Category: Internet Art & Culture

Project Hyperessay 2: Technical Realization

My project is all about playing with the space of the viewer’s screen. Three live cameras will be broadcasting different images, and composited together on Wirecast Pro to form a sort of triptych on screen. The center image will show a live image of my computer screen, which will be playing a pre-recorded video of my soccer boots against the gray backing of the classroom wall. The 2 images on either side will be broadcasting different sections (but identical looking) of the classroom wall.

The aim is to achieve a uniform look across the 3 images being broadcasted. All of them will feature the gray classroom wall, in an attempt to unify all the images to look as if it was just one image of the classroom wall. It does not seek to trick the viewer into thinking it is a single image; it just has to give the impression that it is.

The two side images will be two additional cameras, positioned facing the wall on either side of me. The camera showing up on the left side of the viewers screen will be positioned on my right hand side, and vice versa. This means that when I walk to my right, I will appear to be walking into the viewer’s screen from the left hand side, and towards the center image of my soccer boots. In these two side images, I will be walking in and out, or showing just different body parts reaching in towards the center, in a sort of attempt to interact with the soccer boots on the center image.

Using the pre-recorded video of my soccer boots as the center image, I want to portray a feeling of playfulness as the viewer tries to make sense of what I’m trying to do when I reach in or walk towards the soccer boots. I will also be ‘interacting’ with the video of my soccer boots by placing my hand in between the camera and my computer screen to create a new layer, almost as if I were doing some physical, live video editing.

The sense of playfulness will also be (hopefully) accompanied by a tension as the viewer realises that the soccer boots are not inhabiting the same physical space as I am, and the the spaces on their screen are not coherent. This tension will be the narrative of the piece, as viewers try to make sense of what is going on and the different interactions between the spaces on screen.

I hope that the element of ‘liveness’ will play its part to further interest viewers. It seems contradictory to call it a live broadcast since I’m partly using a pre-recorded video, but since I am able to interact with the video in real time, I want to propose that the value of ‘liveness’ is only psychological, and that perhaps nothing on the internet can truly be ‘live’.

Project Update

I took a few videos this week using a GoPro, trying to figure out a way to show a different perspective or perhaps a different way to represent the idea of a network. In many ways the experiments did not work, however they served to lead me on to a better idea for my project.

Below are some very short clips of the videos I took. I did not include more because I found them too headache-inducing.


Anyway, as I was thinking about how to take the videos and how to relate to the idea of a network, I started thinking of my own video double project. I was also thinking about Jaysee’s navigation project, where I felt that by focusing entirely on the Google Maps, he was literally able to make the third space his only reality.

Before watching the videos below, keep in mind that there is no video editing of any sort being done, and the viewer should imagine that this is being filmed live. Anyway, these thoughts that started bouncing around in my head somehow combined into this:

2 Layers


3 Layers

I feel that this work is kind of like an evolution of my video double project. Last week during class, I was already thinking about the idea of a network; how elements can intersect each other or the interconnectedness of things. This, combined with Jaysee’s presentation, sparked off the idea to video myself in a video. I pictured myself recording a video of a video of myself, and perhaps interacting with myself to create some form of narrative.

I find myself really fascinated by the idea of communicating/interacting with myself. Even though I know it’s not real, it engages me in a strange way. I think that the nature of my idea strongly echoes and is perhaps very much influenced by that of Paul Sermon’s “Telematic Dreaming” and Annie Abraham’s “The Big Kiss”.

Some part of this idea also stemmed from our ‘Collective Body’ project, from seeing all the different body parts combine together. I initially wanted to only show different body parts, and maybe showing my face at the end, to sort of “conclude” the performance.

I think that I want to continue in this direction, and perhaps experiment with creating more ‘layers’ of video. I hope that there is some way of creating a relatable narrative in the context of ‘inhabiting’ different spaces, but at the same time.

Project Hyperessay 1 update


This project started out focusing on soccer boots, and below is a short experiment I filmed to see if I could get more ideas of what to do for the final broadcast.


This experiment involved me filming my soccer teammates during a training session. After editing and reviewing the footage, I realized that by focusing solely on the soccer boots, my teammates were essentially stripped of their identity. Because of this, I found myself unintentionally assigning various characteristics to the different boots in the video. This anonymous nature of my teammates led me to think about similar works we studied involving collaboration, such as Douglas Davis’ “The World’s First Collaborative Sentence”. 

After discussion with Randall, I managed to draw plenty of parallels between soccer and the way people work online. The Collective Artwork already highlighted a few works which involved people coming together to create or perform a work of art. In the same way, soccer requires each team member to understand their role and function together towards a single objective.

My broadcast will essentially be a live ‘game’ of soccer. Just like the video experiment, the whole video will only feature images of the soccer boots. However, I also intend to blindfold some or all of my teammates, thus forcing them to rely more on verbal communication. I think that this would allow viewers of the broadcast to listen to their thoughts as well as allowing the players to heighten their other senses to focus on their awareness of their surroundings.

