Final Project: Telematic Lunch

Project Title: Telematic Lunch
Done by: Anam Musta’ein, Isaac Chu, Mirei Shirai, Win Zaw

Project Description

Telematic Lunch is a collective Facebook Live broadcast between 4 people streaming from 4 different locations, having a conversation over pizza in the third space. The project aims to emulate all the elements you get from having a meal with friends in the physical space and bring it into the virtual space, eliminating distance while preserving the actual atmosphere of sharing the same dining table.


We got inspired by several examples that were discussed in class which were successful in their attempt to imitate physical human interaction in the virtual space.

‘The Big Kiss’, a performance installation by Annie Abrahams, allowed participants to engage in a communal kiss with strangers without any physical contact. The participants were captured from different cameras and then merged into one screen to make it seem as if they were kissing in real life. What has set this interaction different from its traditional counterpart is that participants did not get the sensation of touch while engaging in such activities. The element of play became more apparent and unlike physical kissing, participants were able to see themselves on screen, making them much more self-conscious of how they portray themselves.

‘The Big Kiss’ by Annie Abrahams

Another example that we got inspired from is ‘Telematic Dreaming’, an interactive installation done by Paul Sermon in 1993. The installation was meant to put two lovers, who were miles apart, together and converge them into one shared space. The individual video images of each lover were projected onto each other’s bed, allowing them to lay next to each other and immerse themselves in an intimate connection, much like how it is in real life, without any physical contact. Video calls were not in existence at the time but this installation is imperative to make many realize that distance could no longer be seen as a barrier.

‘Telematic Dreaming’ by Paul Sermon

‘Hole In Space’ by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz was another piece that inspired our Telematic Lunch project. This video installation linked bigger-than-life displays in two different cities, one in New York and the other in Los Angeles, with a satellite feed. With no public announcements to let the word out about the project, it managed to stop passers-by on the streets to interact with people in the video and on the other side of the screen. It got the people to interact with friends and family members that they have seen in years as well as strangers to engage in conversations.

‘Hole In Space’ by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz

There are several attributes from these examples that we have adopted in our final project. We were able to communicate with each other despite the not being in the same room, we were able to converge our individual videos into one screen, and most importantly, we were all sharing the same virtual space in real time.

Collective Broadcast Process

The idea of this final project was to have pizza and play a game of ‘Never have i ever’ in telematic space within two ‘window’ grids to make it seem like we were all sharing the same dining table from each other’s remote places. 2 of us (Mirei and Anam) positioned ourselves in the foreground with orange screens nailed onto the walls behind us while the other 2 of us (Isaac and Win Zaw) positioned ourselves in the background within the space provided in the area of the orange screens which has been chroma-keyed out. Our tables were then aligned to give the illusion of it being just one table with the pizza box placed in the center of the screen.

In terms of recording the broadcast, Mirei and Anam used the webcams on their laptops while Isaac and Win Zaw used their smart phones to stream live. We were all using different rooms in ADM to perform our broadcast. With all of us streaming on our own Facebook accounts, Isaac equipped himself with a laptop to fetch all those streams into OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while overlooking all the activities on-screen and collectively stream a second video on Isaac’s Facebook account. Since Mirei, Anam and Win Zaw were not able to see each other in the collective broadcast, we decided to communicate through Skype call instead.

On top the having the orange screens as ‘windows’ for the broadcasters in the background, Win Zaw wore a green suit to have a starry GIF animation chroma-keyed into it, creating a third level into the chroma key and make the broadcast much more interesting.

Technical Issues

Setting up the orange screens, the tables and the position of the cameras took us 3 hours before the collective stream. We needed to make sure that everything was aligned and that the videos were working in order. Our mode of communication through Skype call was only figured out after we realized that Mirei, Anam and Win Zaw would not be able to see everyone else during the broadcast. Isaac doubled up as a control room for all our broadcasts as he oversees all the activities while giving us specific instructions to make sure that we were on the same page. Video latency was a huge problem, especially with Win Zaw being in a room where bandwidth was pretty low. But the audio was much more in-sync since it was done through Skype call.

After the collective stream ended, we did realize that we came across several technical issues while broadcasting. Due to the latency, some of our actions were delayed and audio was not recorded on the collective stream. Fortunately, the audio from Anam’s stream was clear and we managed to edit it into the video in post-production.


Overall, Telematic Lunch was a success as we were able to execute all the objectives we had during planning. The lessons we had over the semester have certainly helped us come out with a final idea that incorporates so many different elements from different topics that were discussed in class. We explored the possibilities in the third space extensively and pushed the boundaries of physical distance and virtual communication.

