We wanted to explore the connections between each live stream and the fun possibility that we can create! Since our final project will be presented on the grid wall, we decided to build our whole concept revolving the idea of the grid wall and the potential of viewing all four live streams at the same time to create a piece much greater than each individual stream. Exploring the idea of third space and synchronising one and other. It involves interaction, cross streams, planning, coordination and a lot of teamwork in this project.

We start off at different location and moving to meet each other at the same pace where we play with the visual effects of filming. From synchronised games, face connection to various streaming ideas are thoughtfully planned, hope to explore different ways of live streaming.

It was quite interesting and fun to see how this project has grown from it’s initial idea up to our current idea. Bulk of the process in this project was very collaborative, especially in the conceptualising and planning phases. Ideas were bounced off each other and we really helped each other refine the nitty-gritty details and what we want to explore in the project.

Even on an individual basis, everyone had their part to play in their own special way. I helped out in scouting the location and keeping everyone up to date on the weather – the groups very own weather boy – which proved to be quite a tricky task considering how unpredictable the weather has been of late. Along with that, that weekend was slated to have a high chance of precipitation which led to a lot of ‘calling it at a minutes notice’ when taking action. Scouting the location was also part of my repertoire, which considering the location, was quite a pleasant task, especially with the maps provided, it really helped to figure out a good location for us to go on our own winding paths away from each other.

and oddly enough, in our divergent paths, reunite again

The process it itself was a little daunting especially with how coordinated we needed to be for our final result to appear as we’d like. Fortunately, even when putting the video together roughly, by placing our phones side by side, we were all quite wow’d by the final result even in that form. Even happy coincidences like the crossing seen in the gif above were a nice touch on the abilities of our project.

My personal takeaway from this project is once again this idea that even when apart from each other, our lives have a level of synchronicity that we are unaware of. I say “once again” as I had similar sentiments when doing the co-broadcast with Su Hwee; showing the parallels that everyday people have to a degree that even I didn’t expect going into the assignment.

With all the works, reading and meetings we’ve had through the semester, one work that does stand out to me, that reminds me of my aforementioned sentiment is Douglas Davis’ “Worlds Longest Collaborative Sentence”.

Firstly, because I’m sure that page after page of keyboard musings, there definitely are common themes, similarities and identical words and phrases keyed in but additionally so in the sense that people have felt like they’ve been closer and more connected to people despite distance.


Straight from the ‘Sentence‘ itself; and much like the past projects, I genuinely do feel this thread of connectivity, allowed by this advent of social broadcasting in being able to connect people and see just how much everyone is and can be a community in their similarities despite their differences and the amazing parallels that we all have in our lives.

Internet Art and Culture Class ASSIGNMENT

Posted by Nicholas Makoto on Friday, 3 November 2017

But more technically, North-East-West.

I was co-broadcasting with Su-Hwee who hails from the West.

With the aim of exploring the different lives of the everyday person, we set out an order of business, starting at the toppest floor with a long corridor.

For those unfamiliar, in HDB blocks, some levels are connected with a long corridor linking the houses along the entire block on that side. This is due to the old lift format, which only stopped at certain floors, say 1 – 5 – 9. Hence these floors are connected with long corridors.

The plan was as follows

  • Top floor stroll end-to-end
  • Down to the next long corridor (5th Floor)
  • Do another sweep of the floor end-to-end
  • Down to the ground level
  • Make way to the nearest hawker center
  • Have a look around and make our coordinated purchases

and Honestly, the visuals were more strikingly similar than I expected

From the get go, the corridors created this odd symmetry whilst being asymmetrical which I thought was an interesting visual. Interestingly enough I heard that some HDBs estates had a departure from the Brutalist form, which could account for the differences that we see in the frame.

< Corridor (

Even our decent down the block was very interesting, though a bit more choreographed in that I was trying to match her speed and angles as I descended. Which did lead to a great visual comparison of the two blocks in their stairwells.

On the way to the hawker center, the first “bump” we ran into was that she seemed to be reaching the hawker center faster.

