Research Critique: Hole-in-Space (1980)

“Hole–In–Space suddenly severed the distance between both cities and created an outrageous pedestrian intersection. There was the evening of discovery, followed by the evening of intentional word-of-mouth rendezvous, followed by a mass migration of families and trans–continental loved ones, some of which had not seen each other for over twenty years.”

“The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online” by Judith Donath

Hole-in-Space has allowed the public to be comfortable to interact with strangers. The project by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz was a remarkable milestone in showing how telecommunication could bridge the physical distance between people from different places, and bring them together to interact in one cohesive space, live. The 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 two different cities in the United States – one in Los Angeles, and the other in New York.

Without any prior information or any artist’s statement for the installation, the video that went live on the first night caught pedestrians and passer-by’s by surprise. The people were able to see and speak to each other with no media interruptions or any self-viewing cameras that might have made them overly self-conscience and impede them from genuine communication.

Viewers from the first night were so enthralled from the encounter that word-of-mouth and local news reports soon brought long-distant friends and families, whom in some cases have not seen one another in years, together in one space. For some, it led to several planned meetings on the second and third nights, bringing joy to many who were finally able to see their loved ones. While for others, the virtual space became a medium to integrate other forms of interaction fearlessly and spontaneously.



“A virtual space creates social situations without traditional rules of etiquette. The absence of the threat of physical harm makes people braver. Virtual space diminishes our fears of interaction.”

“Welcome to ‘Electronic Cafe International’: A Nice Place for Hot Coffee, Iced Tea, & Virtual Space” (1992)

The reading highlighted one very important point Physical interactions often complies to the rules of social norms. The consideration of whether a certain behavior is socially acceptable or not often comes with everyday physical interactions. Some people might even be a little shy and awkward to express themselves when it comes to such. And these social bounds that we have contrived ourselves into hinders us from free expression. However, interactions in the virtual space breaks that mold. People tend to be far more spontaneous and candid with their social interactions in the third space.

Take Hole-in-Space for example; passer-by’s in the streets would not usually stop to communicate with each other. It took a huge screen, with people from a different geographical location, to allow them to be comfortable with saying “hello” and to express themselves. Virtual space is allowing people to be comfortable to interact with strangers.

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.

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