highlights the beauty and artistic wonder of plants by merging music and scientific data.

I got really inspired by how they have managed to bring so much character to plants with concepts that delved into a plant’s a perception of time and even how beauty is essential for the survival of a flower. The visuals consisted of kaleidoscopic effects that represents different parts of a plant as well as intermittent pulses of illumination that reveals the forms of flowers.

I could visualize how “Botanica” could be applied to my theme of Malay textiles. Geometrical forms, shapes, patterns, and motifs that are present in the textiles I choose to work with could also be made to come to life and animated in a similar fashion as Capitanio’s works.

Artist 2: John Greene (a.k.a. Fleen)

John Greene creates his generative works by repeating black and white patterns through an algorithmic system to resemble hand-woven rugs and Moorish tile patterns. All the polygons in his works were all generated from a computer software.

The most enthralling part of his artworks would definitely be how he is able to turn shapes as simple as triangles and squares into ornate colonies of design. The process of starting off with basic shapes and slowly elevating it into a complex design could be a technique that I would like to adopt in creating the textiles in my artwork. I feel that if I could incorporate this into my piece, there are so many possibilities to tell a story as well as displaying the emotions that I wish to evoke on the media wall.

Artist 3: Raven Kwok

Raven Kwok is a new media artist who has created cell-division-like animations purely with Processing. His passion for exploring different forms of expression at the intersection of computer programming and visual arts resulted in a series of clever, playful animations. One of the ways he has achieved this with was to distort and augment typography that appears almost like moving, generative graffiti.

What I love most about his artwork is how slow and gentle everything seem. The patterns appear to be hovering in the air, or even floating in water, as they move in a peaceful and cohesive manner. It could be a possible look that I might go for to create the motifs on my textiles.

 Case Sudy 2 – Techniques

SideFX Houdini:

Adobe AfterEffects:

Video Double


VUVW (vah-voo) is a rising underground urban contemporary recording artiste whose upcoming debut album “Dossier” (stylized as “dossier.”) is hitting stores worldwide this September. VUVW plays the cello, writes his own lyrics and mixes his own music since his early years. He calls his fans “Patient Zeroes”, recalling his days back in the psychiatric ward.


The name “VUVW” is derived from literally flipping my name “ANAM” vertically. I envisioned VUVW to be a reflection of my subconscious state of mind, a reflection of my body and a reflection of my psyche.

VUVW constantly struggled with depression, substance abuse, physical abuse, and racism throughout his years of adolescence. He grew up under the care of his alcoholic single mother with three younger siblings, and was working side jobs while producing mixtapes to make a living back when he was in high school. Writing music became an outlet for him to truly express his inner most self and it also acts as a coping mechanism for him from the cruel world we all know today.


The experimental album explores the dark themes of mental instability, profane indulgence, treachery, and self-infliction. It is a bold yet incongruous record which is most compelling when it is at its most idiosyncratic. “dossier.” is a work of art, embellished in demented vibes, psychedelic sounds, and titillating verses.

Check out his debut single “Brown Rice” available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and Tidal!


Anam is reserved, seemingly composed, but most importantly, too afraid to take leaps in his ventures. VUVW is everything Anam is not. Or is he?

*Disclaimer: This is a school project. Characters featured are fictional and in no way meant to provoke anyone.

Posted by Anam Musta'ein on Thursday, 24 August 2017


Real-Time Aggregation

The in-class assignment without a doubt caught us all by surprise. The moment we were handed this project, I was most concerned about the content of my Facebook Live broadcast. I wanted to make sure that the conversations I have with the audience were engaging, the visuals were captivating enough to make them watch and stay, and that I was able to keep this up for a good 15 minutes without losing any enthusiasm. I have done a couple of live broadcasts on my Instagram so I was never camera-shy to begin with.

When we started to go live, my initial plan was to show my Facebook friends the exterior of the school. I wanted them to see how beautifully lit the ADM building was in the evening. And I thought that shooting outdoors would mean that I was able to take a smoke break at the same time. However, I did not go any further than the sunken plaza because it was drizzling and I started losing connection from the WiFi signal while I was making my way up to the rooftop. So instead, I decided to take my audience to my locker so that I could show and talk to them about the paintings I made last semester. I toggled between the front and back camera as and when it was more effective to interact and have conversations with my viewers. And before I knew it, the 15 minutes came to a halt and we all had to return to class.

It was only when we got back and watched our broadcasts up on the video wall in a collage that I realized how riveting the whole experience was. At that very moment, I was not only paying attention to my video. I was looking at the videos collectively, deciphering how it was all happening concurrently, and how both the spaces captured in each individual video and the video wall as a space itself colligate. This then brought my attention to what was introduced in class earlier on – the third space. The cyber space that brings us all together no matter where we were recording from.

What I found most enthralling about the video wall was that they were captured live and the content of our videos heavily depended on spontaneity; almost like performance art. I managed to spot a number of common things that we captured on camera. And as more events transpire simultaneously, we get to observe new things like cross-streaming when you capture someone else broadcasting in your live video. It stimulates a multitude of perspectives to what we would consider as just ordinary shared space. It amuses me when this happens because the broadcasters not only share physical space, but they also share electronic space. All happening in real time!

This assignment has certainly redefined what we would traditionally consider as contemporary or performance art. It has stretched my mind to view broadcasting beyond just a one-dimensional stage. It is a platform to integrate a chain of networks to create an even interesting form of entertainment.



Posted by Anam Musta'ein on Thursday, 17 August 2017