Subsequent road bumps were me ordering drinks and it arriving faster than her’s and in delaying mine, she ended up getting her drink faster.

Similarly, her stalls of choice were close that day, which led to me doing an impromptu lap of the hawker space.

But these are all parts of the livestreaming experience I’d say, the reality of it all.

Chance visual parallels

It reminded me of Pamela Z’s performance, which I did enjoy, along with your camera perspective, I assume both sides were rather adaptive be it in their own performance or in response to the other person.

Perhaps in retrospect, one thing I’d have done differently would be to focus on the world around me as opposed to worrying about the camera. Much like being on stage, I find my mind not focused on whats present in front of me, but on what I’m doing and a lot of being in my own head analysing and responding to what I’m showing. That being said, I find there to be a gain in what is framed. Especially in that the camera operator dictates what the audience can and cannot see, I do feel the responsibility to give a good look in a comprehensive manner for viewers to better make sense of the ideas that we’re trying to get across to them.

Overall I’d say we did a good job and the visual comparisons were quite amazing and really built upon what I had done previously with Bao and the visuals we both created then.

By sheer coincidence, the people that we had in front of us at the drink stall were wearing the good ol’ Red-Blue color combo

Seeing the humans behind any work always comes with an air about the whole scenario, ‘These are the people behind what I’ve been seeing’.

Despite being new to their work, seeing the people behind Second Front was no different.

And it’s made even more tantalizing by the fact that there’s the opportunity that I’ll be able to hear from the artists themselves, especially so when there are parts of the works that I don’t fully understand.

While I didn’t personally ask any questions, though I had a few in mind, I find that hearing from the artists themselves helps give a good look into how they function, how their thought patterns go about arranging themselves and in turn, their everyday gives an understanding into their artworks.

Something that didn’t occur to me, was the idea that they’d have backlash. Jeremy Turner/FIimflam (a name that got stuck in my head for a bit) even bringing up a case where a guy was said to be able to “see his IP address” and in turn knows where he lives and is gonna come and kill him. In retrospect, considering cyber-bullying is a thing, I should’ve realized it happened even in a less objective oriented game.

Patrick Lichty had a statement that I thought was quite well put, that it’s all about affect. What is performance art with the body the body removed? This was a question he had going into this foray in the virtual space with performance art. Which was a little eye-opening, and in retrospect once again feels like it should have been more obvious, the fact that artists venture into spaces that they themselves have questions about. But in regards to the body being removed from performance, it’s interesting, ultimately despite having happened in virtual space, it’s easily forgotten that there are indeed people and lives behind the polygons wiggling around on screen, that “it is real, there are stakes, and it’s what’s important for performance art” (in regards to virtual performance art having affect)

Lastly, Bibbe Hansen talked about the idea of community, and the just how enriching and rewarding it’s been to meet all the people around the world. It’s just made me realize that the internet’s ability to do so (in it’s full capacity), is really lost on me and perhaps my generation too (it was also really heartening to see how real it is to her). They grew up in the times before it was possible to, and have entered the world after it in full force as well. It’s no wonder there’s endless praise sung to it’s virtue to connect to anyone online at any moment through a multitude of different avenues.

It was also incredible that she even rubbed shoulders with Andy Warhol himself, ON TOP of being Beck’s mother.

Bibbe Hansen and Andy Warhol

Posted by Nicholas Makoto on Tuesday, 24 October 2017

For our test run, we tried to perform the effect of us merging our faces on the grid. The Grid being a row of 4 columns.

1 2 3 4


The visual effect we intend is for Grid 1 and 4 to have half a face, that eventually meets to form one full face, made up of half a face on Grid 2 and Grid 3

We also tried the “human 360 panorama” effect, where we stand together, with our backs to each other, and we pass the phones to the person on the right.

The subsequent effect is us rotating in the aforementioned formation, so that the visual in the grid is like that of a rotating panorama.

While, silly, we hope that the ensuing visuals would be both entertaining and open up other ideas for other formations in other livestreams.