By focusing entirely on the soccer boots, I want to evoke the sense of anonymity akin to that seen in Hasan Elahi’s “Tracking Transcience 2.0”. My broadcast will be like a webcam into the the game of soccer, to “open digital windows onto real scenes within the far-flung geographies of the Internet”, as Thomas Campanella argues in Webcams: The Subversion of Surveillance (p447).

Overall, what I hope to achieve with this work is to delve deeper into soccer than just the game, but furthermore explore the dynamic relationships between the players.

Project Hyperessay 1

I have experienced several conflicting thoughts when thinking about this project. Firstly, just like during my experience with Periscope, I feel a rather overwhelming responsibility as a creator to broadcast something that will appeal to the majority. I know that this is not possible, but I just get the feeling that my ideas are not good enough to create a broadcast that people will want to watch. In addition to this, I have also spent a considerable time trying to think of ways in which people can interact/respond to my broadcast. As of now, I feel that I do not have a very solid and cohesive idea, but rather several disparate ideas which, if I could somehow combine them, might be a good project idea. I will share these ideas and my thoughts/doubts below.

My current idea is to do a review about the soccer boot. However, this review would not just simply be me talking about the boot. The twist is that there would also be subtitles, but they would not reflect exactly what I was saying. Rather, they would act as my thoughts or the ‘truth’. I felt that with the right script, I could make this into a rather entertaining, maybe funny and a not-so-typical review of a soccer boot.  However, I could not think of a way to better utilize the third space to allow for viewer interaction.

As a solution, I thought about allowing viewers to access the raw footage used to create my review. In this way, they could remix my video and create their own review, without having the need to have the boot itself. In this way, perhaps there could eventually be a playlist of reviews about the same boot, creating a sort of collaborative review. Another alternative is that users can simply use the video clips to extend my video, thus also creating a collaborative review. This idea of collaboration is, of course, inspired by Douglas Davis’ “The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence”. I feel that this also allows people to feel some sense of ownership of the boot and that by making my videos available for everyone also highlights the benefits of open source.

I also have an alternative solution to get people to participate in my project. The idea is to use the hashtag #UltimateSoccerBoot on Instagram to allow people to create collages of photos that represent their ideal soccer boot. Using the hashtag, I would first post photos of elements of soccer boots to create a database of elements that people can handpick from to ‘create’ their ideal soccer boot. However, I don’t have a good idea about what material I can broadcast following this idea.

Another separate idea that I was toying with is the idea of being blindfolded in front of the camera. This thought came about when I was thinking about Jennifer Ringley’s “Jennicam” and the notion that although the audience is aware of the presence of her, she is totally unaware of them. I feel that being blindfolded and perhaps performing some kind of action will serve to highlight this idea. Once again, though, I feel that there is not much room to allow for viewer interaction.

The last thought I want to share is inspired by the ‘Exquisite Corpse’ exercise we studied and tried out in class. Using the auto-complete feature of Google, I could essentially write a whole story just by typing the first part of the sentence into Google and choosing one of the auto-complete options. I like this idea because I feel that it ties in closely with the ideas of Glitch and random chance composition. I think it could perhaps also allow for viewer participation to create a collaborative story. However, in regards to broadcasting a video about this, I feel that it wouldn’t be particularly interesting.

Overall, I think that I’m still having some trouble trying to figure out what exactly will work for this project.

Research Critique: Hasan Elahi – Tracking Transience 2.0

In this work, Elahi presents us with a website initially showing us his exact whereabouts through the use of GPS tracking on the bottom half of the page and a photo on the top half.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.43.04 AM

As we can see from this screenshot, the GPS map also includes the day, date, year, time and time zone. The photo is more ambiguous; we can only assume due its relation to the GPS map that it has been taken at the same time and place.

The context of this work is a reaction of the artist to being monitored by the FBI as a suspected terrorist. He was actually stopped at the airport and interrogated.

“To prove his whereabouts, Elahi showed them his Palm PDA, a device that yielded enough information — from calendar notes of appointments and classes he teaches at Rutgers University — to placate his interrogators.

But shaking off the feds would not be easy. In the months after the first round of questioning, the FBI subjected Elahi to more interviews and to a lie-detector test.” – Dawson, J. 2007, May 12. The Washington Post.

Elahi thus began documenting his actions and locations to track himself; in this way he is creating alibis for himself and by publicly posting this information, mocks the FBI’s efforts to trace him. Elahi himself said, “”I’ve decided that if the government wants to monitor me that’s fine. But I could do a much better job monitoring myself than anyone else.”

