Research Critique: Virtual “field trip” Second Front Interview on Networked Conversations

In the Second Front interview, many interesting question has been raise and discussed. There were also small amusing moment where Prof Randall suddenly disconnected due to the programme has crash, Second Front said that

Wherever we go, something would crash!

They said that in a funny way which I feel they are used to the crashing experiences working with the programmes. They seems very positive about facing problem like this and still having fun which personally I like the vibe.

It was really fascinating to know their back story about their avatars and how they came about. Bibbe leave me with deep impression that she grew up reading cartoons and aspire to be one! When Second Life makes her dreams came true being a character herself! I realise that all of the avatars they created has a common point, they created something that they have connection with. No matter it is inspire from their childhood like Bibbe or Patrick Lichty, having a form similar to Andy Warhol or Liz Solo, a virtual puppet of herself, there is a form of connection between the avatar and the user.

There is another interesting question raise was, what is the relationship of your real life character and your second life character. Again, Bibbe surprise me with her reply “Confuse”. She further elaborate about herself as a performer has personality disorder, through the character she could set herself lose. The main point she say was:

It is the world with emotions and thoughts.

Second Life is already part of her life where she can find a getaway for her emotions.

The discussion on how Second Life takes into account of audience participating Liz Solo talks about when they have audience things would become unpredictable however it can be interaction between artist or adding spontaneity to the performance art. She mention that the essence of this performance art was responsive which is something new to me. In relate to any other art piece or performance art many are not as responsive as what Second Front has done. In Second Front’s performance art they could make decision to create or act differently even if they are the audience. As a result it created the spontaneity, something that cannot be planned.

Another point that was interesting about this performance art was it was done without the body. Like Patrick Lichty has mention the usual performance art was about the body and usual audience seating arrangement. Yet Second Front break off the traditional performance combining it not only with the audience but in third space. They make me wonder what else we can do in the third space together? Probably in the next few years dramas or movie can be film in the third space where both party does not located at the same location.

In overall, the interview of Second Front were very inspiring. Getting to know the first hand knowledge from the artiest and understand deeper of their perspective and what they have learn has even help them in real life. I am also looking forward on how their unique performance art would evolve into different forms of performance.

Research Critique Hyperessay – Second Front

Second Front has it first performance art in 2006 “Breaking News” on the online virtual world of Second Life. The group include 7 members that comes from all around the world. Their performance was showcased in galleries and museums while the artiest would perform remotely which I find it very interesting! All of them would perform together at the third space, exploring new and different environment using code-based interventions in their performance.

In the interview with Second Front, Great Escape aka Scott Kildall mention that

Second Life offers a unique space for performance. Without the normal constraints of the body ― the usual center of performance – and without a traditional audience, we can try and do things that have been previously thought to be impossible.

I agree that Second Life offers a unique space for the performers without body constraints. It become a free for imagination and can create  different kind of things that you would never do it in real life.

For example, they could just change their outlook before they wanted to rob the bank! Or even having purple skin and fire out of the hair which is something that does not exist in real world. I really like that our choices are reversible in Second Life, which is why GREAT ESCAPE mention that body without constrains. In real work, when we make changes to our body such as plastic surgery or even scares would stay permanently. Yet, in Second life we can make changes without any hold back because it is reversible! I find this is the reason why the artist can go wild with their imagination and explore the possibilities.

The fact that everything can be customizable in Second Life as well as the fact that just about any object can be wearable enhances my personal impression that performance art is the most “authentic” medium of Second Life in that Greenbergian sense.


Indeed it is an authentic performance which you can customise everything such as context, appearance and what you always want to do. I particularly like their The Absolutely Last (and final) Supper!

Their caption was “This mini-performance is based on da Vinci’s Last Supper. Someone gave us some bad fish and we all got sick..”. I though it was quite funny that they reenact the painting from Leonardo da Vinci “The Last Supper”. This parody totally provide a different experience as they performed the scene with action with content. So they ate the bad fish and they start to get discomfort some even jump on top of the table to vomit blood vigorously. I don’t know why but I really find it amusing.

Situation like this would not happen in real life. Even if we wanted to mimic exactly what it looks like in the painting, we would need time, money and resource to do so. Yet in Second Life, objects and environment can be created with lesser constrains. More freedom are given to the artist to play with the variables to create interesting visual surprises.