Our concerns still lie in being synchronised, but we have a couple of ideas on how to make that work.

Seeing our test broadcast in the grid would probably help us troubleshoot some issues and where to go from this point.

In research I did recently for a presentation of Performance Art, I read that some performance artists consider re-performances of their work to be entirely different pieces apart from the original. In utilizing previous works by different artists and by bringing them into the virtual world of Second Life, I do believe that Second Front has indeed made the works their own.

But firstly I think the distinction they drew is important.

some people in Second Life might confuse us with a “performing arts” group rather than a “performance arts” group.

I’d say that Performance Art is closer linked to the Conceptual Art movement, where the idea/concept are the focus rather than the “traditional aesthetic, technical, and material concerns”, as opposed to the Performing arts (Not to say that the performing arts doesn’t have those elements occasionally as well).

And it’s easy to see these ties when as stated by Randall Packer

Grand Theft Avatar is a critical challenge to Second Life, questioning the authenticity of its currency, rules, and “lifestyle”

Which goes to show the thought provoking effect of their performances. Ideas sparked in the virtual world are ideas sparked in the real world.

THE ABSOLUTELY LAST (AND FINAL) SUPPER by Second Front + Link to the Vid

There’s also a certain beauty in what they’ve done to Second Life. As they said, most of what goes on in there is “shop, make friends online and participate in a virtual economy.” With the creators not setting a goal or end game, it ended up being a replication of the consumerist side of real life. But Second Front questions the “underlying assumptions of Second Life and what it means to be a virtual being in that space”. which I quote because I think it encapsulates the idea very well. So it’s kind of funny that while Second Life doesn’t have hard set rules and goals, they still broke the mould.

It made me wonder if what they do could be done in other online communities such as MMORPGS (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games). But I kept running into the limits of the world set by the game, whereas Second Life allows users to create and sell and spawn in their own virtual items which opens up so much more possibilities. However, this does not mean that it cannot be done in other programs/games.

NPC on the left, Real player on the right

MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (WOW) have servers dedicated to Role-playing, where the people playing are “in-character” so to speak. They talk like their character would and not only that, but some people imitate the Non-player Characters (NPCs) such as imitating the guards that patrol the city; even getting the look down to the armour pieces.

2 Mins onward is where you can see them in-action. + another example

While seemingly odd at first, perhaps it’s not so different from Second Life. Virtual spaces and especially games are known for their use as an escape from the real world, and yet, Second Life predominantly appears to be a replication of the world outside. But it of course, has the draw of having no real world repercussions, and this has allowed Second Front to carry out a “bank robbery” something I don’t think a real world performance artist would be easily be able to even have the opportunity to do. But now from concept to execution, it can be done to even the most ordinary individual. Other issues that plague the real world artist such as location, space and budget constraints are also cast aside.

Second Life seems to be the prime virtual location for Performance Art in it’s flexibility and ability to replicate real world situations and happenings.

And sometimes, perhaps a little too much.


sch assignment

Posted by Songyu Bao on Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Today, Bao and I did a Facebook, co-broadcast where we continued our exploration of juxtaposing the same object next to each other. The difference being, that unlike the first time where we were both present in school and generally in the same area, this time we were in completely different places, our homes.

I’d say it was a great success, I thought that the visuals we came up with were surprisingly good. This was also a good an interesting look into the everyday common items that we “all have”. That being said, not everyone has a tv, or a couch, or even a home. So perhaps it’d be interesting used as an interesting visual to use for a campaign to promote the disparity in the lives of others. But in general, it does bring to mind how the same objects can differ.

It was also interesting to see people commenting and a reminder from a friend that “i can just talk” to reply instead of typing like i did in the first few mins of the broadcast. People whom I’ve never connected with in awhile also surprisingly showed up to watch, I found it interesting just in the fact that they popped in. (I also found it much easier to interact with them on the phone vs on the desktop). Made me wonder about how often our content is being seen by people, even if they dont comment or leave a like. Video makes it more apparent especially in view counts. After the video was done, it already had 27 views; and upon linking it to this post, it had grown to 42 views. To me that’s pretty incredible, that sort of growth and reach that everyday people can already reach a considerable number of people in such a short time.