The website then refreshes and an image now appears on screen. I noticed that there are different variations to these images, as shown in the screenshots below:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.45.34 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.45.54 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.46.19 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.51.25 AM

Most of the time, an image simply appears with no text at all. However, in some cases there is a time/date/location or other information. The images constantly refresh and change, and clicking on an image causes the page to load a whole grid of images:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.45.45 AM

I believe that the images have been tagged in some way, because sometimes the images shown have very similar subject matter, such as this:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.46.27 AM

However, due to the ambiguous method of navigating the website, I could not find a consistent way to find a set of photo or a single photo of a particular subject, for example food.

As a reactionary piece of work, I think that the artist has conceptually outwitted his perpetrators. The use of GPS location mapping and his meticulous recording of his daily activities serve to negate the intentions of the government in tracking him. The simple and clean presentation of the website also credits the artists’ aesthetics. In fact, every individual photo gives a sense of candidness; they are not staged or presented in a particular manner, they represent the nature of ‘documentary realism’ (Dixon, S. 2007. “Webcams: The subversion of Surveillance”, p 443, Digital Performance, 2007)

However, I also feel that the artist has left some gaps that makes the work a bit too flimsy. For one, there is no way for us to know whether the GPS is tracking him, or whether the photos are taken by him. In essence, what is crucially missing in the work is the presence of the artist himself. He could also, for example, take many photos of the same place and simply upload them on different days. Another issue with his execution of the piece is the lack of information provided. As I mentioned above, not all the photos come with the date/time/location which leave some doubt. The work gives a sense of ‘liveness’, but it is not ‘live’.

I assume that the artist has deliberately left some aspects of the work ambiguous, because after all the work itself is questioning the ambiguous nature of the FBI’s tracking methods and hows and whys they suspected him as a terrorist. This work then invites us to question him; is he telling us the whole story or just what he wants us to see?

Final Project Update 2

For my final project update, I’ve been taking photos of my soccer boots and posting them on Instagram together with a few sentences to try and build some kind of narrative. As I was doing that, I’ve also been thinking of how this can relate to the internet and how I can turn this small photo project into my final project. Below are some examples of my photos, and you can see them all here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.48.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 11.31.15 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 11.32.38 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 11.32.56 AM

With this in mind, I thought of a way to incorporate these elements in relation to how the internet works. One issue I noted is that even though I would source for many boot reviews before I decided whether or not to buy one, I’d notice that every reviewer would give his own personal opinion regarding that boot, and in some cases where the reviewer is sponsored, I wouldn’t be too sure whether it was an honest opinion.

I think that this issue of honesty/genuinity is something that is prevalent throughout the networked space. After all, there is little or no way for us as individuals to hold these people accountable for what they say or do; rather it is up to us to decide who we want to believe or put our trust in.

My train of thought at this moment is that I could do a video of myself reviewing one of my soccer boots. This review will include a detailed explanation of all the technical information and specifics regarding this boot, as well as my own personal opinion. It will involve a voiceover together with subtitles. However, the subtitles will not reflect the words of the voiceover. I intend for the voiceover to vocalize a very positive review of the boot, while the subtitles tell a very different – and negative – aspect of the shoe. In this way the viewer is contradicted as he is confronted with two different opinions at the same time (yet both opinions are legitimate and have to be logical).

I think it would be a very interesting video, one that might come across as confusing and contradictory, but I think that it would be a pretty accurate reflection of my own personal experiences with the internet with regards to this issue.

Final Project Update 1

My idea for my final project is to do a live review of a soccer shoe. The problem is that there are already many videos on YouTube that provide comprehensive reviews about soccer shoes. It’s pretty much advertising the product and explaining its features for people who are considering whether or not to buy the shoe. What I want to do is to think of a way to provide a new experience for viewers.

Some of my ideas include:

  • Engaging viewers to ask me specific questions about the shoe so as to create the most in-depth review ever. For example, they can ask me about the measurement of my shoe to see whether it will fit them. Most shoes only provide generic sizes and not actual measurements for the shoe.
  • Doing ‘tests’ of the shoe, such as bending it at different points or different directions. I also had an idea of videoing the effect of dropping a tennis ball onto the shoe to see how much rebound/cushion effect the shoe has.

That’s all that I have so far. Appreciate any ideas or suggestions 🙂

Micro-project: Glitched Abberations

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.09.50 AM

This is the original picture I used – a screenshot of my Google homepage. I thought it would be interesting to scramble up the ‘code’ of a website.


First glitch (opened with Preview)


Second glitch (opened with Preview)


Third glitch (opened with Preview)

I made 3 versions of glitched images, each one building upon the previous one. For some reason, all 3 images looked different when I opened them on Preview or on Photoshop. I have no idea why, but its pretty interesting anyway. I think each program reads the scrambled code differently and interprets it differently, which simply illustrates the various inner workings of different programs.