Anam’s Stream:

Social BroadcastTest

Posted by Anam Musta'ein on Saturday, 11 November 2017

Isaac’s Stream:

Posted by Isaac Chu on Saturday, 11 November 2017

Mirei’s Stream:

Posted by Mirei Shirai on Saturday, 11 November 2017

Win Zaw’s Stream:

Posted by Win Zaw on Saturday, 11 November 2017

Collective Stream:

Telematic Lunch

Telematic Lunch

Posted by Isaac Chu on Saturday, 11 November 2017

Edited Stream / Final Video:


Telematic Stroll

Telematic Stroll (with Win Zaw)

Posted by Anam Musta'ein on Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Win Zaw and myself had the idea of broadcasting from two different setting in Singapore, one being a residential area in Pioneer where I was and the other being in the business district area in Raffles Place where Win Zaw was. We have also decided to film it in the evening to capture both the difference and similarities in Singapore’s night lighting whether it came from street lights, buildings, or vehicles on the road. The stark contrast in the number of people appearing in our individual videos offers two perspective into the night scene of Singapore – with mine being slightly relaxed and quieter while it is more congested and busier on Win Zaw’s side.

To give the co-broadcast experience even more comparison, we have turned on our own tracking app in the background to allow us to see the trail that we have traveled in throughout the broadcast. It is pretty interesting to see the difference in the amount of turns we make and the direction that we both went on our broadcasts. I went on a more linear route while Win Zaw made more turns and loops in his. Below are two screenshots of our movement throughout the broadcast:

Anam’s Movement:

Win Zaw’s Movement:

We had some very interesting moments during the broadcast where we tried to match our visuals with building lines, horizon lines, perspectives, trails, and passing vehicles. There were moments where we had nearly symmetrical compositions, while some looked like we intentionally positioned our cameras to align the objects appearing on our broadcast across the dividing grid.

All in all, the experience was an exciting one as we struggled to coordinate with each other’s screen. We did not communicate much during the broadcast, but having to coordinate lines within the grid was almost intuitive. It made me realize that there is a degree of synchronization in everything we do, especially we put them side by side.

Research Critique: Second Front

“So for me, my avatar is embedded in my psyche, rather than an extension of myself.”

– Great Escape, Second Front

It is to no surprise that the open virtual world, Second Life, offers endless possibilities in its utility and how one may look at it as an outlet to create art as well as an avenue for the emergence of new ways to express oneself. But the activities and interactions that the members of Second Front engaged themselves in have surpassed the expectations of how this virtual world could be regarded as a stage, and the players as performers.

The members of Second Front took the roles of characters in a planned and rehearsed setting while they embodied these characters through their avatars in a spontaneous and improvised manner. In each performance and situation they were placed in, they were able to bring about a narrative that goes beyond uncanny representations of the real world. On top of that, they were able to carry out activities that they could only achieve in the virtual world. And given this advantage, more outrageous and bizarre narratives came about in their performances. I guess this is the quality they possess that enabled them to reach out to so many viewers in the real world.

“While we as Second Life avatars become more real in the virtual
world, so too, that we as human inhabitants of the real world become
more virtual.”

– Alise Iborg on ‘virtual leakage’

What I found most interesting about Second Front was that the virtual world began to seep into reality. Great Escape talked about how he had vivid dreams of himself and the other avatars in Second Life, and how it appears that the two worlds were no longer separate but converged through the characters that they portray in the virtual. The relationships they forged in the virtual does in a way reflect their relationships in real life. And in turn, the performances and the narrative they have planned in the real world are seen being executed in the game itself. This is how I see the two worlds influencing each other.

The Last Supper, Second Front

Another point that I find interesting was when Tran Spire mentioned how the script of their performance lies in “the code of the place or environment in which it is
situated” while the content is then being developed and influenced by the characteristics of the script. This is a key feature that I foresee being applied to our final assignment. How Second Front embraced the freedom and boundaries in their piece is essential to how we plan and execute our social broadcast approaching the end of the semester.

All in all, I am very impressed from watching and reading about Second Front. I feel that in online performances, it is important that we adopt the method of balancing the expected as well as the unexpected. There is beauty in this mode of storytelling, especially when we realize that we are the avatars of our own bodies, unraveling the surprises that life has to offer, planned or unplanned. And as much as we think we are the actors, we are the audience as well.