I find it very hard to be natural in front of a camera, I feel myself stiffen up and I don’t feel like I can make many gestures. I often see the same thing happening with other people whenever a camera gets swung towards them. Hence, I often feel that anyone who does appear on camera, more often than not, is curating their image of themselves; both consciously and unconsciously. But generally speaking I find it hard to guesstimate what the split between the two are.

In the case of Jennicam, it seems very much like the intention was to be as “real” as possible, going so far as to copulate in front of the camera. She also started charging people for entry to her site a few months in and it often heard cry that once people start charging money it’s “disingenuous”. I personally don’t agree with that claim, and I’d wager that it stems from people who just don’t want to pay for things.

On the streaming site Twitch, once popular enough, Streamers can get a ‘subscribe‘ button where the viewer is charged $4.99 to support the streamers they like. There are numerous other methods to support the streamer such as amazon referral links and even direct donations. A recent addition would be Cheering, which really just is a fancier way of donating with built in-animations.

But prior to that streamers already had their own animation overlay whenever someone donated or subscribed. Below are examples of a ‘sub’ animation and an example of a twitch streamer’s layout, showing previous donations and recent subscribers. The layouts are not fixed and can look however the streamer wants them to look like.

In David Letterman’s interview with Jennifer, he brought up a point that people are really lonely, desperate and miserable and want to reach out and I think this is quite often the case. Although I don’t frequent Twitch, there is no shortage of people clamouring in the chat to have their name even mentioned by the streamer. Ultimately, that’s what all the donations, subscribers and animated bits are for, for people to feel like they are doing something with visible effect; and to get to do so is, as David Letterman said, comforting.

Now as sad as that sounds, the issue isn’t with people looking for attention, because it’s only human to want to be social and connect with people; “humans are social creatures” as the saying often goes. The issue is when these people are exploited. There are streamers genuinely there to entertain and form communities that people can be a part of and be welcome, but there are also streamers who clearly are there just to make money off these people.

There are people who say that donating money and subscribing is a waste of money. The counter argument and the one I agree with, is that’s it’s no different from paying for cable TV and I think it’s lovely that the option is there to watch for free, and yet, people still are willing to give and support people to be entertainers. To be able to do something you enjoy and earn money while still being able to provide enjoyable content for people, is a win-win situation in my eyes.

On Twitch, you can browse by streamer or you can browse by game, with the default sorting by highest viewership first. But browsing under games has a IRL (In Real Life) category, where the streamer is basically streaming their life in general. An example is the video below, where Andy Milonakis was streaming his time in Japan.

And without knowing it, these people are basically conceptual descendants of Jennicam.

Being constantly live is also not without it’s pitfalls of course, evidence of this are the numerous YouTube videos of “twitch fails” and streamers caught on camera doing all sorts of things, and even in more dire circumstances allegations with regards to the possession of illicit media. What happened was, whilst searching for something on his screen, the immediate searches that come up whilst typing had a suspicious title pop in, and this was quite literally only for a fraction of a second. How it was even noticed is amazing, and its then that you realize the power of hundreds and even thousands of people’s eyes peering at any position within the frame constantly. Also, once something is on the internet for a faction of a second, it might as well be up there forever. Below is the guy himself, talking about the ordeal that followed.

The internet is a volatile place, and being in that environment causes people to behave in certain ways, especially with the levels of anonymity that it can offer. Choosing to participate in such a stand-out manner, people streaming themselves have put themselves in this interesting position where they’re really quite at the mercy of the people that occupy that space. Both in terms of sustainability and viewership, along with the possible malicious acts that they are at the risk of incurring (read: death threats and swatting). And I would say, the fact that these sorts of platforms have not only survived, but flourished is heartening.