First glitch (opened with Photoshop)

First glitch (opened with Photoshop)

Second glitch (opened with Photoshop)

Second glitch (opened with Photoshop)

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.09.50 AM copy 3

Third glitch (opened with Photoshop)

My process was simple; I simply cut and pasted chunks of code for the first and second images. For the third one, I did some copy and pasting to duplicate segments of the code to see what would happen.

Personally, I like how the second (the really red one) picture came out. There are still some visible, fuzzy kind of shapes and the redness of it is just amazing.

Research Critique: Rosa Menkman – “The Collapse of PAL”

“His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the Angel of history.” – Walter Benjamin, Ninth Thesis on the Philosophy of History

Rosa Menkman in her work “The Collapse of PAL” shows us the Angel of History (as described by Walter Benjamin) reflecting on the PAL signal and its termination. This audio-visual performance presents to us a cold, jagged visualization of the silent termination of the PAL signal in favor of the DVB signal.
[vimeo 12199201 w=500 h=375]

The Collapse of PAL from Rosa Menkman on Vimeo.

The above video is the  “Render of part one of the Collapse of PAL (Eulogy, Obsequies and Requiem for the blue plains of phosphor).” The title is rather abstract to me, but I guess that this is just an excerpt and the original video is 30 minutes long. I did, however, find a performance version on Youtube:

The performance (and the video) plays out a narrative, using Walter Benjamin’s description of the Angel of History to verbalize the thoughts of the Angel about the PAL signal. The nature of the Angel is such that it wants to save the PAL signal, to preserve it, but progress in the form of a storm is too strong for the Angel to fight against. Hence the PAL signal is simply rendered obsolete, left behind in the landscape of the past.

Menkman continues describing the narrative on her blog, saying

“However, the Angel of History has to conclude that while the PAL signal might be argued death, it still exists as a trace left upon the new, “better” digital technologies. PAL can, even though the technology is terminated, be found here, as a historical form that newer technologies build upon, inherit or have appropriated from. Besides this, the Angel also realizes that the new DVB signal that has been chosen over PAL, is different but at the same time also inherently flawed.”

I enjoy how the narrative is continuously moving together with the landscapes on the screen. It’s as if we were being taken on some kind of time-travelling journey, moving through the years with the Angel as we contemplate the history of PAL.

I think that the entire performance comes together very cohesively to create a chilling and rather nostalgic piece of work. Something I particularly liked (even though Menkman admitted to making some mistakes) were the typos made during the performance. I’m not sure whether they were deliberate – I initially thought they were – until I read her description below the Youtube video. However, these mistakes just seemed to echo the “inherent flaws” of the PAL and DVB signals. They also served to create more suspense during the piece.

Another aspect is the sounds used during the video; the build-up in the beginning sets the cold tone of the video, and it is pierced with sharp screeches and deep, mysterious booms. Throughout the performance there is also always some buzzy fuzzy background noise which I feel adds more to the suspenseful aspect of the work.

I also liked how Menkman used two screens in her performance to compare PAL and DVB. The glitching was really similar for much of the performance, but eventually the PAL screen was almost unreadable.

Overall, there were many aspects of the work which captivated me. I particularly enjoyed the narrative and the sounds. I think that the work serves to show us the relentless advancement of technologies, each building upon the ruins of the previous ones. It made me think of the number of times I myself have witnessed the destruction of older technology, yet completely disregarded it because I was so focused on the new-ness and novelty of the new technology,

Pirate Broadcast II: Periscope

Screenshots of Hall Cooking

Screenshots of Hall Cooking

So I decided to broadcast a live show of me cooking lunch in my hall room.

Lunch menu: Onion, tomato & pepper stir-fried chicken, kailan, hard-boiled egg and bread.

Initially I found it hard to hold the phone and cook at the same time, so after painstakingly taking a couple of screenshots, I took a few minutes to find a place where I could mount my phone and show me cooking. It felt weird, knowing that people were just watching you cook. It felt weird because it felt like an intrusion, but at the same time they had been invited to watch, so it isn’t actually an intrusion.

However, after a while I began to feel responsible for putting on a good show for them; after all, they were my audience and they were giving me their own personal time.

After I ended my broadcast, I decided to explore other people’s broadcasts. Here is one screenshot that I took:QuickMemo+_2015-09-16-12-48-55

The feeling this time was very different; I felt curious, intrigued at what people were broadcasting. It seems to me that either the sharing culture is very different overseas or that people are simply much more outspoken online than in real life. I noticed that people will comment on a wide variety of things. For example, one post was titled “Making breakfast”, and people were asking whats for breakfast, or commenting on the different foodstuffs that the broadcaster was showing. I felt like rather voyeuristic, somewhat like a peeping tom. However, I think that it’s great that people are able to feel comfortable talking to complete strangers and perhaps after using these social apps long enough, I too will feel comfortable in other stranger’s shared spaces.