Co-Broadcasting Exercise

“Screen capture from our Facebook Live Co-broadcast exercise”

The co-broadcasting experience has truly opened my eyes to new possibilities in the way I approach online broadcasting. It had similar attributes to the online stream we have done in OBS several weeks ago with being able to have somebody else’s video feed sharing the same space as ours on our desktop. However, what makes it different is that with the co-broadcasting split screen feature that comes with Facebook Live, it allows both parties, coming from each other’s remote spaces, to share the same screen and have a two-way communication, much like if you were to do a video call with someone except that this time round, you both get to interact with an online audience.

It is amazing to see how the co-broadcasting exercise brought about the ideas of synchronized movements, screen montages, video mosaics as well as cross-streaming. What me and my teammate, Win Zaw, found interesting from our co-broadcasting test was the latency in the audio feedback when we decided to film within close proximity. Towards the end of our broadcast (at 10:50) while we were walking side by side to return to class, we started talking and whistling. That was when we realized that the lag in our audio feedback created an entrancing echoing effect in our broadcast. It was almost as if we were making music.

This has pushed us to try out different possibilities with co-broadcasting. For this week’s lesson, we will be delving into having our phone cameras capture the same subject/object from different perspectives and having them played concurrently.

Posted by Anam Musta'ein on Thursday, 12 October 2017

Research Critique: Jennicam


Jennifer Ringley, an undergraduate from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, started a broadcast of her daily activity on the internet called Jennicam, consisting of videos and images captured on several webcams that were placed in different parts of her dorm room in 1996. What seem to begin as an innocent form of self-expression soon turned into a global phenomenon when her broadcast was able to reach a worldwide audience, garnering 7 million viewers daily. Jennicam went live 24 hours per day, and every day for seven consecutive years before she decided to shut it off and disappear.

‘First image that was believed to be caught on Jennicam’

Webcam Activities

The things that were portrayed in Jennifer’s broadcast were mainly activities that she does on the daily such as doing the laundry, watching the television, changing clothes, sleeping, and even intimate sessions with her partner. The broadcast however still runs even when her apartment was empty in cases where she was not at home. When she went on the the Late Night Show with David Letterman, she mentioned how she got inspired by the Fish Tank Cam and thought that if people were to view human beings in a similar setting, it would be much more interesting to watch. She also brought up how a viewer was glad to be watching her when he happened to be stuck at home on a Saturday night, where seeing her do regular things allowed those who were watching to relate with her and, in a sense, feel included in her narrative.

‘Dated activities caught on Jennicam’

Lapse in Communication

When Jennifer started broadcasting on in 1996, the refresh rate of her webcam video feeds were much slower due to the fact that users were in the era where internet connection could only be retrieved via modem or dial-up. Images would lapse in 15-minute intervals which did not give the viewers a smooth transition between activities that were caught on camera, unlike how it is now where live broadcasts happen in real time allowing us to react in the moment to certain things that we see online.


Although Jennifer was ecstatic about the idea of documenting her everyday movement and allowing anyone who has access to the internet to watch her carry out her daily activities, I see it as a disadvantage for her knowing that the privacy that she had was no longer hers. This made me ponder on the issue of how we are all now, living in the digital age, are so willing to share our personal information and perhaps some of our most intimate and private moments on the internet. Often at times, due to the rise in social networking and social media sites, we become blind to the repercussions that are entailed to the things we post daily. I see that the shutting down of Jennicam could possibly be a step taken by Jennifer to reclaim her privacy after realizing how overwhelming it is to have the whole world constantly watching you at the convenience of a webpage. And at some point, I feel that I would arrive at the same conclusion of wanting to reclaim every trace of personal information that I have shared online. Our privacy is no longer ours!




Hyperessay #1: Concepts in Social Broadcasting

It is amazing how fast our world is evolving every single day with the emergence of new technology and innovations in telecommunication. Physical and social activities that we once thought could only be carried out in the real world are slowly shifting into the virtual, and perhaps, transcending its possibilities. Internet Art & Culture has brought me to new levels of realization and understanding with what I could do with the virtual space as an artist, and as an individual. Telecommunication is no longer simply a platform to converge distance between people but also a tool used for the experimentation and expression of one’s self. The very concept of Social Broadcasting encourages both participation and collaboration. And with the convenience of access to the internet anywhere you are in the world today, every single one of us is included.