Technology, probably since it’s inception has been blasted by people of every generation. Kids aren’t going out as much anymore, people can’t go a couple of minutes without having to fiddle with their phones, scroll another page, watch another video. These are all things we’ve heard one way or another, but I believe that it’s never such a black-and-white issue. There’s nuance and things have the capacity for both good and bad.

The past few weeks of delving into the Internet Art and Culture module have brought with it, a slew of moments, events and performances which encapsulate the positive aspects of technology; long before they reached the level of the consumer, and before we started taking them for granted.

Right off the bat, the VideoFreex. The Sony Portapak was a catalyst for the VideoFreex to be able to go out and be the broadcasters instead of the big T.V stations. They realized a disconnect between what they saw on the streets around them and what was being shown on t.v by the media. The Portapak enabled them to capture what they wanted to be seen; this ability caught the eye of CBS, one of the big broadcasters at the time.

Videofreex and neighbors at Lanesville General Store. 1973 — Photo by John Dominis (b. USA, 1927 – 2013)

Their pursuit of truth led to conflicts with CBS and were let go. With little money, the VideoFreex were led to Lanesville. Using their tenacity, they set up the worlds first pirate television station, ‘Lanesville TV’. But what is media without an audience. Had it not been for the people of Lanesville watching and collaborating with the VideoFreex, I believe it would have been extremely difficult for the VideoFreex to continue as they wanted to; highlighting that communities of people are indeed an integral part of supporting the media ecosystem.

Hole In Space is interesting in that although there were masses of people gathered around this singular point, they were not a collective, the focus was still on the individual(s). The interactions between people on both sides were very much more-so on a few individuals communicating with another batch of a few individuals. In having an intimate connection like this created an introspective moment of the individual in the larger context of their place in the world. There’s also a sense of security in knowing where a broadcast of you is going. I think in general people reel from having a camera in their face because they don’t know where the images of them are going to show up.

Hole-in-Space, 1980. Photograph of live event in Los Angeles and New York. Photo by Kit Galloway.

BOLD3RRR is interesting as in the one to many context, the focus appears to be on the individual, however in my thoughts over the piece, i ended up pondering if it was intentional for the audience to be reflecting so much on the art piece that they start to consider their place within the piece itself. So whilst the focus IS on the one to the many, there is also the capacity for introspective moments.

The Portapak can be seen as a precursor to what we do in class, with our phones and laptops, except we have the capabilities to shoot and more importantly, broadcast from a singular device. Similarly, what would we stream for if it wasn’t for the people that watch our streams? The more people we have the better we feel about the success of the stream; drawing upon what I mentioned in my post about the VideoFreex, be it YouTube personalities or Twitch streamers, the backbone that keeps everything running is the communities and followings that are built around these platforms. Likewise, the interaction between the ‘us’ the streamer and audience is where the real adventure is at.

Though the livestream wasn’t similar to the two way interaction of Hole In Space; for my friends in school that were caught in the sights of the camera, finding out that I was behind the tinkering of Su Hwee’s broadcast seemed to put them at ease. I didn’t expect people to check out the broadcast to see what the final stream was going to look like, an unexpected Hole In Space if you will. The experience then was quite different and more akin to being Twitch/Live Streamer in that the audience was now reacting and responding to the work that our team was churning out in real time (save for latency). It was one of my favourite moments of the cast.

Whilst our broadcast probably isn’t as reflective or introspective as BOLD3RRR, I think there was a takeaway about the expectations of livestreams and their preformative aspects. Mindfulness on both the abilities of a broadcaster to send out a message as well as an allowance for control to leave the operators hands; both situationally and technically.

Ultimately, technology merely serves as a tool. Enabling us to achieve new feats in both good and evil, and the onus is on us to utilise the tools we have in a responsible way.

edit: I came across this video that aims to create awareness for isolation, particularly with the elderly who live alone and don’t come into much contact with people over the week.

