Hyperessay: Online Symposium

Held in Adobe Connect, the Symposium shifted performance into a new medium, the third space, where we rethink about the idea of a traditional “one-to-many” style of performances and embrace a new “many-to-many” style.


The performance on the first day is by Annie Abrahams, which she have different performers interact with the object on their webcam as seemingly random recorded phrases get played out. The webcams appear and disappear and everything appears messy. Annie then proceeds to lay silent on her chair and close her eyes, which the rest follows suit. This reminds me of DIWO where a group of people come together to do something collaboratively which they have a responsibility to perform and keep the performance alive. The overall unscripted-ness of this performance, together with the number of performers involved, creates quite a mess that I would call “glitchy”, where the unintended randomness is embraced during the performance that have made it glitched.

The first part of Annie Abraham’s performance, where we can see the usage of objects that is messily arranged on the screen

On day three, there was the performance by igaies. The performance started with the XXXTRAPRINCESS’ where they take on personas by using snapchat filters to simulate the characters in another frame. As mentioned in my Research Critique II, what makes a Third Space work is in participation where the parties involved must act according to their third space persona. By acting according to the persona and script, they have acted in the Third Space, where their third bodies have detached from the physical reality through the snapchat filters and the persona they play.

XXXTRAPRINCESS’ and their third space persona

The performance was then followed by Roberto Sifuentes, where he have glitched his body by allowing audiences to place leeches onto his body, which he then performs a series of ritualistic actions, before laying down on the ground to get the leeches removed by a woman. This performance caught many attention, including my own, and it had me thinking about the relationship between the audience and the performers in the Symposium, and I will talk more about it below.



The Symposium brings audiences together within a shared online space, only providing fixed perspectives for audiences to make sense of the performance as we piece them together to form an idea of the whole thing.

The few frames that we look into to decipher the performance offers an interesting perspective to the performance itself

We are merely audiences, only able to make comments and discuss the work, but not directly intervene the performance. By eliminating the possibilities for the audiences to interact with the performance, what purpose do we serve as online viewers, that is no different from that of physical viewers? This is where I find that we are able to openly discuss the performance critically and emotionally without affecting the performance, which would have been unacceptable in a conventional performance in a physical space.

Credits to Brendan. Real time comments on the performance by XXXTRAPRINCESS’ as it gets conducted, and we can see multiple comments and people agreeing to one another.

This open discussion is further enhanced as we all take on our online persona, our Third Body, which we express our thoughts, comments, and ideas differently from our real persona. Also, because of the lack of interaction with the performance and the ability to instantly make comments, our reaction to different sections of the performances can be expressed without hesitation, and this allow our reaction to be less controlled and more raw.


On day 3 of the Symposium, the bizarre performance by Roberto Sifuentes churned many comments on the chatroom.

Interesting discussion about the performance by Roberto
Audiences placing leeches on Roberto.
Roberto’s strenuous ritualistic actions with a metal rod

Roberto lies down to be have the leeches removed from his body.

In Roberto’s bizarre performance, he have added noise to his body by bleeding and sweating. He have thus cleansed his inner body of said noise, but at the same time glitched his outer body as he gets drenched in bodily fluids we dislike having on our skin. I find this relationship of glitch and purification interesting. Glitching is usually associated with impurity and ruination, but in this unexpected case, glitching and purification goes hand in hand.

As the performance goes on, the chatroom goes crazy as the audiences input their raw interpretations and comments. Some have made references to issues like gender and power, while others have made nonsensical, yet funny one-liners. This have led me to an idea: The different kinds of inputs of the audiences due to different interpretation and opinions have created a mess in the chatroom, adding noise and glitching it.



A compilation of the different kinds of comments that adds up to the noise



The chatroom seems meaningless to look at at first due to its messiness, but when we see the comments individually, we find them as the audiences’ method of release. We see the audiences’ reactions coinciding with the meaning I drew from Roberto’s performance where glitch and cleansing goes together. In this sense, the messiness, or glitch in the chatroom is a result of us clearing our mind, and reading it is a way of getting our mind cleared.

By allowing us to comment freely in the chatroom without affecting the performance, and by drawing this relationship between the performance and the chatroom, I feel that we the audience have now unintentionally participated in the glitch performance. We are now not just audiences in a chatroom, but are part of the performance on another frame, and are thus have turned the glitch performance into a DIWO.

We can now see the Symposium as having 4 frames instead of 3, since the chatroom is also another frame of the glitch performance

I find that this parallel relationship between the audience and the performance something that only the Symposium can pull off, which cannot be present in any other performance spaces. The Symposium have thus turned communication into the performance itself. Despite the audience’s limitations that this Symposium have set, this many-to-many relationship have still brought performances to a deeper level. With this, I believe that there are still many great potential in performances that the Symposium can bring that we have yet to have a taste of, and I would like to take part in another, given the chance.