Also, many times, it’s the surprises and unintended actions that make the work really come alive!


To conclude, I really like how Second Front making use of the advantage of Second Life and created a platform for them and also the audience. I believe they would inspire people to be adventurous in the virtual world from the things they have done. They also bring life to the whole reenact of the famous painting The last supper performance. Second Life provides this unique platform for artist to explore and create possibilities without having and body constrain as limitation. All artist from all over the world of Second Front are connected together in this third space to perform their authentic performance taking us through a unique journey with them.


Co-Broardcasting Reflection

Posted by Su Hwee Lim on Thursday, 12 October 2017

In our first co-broadcasting we are trying the function of combing the both live streams. It was quite easy to use as we just need to invite the person and when they agree we can stream together.

The timing of both cross streaming was quite in sync when we can literally communication to each other. This provides us with the advantage of communication in real time without using other applications.

We are also curious how many people can be added into the live stream, however it only allows 2 people. We was trying to add Joan in to it but we failed to do so.

We also find it quite interesting to play with the view point of high angle and low angle where placing it side by side. It reminds me of our first broadcast when we place all of them in a grid.

I really like how both camera can uses angle to interact with each other. It sorts of added funny factor into the streaming.

Costream test 2 Su Hwee Lim

Posted by ZiFeng Ong on Wednesday, 18 October 2017

So we did another one that was more of a trial for our project taking the advantage of the co-broadcasting. We had plan some actions such as combining the face and try to sync together with our expression.

It was quite fun actually when both of us manage to do it. The result give a bizarre feeling, probably if we would take note of the environment lighting and make our skin tone look similar it will be more unusual.

We also try taking off our glasses together and see how the effect was like. I feel it turns out pretty cool although we have a different glasses.

Passing the object as much easier, however we need to note that we must coordinate properly in order not to expose ourselves. One of the most interesting one was:

When Makoto suggested us to do the side profile and we turn to make it look coordinated. It looks really interesting to me which something we can take note and contribute to our final projects.

From the whole process, we can take advantage on the real time communication and help each other to coordinate together. As for final project we might also need to think about we are broadcasting with 4 or 3 people when one of us can be the coordinator to help us with the broadcast. I have got ideas such as using the common object to use as the passing item and we would have it at both broadcasting locations. Also we could play scissor paper stone with the one next to us, however for 4 streamer would be quite hard to achieve.

Research Critique Hyperessay – Jennicam

Jennifer Ringley started off Jennicam when she stumble upon the new technology webcam and wanted to try and challenge herself on the programming skills in 1996. Jennicam originally it was only for her family and friends and suddenly it when viral when one of the Australian news wrote an article about the website.

Her webcam would take a photo of her bed room every 15 min and automatically post it on her website. One of the things I am really amazed was her openness about publicly broadcast her private life even when she was changing or having intimacy with her partner. However, she was portraying her real life in real just like how she would react in real life. What I mean was nowadays, the celebrity who was on frame and off the frame would act differently or not as what we have seen. Even us, we indeed have a certain image that we want others to perceive.

Jennifer also mention that:

“I’m not going to deny that there is a certain amount of insecurity that goes along with being 19 years old. It’s natural to be seeking approval, but I also tried not to listen too hard to the feedback that was either really good or really bad.

It really do matter to me how people would say about me even though I know we should just being ourselves. I agree with Jennifer way of doing, tired not to listen too hard to the feedbacks because I am the only one who know what are the things I wanted to achieve. She also mention one of the reason why she has stopped broadcasting in a podcast interview was she felt she was exhausted and she develop thick skins for good stuff and bad stuff. She still wants to connect with people and not to distrust strangers. From this I feel that she has reach the extreme point where she had received lots of comment either good or bad. In order to protect herself she in turn subjectively look at these criticism, which this protective layers prevents her to get connected with others and having this distrust.

One of the interesting points she mention in the interview was there is this guy who feel like a loser when he was doing his laundry at home emailed her that he felt better that someone was doing exactly the same thing as him as she is so popular. Jennifer finds is comforting that she was showing someone that is okay to just being themselves. Which this bring me to think about the host from Letterman’s late show said about how people feeling lonely and desperate might be the reason why they wanted to see someone’s life taking place. This kept me thinking if technology really are the one that creates the barrier between us when this problem already happen way before when social media became popular. However I really like the aspect that through this platform someone felt better after he know that actually we are all the same as human.