Campaign To End Loneliness

Millions of elderly people go more than a week without socialising with anyone at all. This guy decided to find out how that felt..Campaign to End Loneliness

Posted by UNILAD on Wednesday, 27 September 2017

It made me wonder if there would be this issue in the future. Considering how connected our generation is, when we get to old age will we be as connected as we are today, or will we be as isolated as many of the elderly today. With the ability to raise awareness with much larger reach than any generation before coupled with the increasing levels of connectivity we have going forward, I personally think that the future is promising in our use of technology in forging a sense of community.

Davis was interested in television’s ability to connect people across distance; my students always laugh uncomfortably at the 70s touchy-feeliness of his video work.

With that quote from the article by Michael Connor, it helps put works such as Douglas Davis, The Last Nine Minutes (1977), in perspective of what exactly is going on.

With the intent being to create intimacy, I found it particularly interesting that the medium of choice, was text. But contextually, it’s 1994, the idea of being able to communicate around the world is immensely tantalizing, a worldwide graffiti board to make your mark on if you will.

Additionally, something this artwork made me realize through the article, was that even digital artwork degrades overtime. Compatibility issues, software support for older Operating Systems being let go, and even Adobe products and their software incompatibility between some versions (very much so a personal gripe).

This piece got me looking at our state of connectivity today vs back then. Some would say we take such a level of communication around the world almost for granted these days (some would argue it’s drawn us closer), whereas in 1994, this was pretty profound stuff. The context being that in 1994 there was a lack of connectivity around the world, hence with our hyper-connectivity, something of this caliber is very easily glossed over.

Even the restorers of ‘The World’s Longest Sentence’ had an aspect of super-participation; they had the blessings of the internet wizards assisting them in the comments section of the New York Times Article on it’s restoration (albeit occasionally conflicting advice).

“Oh please! It’s html!” – E.W. Chesterton of Palm Beach

Super-participation seems to be in most aspects of our daily lives, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube to name a few. Some websites and articles even have small voting portions at the end and there are contests are held online for various means from deciding the Gerber baby to naming the next research boat.

Even MMORPGs I say, are forms of Super-Participation. But what happens when the MMORPG dies (examples in these articles #1 and #2)? They stop being super-participatory  which lead me to realize that super-participation is based on people as opposed as to the medium or platform it’s on.

Hence pretty much everything on an electronic device needs some form of community creation and strengthening, which leads me to ponder, is there any aspect of our digital lives not super-participation?

(clicked save draft instead of publish by accident)



Posted by Nicholas Makoto on Monday, 18 September 2017

For our pre-class trial run, Me and Su Hwee teamed up for this Safari Themed Cross-stream idea!

The general idea is for us to do a cross stream where one side goes out into the school like David Attenborough/(Insert Favourite Nature Presenter)

A few of the initial concepts generated were for eg. a news report, much like the evening news. Having the camera at different angles, say strapped to the leg, which was pretty cool and brought to my mind videos of people strapping GoPros’ to various limbs and objects (examples HERE and HERE). However, we were at a loss for what the stream recipient would then do.

I think playing around with the FaceBook app livestreams and finding the filters helped direct our subsequent idea for the safari. Sadly the filters aren’t on the browser version of FaceBook Livestreams.

As you can hear in the above livestream, there is echoed audio. I muted the different windows/tracks one by one but couldn’t figure out what was the issue at the time of the stream.

Fortunately in the subsequent stream we did to fix this problem, i managed i figure out where the echo was coming from, my facebook livestream window.

Another aspect for this Safari, is us to make it look like those nature documentaries. I whipped up a quick lower third, and used scenes to fade them in nicely.

We’ve planned to add additonal elements such as animal overlays and a few varieties of lower thirds for each “species”

This all reminded me of the BTS work of media console operators for live shows, cutting between different media clips, though, OBS isnt exactly rigged to work on that level, it does a pretty decent job!

Using the studio mode to cut between scenes was a little tricky to get, and being on the ball for switching scenes is a little nervewracking, but also pretty fun.

Below is the aforementioned sound test


Posted by Nicholas Makoto on Monday, 18 September 2017