One of my favourite topics discussed so far in class is Collective Narrative. Storytelling is one of the most primitive forms of art and expression. Storytelling is a form of communication, granting us the ability to relate to one another. Storytelling is used almost everywhere – in film, music, theater, literature… and the list goes on! With Collective Narrative, storytelling can be done by merging similar or differing ideas from two or more parties into one collaborative episode.

Hole-in-Space (1980)

I got really inspired from the Collective Narrative work, Hole-in-Space (1980), done by media artists Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz. Hole-in-Space is a public communication sculpture, that went on for a total of three nights, consisted of two huge screens , a two-way satellite hookup, and two cameras that were set up in the streets of two cities in the United States – one in Los Angeles, and the other in New York. The idea of using telecommunication to bridge the physical distance between people from different cities, and bring them together to interact in one cohesive space in real-time was genius. With no prior information released to the public, they got passers-by to participate enthusiastically in an exchange of words and visuals to form their own collective narrative.

The “Collective Body” Project

Prior to this topic, we were tasked to participate in the Collective Body project to prepare ourselves for the class. Over the course of six days, we were tasked to post one photo of six of the body parts (head frontal, both profiles, both hands, upper body) each day in any sequence we choose to on the image-hosting website, Flickr. At the end of the assignment, the posts will result in a collective ‘randomized’ grid-by-grid archive of our photos. This assignment has allowed us to share a single narrative generated everyone. I enjoyed the idea of not knowing what to expect after I submitted my post online from the rest of my classmates. The anticipation led to an incredible end-product, where all our individual narratives intertwine to create a colossal body of work – uncoordinated yet very cohesive!

Adobe Connect Web-conferencing

The class we had that was held in the third space, Adobe Connect Web-conferencing, was definitely one of my favourite lessons in the past weeks. The notion of a virtual classroom with everyone being in each others’ remote spaces and coming together in Adobe Connect (the third space) to have our class was a whole new experience for me. Unlike regular class where the sharing opinions about different subject matters might seem a little pressurizing and uncomfortable for some, the online class obliged us to communicate differently as we took turns to hear from one another. And as a result, it became an effective way to get everyone to participate in the lesson. Everyone was able to stay engaged and conducive despite being in the comfort of our own homes/physical spaces.

Cross-Stream Broadcasting by Mirei & Anam

The Cross-Stream Broadcasting assignment that my project partner, Mirei, and I worked on is a culmination of what we have learned so far, and especially of all the topics and works that I have discussed in my hyperessay. We decided to play a game of “Simon Says” for our live broadcast on Facebook where Mirei, who was streaming via laptop with her Desktop Mise-en-Scene set up while I was on mobile, gave me instructions on what to do on camera while pictures were shown within her desktop space. There was an element of storytelling when the two videos were played together where our narratives converged to create a collective work. We were both interacting with one another, with the people around us, and with the props we came across along the span of our live video. The most interesting part of our videos for me was when Mirei asked me to guess the animal (a sloth) shown on her screen and at that very moment, my friend who was featured in my live video coincidentally emulated the likes of the sloth.

The syllabus has given me a holistic view of what social broadcasting really is, garnering endless possibility and creativity in our daily use of the internet. I feel that at the rate we are going, telecommunication is the future of the existing mediums we have to create art and performance.

Link to Cross-Stream Broadcast:

Research Critique: The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence

“The 1s and 0s of digital art degrade far more rapidly than traditional visual art does, and the demands of upkeep are much higher.”

– Melena Ryzik in “When Artworks Crash: Restorers Face Digital Test”,
The New York Times

If there is one thing “The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence”, an internet piece created by artist Douglas Davis in 1994, could teach us is that the preservation of any form of artwork or performance done in the cyber space is as equivalently important as, the preservation of traditional artwork such as paintings, sculptures and artifacts that we have up in museums.

The artwork, which began with “I DID NOT FEEL SEPARATED I FELT VERY CLOSE EVEN THOUGH WE WERE THOUSANDS OF MILES APART,” motivated users from all over the world to participate and have their inputs contributed into a never-ending chain of messages that varied in thoughts, motives and languages. It was a platform that encouraged communication and interaction between people coming from different remote spaces to be done in one collective space. The piece collated a total of 200,000 contributions in a matter of 5 years, before the shifting in computer servers put it to a complete stop.

“… a seemingly simple technology-based artwork can go very, very wrong when it is not properly cared for, or when parts of the work are not collected at all.”

– Michael Connor in “Restoring ‘The World’s First Collaborative Sentence”, Rhizome Blog

From the text above, we could see how fragile online artwork is especially with the advancement in new technology and how the ciphering of codes gets lost due to encoding damages. Take for example, backing up works on the computer is essential to ensure that we are still be able to access those files in the event that any unpredictable technical issues come into play.