Research Critique 3: Glitch & The Art of Destruction

“For me this approach to noise or noisiness, or dirt, or dirtiness, is a way to foreground as you say, an aberrance or perversion of normative message or what we might perceive to be logical reasoning. Because there is a poetics to that obviously and people who inspired me most directly in that matter would be Netochka Nezvanova, who did this comingling of functional code with highly politicized and poetic language.” – Glitch Expectations: A Conversation with Jon Cates

The idea of noise as aberrance is obvious but at the same time, poetic in a sense. Noise, defined as a disturbance of the norm, can be compared to glitch and destruction. We deconstruct a subject through destruction; and through this abstraction, our minds go through a different thought process to create a whole new meaning to the subject. Rather than seeing destruction as vandalism or something offensive, we see through the eyes of the artist and realise that destruction is a statement.

The iconic Mona Lisa, masterpiece by Da Vinci, was chosen as a symbol of traditional art form, representing not just all the paintings that exists in history, but also and the rules and properties tied to it. We printed an image of it on paper in black-and-white pieces before being assembled together into one image.  Stripped from its colours, texture, and proper medium, this artwork is glitched intentionally. Devoid of its original meaning, the artwork is recreated as a symbol rather than to replicate the original.

In our iconoclastic performance of burning the Mona Lisa, we do not only reject traditional art rules and forms, but also releases “art” from its static medium, freeing itself from its own rigidity into a formless, seamless entity that is ever present. The resulting corpse, its ashes, is now a soulless and empty shell that flakes away. This corpse bears no resemblance to the original at all and is now just a relic of what it used to be.

The entire process of destruction — from the careful handling of the image of the Mona Lisa, to it being engulfed in flames, to the ashes it left behind — is captured in a video. By watching the video, the audience can get the idea that we are trying to convey. The new meaning of art that we have created have left the image that we burnt and enter the medium that we have recorded it in!


We see a similarity in Ant Farm’s Media Burn (1975), a performance that made an impactful statement against the influence of television and the American lifestyle. By smashing the car and television together, Ant Farm demonstrated, through destruction, the clash of the two core subjects that Americans were obsessed with at that time. The spectacle of the performance, rather than the destroyed meaningless pieces left behind, have caused awe and mass media attention which amplified its intended meaning as it have made use of the very medium that is is trying to address.

“Here noise exists within the void opposite to what (already) has a meaning. Whichever way noise is defined, the negative definition also has a positive consequence: it helps by (re)defining its opposite (the world of meaning, the norm, regulation, goodness, beauty and so on).” – Glitch Studies Manifesto

The idea of what brings meaning and what does not is in the matter of perspective. One can see positive in something negative, and thus, by shifting our perspectives to align to that of the artist, we are able to find a new meaning defined by the artwork. Similarly, the lack of imagery in the new Mona Lisa, although meaningless and ephemeral, is the product of a process that represents the new icon for art. The “corpse’s” lack of meaning is the very definition of its meaning, which is that art is finally freed, and its meaning can be everywhere.

Micro-Project 5: The Art of Destruction

Destruction of Traditional Artwork


Our group printed out black-and-white parts of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and put it up together to form a 53 by 77 cm image of Mona Lisa, which is the actual size of the original painting. The iconic Mona Lisa is a representation of all traditional form of art, and may even be the icon of Art itself. The replication of Mona Lisa is a form of destruction of its originality, where the artwork is stripped of its colours, texture, and reality. By piecing up many pieces of the Mona Lisa, we also glitched it up slightly as it now is a combination of 8 pieces of paper rather than a whole canvas.

Our artwork is a performance where we would burn this piece of “artwork” as a symbol of rebellion. It represents the destruction of the rules tied to art that have been established for many years. To burn the icon is to say that art does not have to have an image tied to it too. Art should be formless, everywhere, and most importantly, it should be free. It should be like the air surrounding us.

The performance art itself is also a destruction of the meaning of art being just a static piece of painting, as art in modern day is broadened with introduction of things like performance art and concept art. Therefore it breaks the idea that a painting should represent art itself.

By destroying the artwork, one does not only reject traditional art rules and forms, but also liberates the art from its frames, releasing itself from its own rigidity. As it turns into smoke and ashes, it leaves in its new and better form — freed, formless, and eternal, rather than being trapped in the painting.

The final outcome has a unique texture — it appears solid, but it is soft. The burnt ink also created a sepia tone to the new Mona Lisa.

The Video