In overall, Jennifer giving up her privacy at a very young age to a point where she develop thick skin or even has problem connecting with people. In the podcast interview she also mention about the danger of living in public the way we do now when the public would usually over react to the things that is posted. Yet another aspect of it brings comfort to people when Jennifer was broadcasting her real mundane life. Jennicam also reflects the differences of how she put up her real life during the early days if internet and how the current society only portray the good stuff in our social media. There are various of reasons of why and how we crafted the image but most importantly we shouldn’t have expectation or definition of what success are based on what others has posted as that was just a small portion of their life.


Cross Stream Broadcast Technical Test


Due to personal reason I did not attend the last lesson which the first trail of streaming. This makes me more nervous on what I suppose to look out for during this cross stream but luckily it is a technical test! After brainstorming with Makoto, we came up a few ideas such as attaching our phone at different angle and news reporting. So to explore the different angle of viewer, for example attaching at our toe as it is a totally different view from what we usually see. Or collective visual connecting our face together visually. However all those did not have a concrete theme for us to play/explore with. We arrive at the final concept of Safari adventure while playing with the filters. We wanted to do something that make use of the interesting filters.

Linking that up with the safari idea, we decide to explore ADM with the people we meet with the filters! So it will be like searching of the “wild animals in ADM NTU”. It is like how documentary they film about animal. We found rabbits, wolf and also cat filters that would help us to portray the idea. In OBS, we also added filters such as the logo and titles to mimic how we would see on the tv.

Process in streaming

The internet connection was really quite bad some areas might not able to connect to internet especially when I walk out of IM room there is a short period of time it was disconnected. I might be just change to my mobile data for the actual streaming to prevent the break off. I feel it would interrupt the process and might miss some moments.

We also face sound difficulty as there is a feedback coming out from Makoto side. After we went for the second technical test just for the sound he manage to solve the problem which end up coming from his live streaming. After offing the volume for that the feedback seems did not appearing anymore.

While going out to stream, I actually have quite a blank mind again even after a few times of streaming experience. Yet, keeping my ideas in my mind of finding the “wild animals” in school. I have plan to prepare which filter to use next when I saw people I know yet I will still panic a bit when I was switching around the filters. However, the unplanned situation makes the streaming unexpected and impromptu. Maybe some overlay effect can be adding on OBS to make the whole live stream more interesting. Probably some moving image and shift of camera angle like dip to black just like switching scene would have a smoother flow.

The first technical test:

This is a trial video

Posted by Su Hwee Lim on Monday, 18 September 2017

Second sound test:

The outcome after combining together:

The outcome on sound test:


Posted by Nicholas Makoto on Monday, 18 September 2017

Research Critique Hyperessay – The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence

Douglas Davis was interested in exploring the possibility of video and internet interactivity. He was once a writer before he started his artist career on 1960s. A few notable work from him was the satellite broadcast “The Last Night Minutes” that feature him staring out of the television trying to make connection with the viewer and trying to escape visually in the camera wall.

Another was in 1994, “The World’s First Collaborative Sentence” that involved super participation from people around the world to add their own words online. Mixture of languages are used to convey various of thoughts without using full stop that makes the sentence go on. This platform provides a gateway for people to voice up their view.

The huge difference between broadcast TV and the Web is the keyboard. With that people can say anything; they have full expressive capacity.

Similarly in the modern days, we have social media for us to voice out our views and having discussion. From their sentence, it feels like this platform became a window for them to shout out their thoughts to everybody.

When the artist involved the audience to be part of the contributor created a sense of belonging being able to participate in it. When you are involved, you feel more excited about it as it is a different experience when you are just an audience.

Wow, I was a part of the world’s first collaborative sentence!

While, getting the whole world to write this sentence making it more comprehensive with interesting narrative. You would get to know different content which while you are reading, it creates the nonsensical sequence in your mind.

However art work like this created in the pioneer days are facing a problem which was mention in the article by Melena Ryzik. Due to technical advancement digitalise artwork could no longer be working, in this case like Davis’s work. Until Whitney curators decided to rebuild and mend the broken links. This leave me thinking about the programme we are using now, we might not be using it next time. As the way we communicate, we interact and we look at things will be very different in future due to technology advancement. The art direction would be evolve as well because art revolve around the society and culture. I felt its really important that Whitney are preserving the digitalise art that the pioneers artist has done showing us how art evolve until today. Just like how we learn about videofreex to the hole in space to The World’s First Collaborative Sentence.