When curators from Whitney Museum of American Art attempted their restoration efforts on “Sentence”, it is found that the change in servers has led to several technical problems in the artwork itself. Words that were typed in Korean in the Hangul text were degraded as indecipherable garbled text and to this day are left not able to be decoded. Sustaining online art is not only important, but also comes with its own challenges and difficulties.

However, Whitney Museum of American Art managed to resolve this issue by having the frozen original version exhibited as well as providing a new live version of “Sentence” to act as a platform for users who are still interested in contributing to the ongoing quest to create a never-ending collaborative sentence. I feel that this is a great way for Whitney Museum to sustain online art such as the one discussed above. With this a fast-moving technological world that we live in, we could raise our efforts in taking better care of online works, having precautionary measures taken into consideration, to ensure the preservation of great works like “Sentence”. Online artwork is starting to emerge to have similar significance to traditional artwork. We should also start preserving them like how we would to ancient artifacts and paintings.



Desktop Mise-en-Scene

Try not to laugh while drawing

Posted by Anam Musta'ein on Thursday, 14 September 2017


The aim of my live broadcast on Facebook was to get through completing a drawing on Photoshop while the “Skype Laughter Chain” YouTube video played in the background without laughing. I have stacked three webcam video captures on the left side on the screen to allow my viewers to see my reaction, the YouTube video and Photoshop placed in the middle of the screen, and a live Twitter feed on the right to allow my viewers to read real-time tweets that contain the word ‘laugh’.

I wanted to balance elements of play and seriousness within my desktop screen and observe how two state of emotion coming from extreme ends of the spectrum come together to create a cohesive virtual space.

Research Critique: Bold3RRR by Jon Cates

Bold3RRR is a performance piece by Jon Cates that “combines art with real-time rendering across international timezones in fragments, errors, and overlaps”. Jon managed to display what he deems as “dirty new media” using the space bounded within his desktop screen and design it in a way where it all comes together as a cohesive visual. In Bold3RRR, he toggles between his camera, websites, images, videos and type concurrently, with noise playing in the background, to show how glitches could be used in a broadcasted performance and be aesthetically pleasing to the viewers.

Bold3RRR adopts the use of Desktop as Mise-en-scene by stage designing the props (videos, pictures, web pages, music, windows, webcam images) in a position, area, and sequence, to create a new form of act in cyber space. The use of feedback loops and the organization of his desktop screen goes hand in hand with his intent of showing how glitches could directly associate to reality. The fragmented content that he receives and in return chose to exhibit plays into his idea of “dirty new media”.

In Randall’s conversation with Jon, he mentions how we are living in a techno-social culture and that technology could be socially performed. Our everyday performance with technology has made it more human and has made it part of our lives. I felt that he was blurring the lines between the virtual world and reality itself in a sense that machines are as capable of making mistakes as us humans do. That made these glitches, or so called imperfections, in his performance more acceptable and, perhaps, beautiful too.

“There is a non-neutrality of techno-social artifacts + contexts, that our technologies are not neutral, also that they are embedded, they are part of our lives, + that embeddedness has the word bed in there, we are in bed w/ them also, so they’re embedded in ways that are complex. they are not sterile, they’re imperfect, they are not clean, b/c they exist in the world, which is also imperfect.

– Jon Cates, “Glitch Expectations: A Conversation with jonCates”

I could see how the desktop could be portrayed as going beyond just screen space. It acts as a stage and it is a new avenue for us to create countless possibilities with the advances in technology.

Reflection: Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect was a great way to conduct our class in because it was a whole new experience for all of us. With the exception of some technical difficulties in the initial part of setting up the online portal and minor connection problems along the way, I felt that it was an effective way to get everyone to participate in the lesson.

We took turns to speak and each of us were given time to share our opinions about The Collective Body project that we worked on over the week leading up to the class. I felt that it was a step forward from the static photographs that were posted on Flickr, especially since we are able to see each other live in a cohesive space, interacting with one another. The participation was unlike the ones we have during class in the physical world because with Adobe Connect, we were all in the comfort of our own homes/location in front of our computer screens.

Perhaps the third space could possibly be the future of the modern classroom setting. All of us were able to stay engaged and conducive despite being in remote spaces.

Here’s a screenshot of all of us in our “masks”:

We can’t possibly achieve this in our usual physical space, now can we? (;