In conclusion, getting the audience involve can create interaction and something that can never be achieve by just one person. It is the combination of effort from different people in different culture to create this unique piece like The Worlds’s First Collaboration Sentence. Yet conservation of the pioneers’s digital art can be challenging. What we can do now to preserve our own digital art was to do good documentation and videos to convey our concept and ideas.


Research Critique Hyperessay – Bold3RRR

Jon Cates started his Realtime BOLD3RRR… in a totally different way by switching between his desktop share screen and his webcam Skype. Manually controlling of the visual images accompanied by various different noise combine together. It all feel very natural to the artist but a very different style of narration. Although it is different, it catches people’s attention because they are curious about where is this sound coming from and why is the image switching around. In the reading stated:

his “dirty new media” aesthetic that brings to the surface the aberrations and raw imperfections that are typically verboten in “high-end” digital circles.

I do agree that raw imperfections are portray in the works he have done demonstrates the glitch are breaking the rules but exploring with a different platform. He is just like a DJ but doubling the job of controlling the visual as well! It also stir us away from perfection to look at the raw imperfections, looking beyond the imperfection. Which I felt while viewing BOLD3RRR… I would let nature to take it course to bring me everywhere whenever familiar objects or experience bring me. Even though I might not get the full meaning of what Jon Cates, I am sure certain part of the video would reminds you of your certain experience in life. I though that was intriguing and evoking questioning would be enough to serve its purpose.

…+ openUp possibilities, potentialities for ppl, as well as for myself, but also for a community that can mobilize around these approaches, these ideas.

In reflection to the current society when we are too obsessed with perfection we become so serious in a way that we forget how to play and enjoy the process. We also focus on the productivity that we forget to explore the possibility.

but from a d1Ɍ+y̶̶N̶3WWW_M3DI∆ perspective, what you might want to be doing is “rebugging,” && pushing different aspects of the machinewwwhirlds to see their thresholds, exxxperiment, + play.

Viewer might also have a sense of annoyed at first like how I did. This almost natural reaction triggers our memories from our previous experience from technological errors. However, I felt we should not exclude and avoid the possibility. I found an article regarding glitch art interview with jonCates as well questioning about the kind of thinking we have from this art form can be applied to other aspects in life which

we often ignore those who don’t fit into our social ideals of perfections and worthiness;

It makes me think deeper that are am I open up to surprise or only see what I wanted to see? In conclusion, many times in our lives we face obstacles, problems and sets backs which we can all relate it as glitch. The dirty new media that Jon Cates created provides a whole new experience for us to face those natural accidents that we usually wanted to get rid. As when we are expose to unconventional means we could gain new insight that help us delve into opportunity like we never before.

Reflection – Adobe Connect

Last lesson the class was conducted on Adobe Connect where everybody gets online to attend the lesson. At first it was really overwhelming and fascinating. There is even this interesting function to raise up our hand or leave the room which on the online conference is very important to have this indication. The message area are also very new to me while listening and my classmates would raise some question. However, it get sort of distracting when we need to concentrate on both side. At last I actually give up on reading the messages and concentrate on what Prof was saying.

During lesson, I felt quite tense up because I am afraid if I heard wrongly or over heard what people were saying. It need full attention to comprehend as compare to face to face.

At the last part of our lesson was the most memorial and amazing experience. We are on our webcam and need to corporate with the person around us in the grid. I really like when we try to connect each other together visually that shows some narrative. The object that we shown around us also reveal bits of our personality and has a story behind it. From the web cam also reveal a part of our personal space at home which I felt that was interesting to see our daily surrounding which we are all very different.

Research Critique Hyperessay – Hole in Space

This public communication art “Hole in space” was created in 1980 using satellite connection through a life-size video screen. The location was placed on in New York City and Los Angeles. This unexpected piece attracted large amount of people to interact with strangers also incidentally become a meeting place for people who hadn’t seen their loved ones in years.

People start gather around out of their curiosity until they figure out that they are able to communicate to another side of the screen they just start to talk! Just like what was said in the readings:

The absence of the threats of physical harm makes people braver. Virtual space diminishes our fears of interactions.

The reaction of people was really amazing, from the video, some are talking about their day, singing a song [probably the first live stream performance] and even starts to play some guessing games! Through the installation it created some kind curiosity which make people talk to each other easier. Many smiling face was seen when they were interacting. I feel that the life-size screen could be one of the well thought reason from the artist to give more impactful experience to simulate the real-life communication.

Screenshot from the video: A lady who was really excited to see her love ones

Moreover it also accidentally become a meeting place for people who did not seen each other in many years. A lady was totally screaming when she saw her family on the screen. It shows how the video interaction would communicate emotion. Through this installation, it bring down the barrier between people and help them to communicate where it does not happen frequently on street.

While researching, I came across the modern Hole in Space in Oakland neighbourhoods who was inspired by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s Hole in Space. The two location are geographically close but socially and economically different. The intention of this piece was to break down the distance between the two neighbourhood. The results was drastically different, not many people crowd around the screen like how it was in 1980, which caught me thinking that our society has grown differently. However people are more comfortable bring in front of the camera, they were seen dancing and able to react to this “video call” quickly.

Where have we arrived? The implied answer is that we’ve come to a point where we regularly interact with people across the globe, but frequently ignore those who are right around us, buffered by increasing racial and economic segregation that allows for erasure of difference. It has happened all over, but especially in Oakland.

Lastly, both artists in 1980 and 2015 uses the form of connection to create interaction between both location. The collaborative effort was form unknowingly by the public which created the unscripted forms of communication that involved surprises and giving us hints about the nature of our society. The reinterpretation of the artwork in 2015 bring in one important point. The original intention of creating more human interaction through internet connection might have been lost. We interact lesser to the people around us even when they are our neighbours. Its a loosing of interaction that we can see from A Hole in Space in Oakland. However, it really depend on oneself, technology would bring us closer and closing us off to our own world.

Research Critique – Videofreex

The documentation was shown in a different way just like you are watching a real documentation of the olden days. I was surprise by the amount of video they took. It is very well documented just like showing us everything about them since they started. As compare to present days everything can be video and document easily, I was quite ashamed that with these easily accessible devices I should have created a more detail documentation of my work process.

Videofreex being the first to go out to film was another facts that surprise me! Although there are television channels available during that time, they are only shows and news which did not broadcast what is happening around them. Videofreex did something that out of the norm taking the camera out to shoot for example the Woman Liberation rally. Its one of the event that leave a deep impression in me, some woman were shouting against mans and there was a lot happening during that time. In the documentation, they said that

It is important to go there where history are being made

which I strongly agrees and it speaks about how I feel towards the Woman Liberation rally. It is like in the present days, we only could have a glimpse of the olden days from the limited amount of images or from our grandparents stories. Whereas, while watching the documentation it sort of take me back to the olden days in real time. The video clips provide me information of how they speaks, what their fashion is like and little details that cannot be said by a person. Stories are good too, nevertheless the picture we get was solely by our imagination. However, its a two different experience.

I am sure envious that they can be so brave in chasing what they believe in and being confident about it. Especially when it comes to money they have been through a lot of limitation and difficulty. On the another hand, I feel that they have gain a lot as well. Being able to capture the history personally I am sure its a once in a life time experience. Moreover, they even build the connectivity to broadcast on television. They are so resourceful even at that time when Google are still not their best friend. It reminds me of that day we tried using Facebook live was so much easier as compare to them.

Doing what the mainstream television channel was not doing, they firmly believe something can be done. There was once in the documentation they saw some other people was videoing the situation and they feel excited about it too. I feel it could be also an encouragement to them during that time because there is also someone who are similar like them. I am also sure that what they are doing would inspire lots of people. In later part of the documentation, they reveal that they also tired many experimental ways! Like using mirroring effects, live call in and hosting unconventional topics. In comparison to the shows that air in the present days I feel videofreex had change the way how television programme flow made during their era where their methods were used in the present. Their creativity sure break the old rules and created a new perspective to the media world.

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

They ended with quote above which I can relate with. When videos are images that flashing, even if we do not understand their language spoken we would still get some ideas of what it is showing. At least roughly what the topic is about. Nowadays social media are widely use and posting of photos or video are just as normal. What we are posting are also speaking to the world in a subtle way. Just like how one photos/video can be famous in one night by sharing from the viewers where it goes viral!