“Virtual embrace in the third space” is a concept in which two or more persons, who are in different spaces and locations, are to be placed together in a virtual, digital space. Their interaction in the digital space seems real. However, without the limitation of physical bodies and space, that interaction can be in the form of something impossible to be done in real life. Hence, “Virtual embrace in the third space” makes what is impossible tangible and seemingly real. However, the virtuality of the interaction should not be taken lightly, because it may evoke feelings in the audience; just like what Susan Kozel said, “seeing is feeling.” And I would like to let the audience see and feel “The Touch of Destruction.”
Seeing is Feeling
What if a single touch could destroy you? What if, simply two hands could confine and bar you?
In the first part of the performance, I vision one dancer, in grey or ashy blue robe, to be fully on the screen (half or full body) and surrounded by two big hands (much bigger in scale compared to the dancer). Those hands would confine the dancer, not allowing the dancer to free himself from being on the screen, and then they would disturb him. Different fingers ‘touch’ the dancer, and lights on his costume would turn on; the dancer would move in a way that he struggles with his surroundings, and in pain. Then when the two hands are being put together and ‘crush’ the dancer, a glitch on the screen would appear. Dramatic sound effect (e.g. war music) would accompany this part. It ends with the dancer laying on the ground, exhausted.
However, it would not end there.
What if a single touch from the tiniest person, could destroy the giant? What if, you are actually stronger than you think?
For the second part, I imagine it to start with glitches, and a different dancer, dressed in white long dress, would be at the place where the first dancer was laying down. The dancer would fight the big hands which are surrounding them. He would still be crushed, but not getting exhausted. More lights are turned on as he move faster, stretching his body and limbs to different direction. Eventually, the hands will retreat, but one (or more) big face(s) would appear from the centre, going to swallow the white dancer. However, with all his might and endeavour, he is finally able to defeat the evil ‘giant’. The whole second part would be accompanied by victorious war sound effect.
The whole performance would end with the grey and the white dancer to be in the same space, dancing a slow contemporary choreography. The grey would dance at lower level than the white one, and at times they would collide and pass through each other. Towards the very end, both of them will merge as one, face the audience, and glitch will appear.
The story behind this idea is about the pessimistic and optimistic sides of human. Sometimes, we let what is not real (worry about the future, negative thoughts) to destroy us and our present. However, sometimes, we have the gut to face what seems to be impossible to conquer, but emerge victorious in the end. The lesson is what is tangible (size of a person, the achievements, the grades, the past experiences, etc.) does not always determine our ability at the moment. Think positively and do not shrink – that is what we should do when we face a bigger enemy or rival. In the end, nothing is impossible, both in real life and virtual space.
What is Chinese tomb art?
- Definition of tomb art.
- What is tomb art in Chinese culture, hence what makes chinese tomb art different from other culture’s tomb art.
- The purpose of tomb art for Chinese: religious, social, personal functions.
Compare two bronzes from the Shang dynasty.
- Form of tomb art during the Shang dynasty: bronzes.
- Types of bronzes found.
- Brief information on Royal tombs and their burial items as well as commoners’ tombs and their items.
- (More detailed) Hence, comparing two bronzes found from Lady Hao tomb (royal tomb) and a commoner/person of a non-royal blood’s tomb.
- The differences
- The similarities
- Claim: The importance of Shang funeral bronzes is more inclined towards differentiating social status rather than religious purposes.
What I understand from reading the website and watching the video performance is this dance is about her mother’s experience in a forced migration back in China during the Cold War. There were moments when she was not allowed to cry nor make noise; the tension when the rescue plane came; the moment she had to jump to the snow. The background noise somehow similar to the sound of plane engine from afar, and that adds even more vivid atmosphere about the whole chaos in the neighborhood. Personal narrative has helped me understand the language of the movements, hence gives meaning to the whole artwork. For e.g. when the mother was told ‘not to make any noise’, her lower arm ‘rubbed’ the mouth and the head shakes a ‘no’. The question that I want to ask is: why did you use flour? What does it represent?
What I understand is in this performance, Angeline tried to show how she lives her life without her father: she lives like her father was present even though he is actually absent. The empty male clothing she put on the floor, I think, is the ‘father’, whose possessions were in the house but he himself was not there. Angeline even bowed to the direction of where the clothing is, like bowing out of respect to her father. Then, activities like rolling the bamboo and taking the wooden bowl were like parts of chores Angeline did in his father absence and presence. The sound of bamboo leaves rubbing each other gives the impression and atmosphere of a house surrounded by bamboo. Probably, this is a house in China in the past, when the country was still bamboo forest. The personal narrative, again, gives meaning to the whole art, and make it personal. The question is, why is it titled “Bamboo Curtain”?
The Dream Journals
18/2/2016 The Rehearsal
- 7-8 of us, with fellow friends.
- An acting class, a rehearsal for the upcoming musical
- One of the friends, hardly came to the rehearsal in real life, but he was present in my dream’s rehearsal.
- I was wearing white tee
This dream was dreamed on the day I had the acting rehearsal. I brought it to my dream with additional people.
20/2/2016 A Good Dream
- I laughed
- I had a meal with about 3 persons, but talked only to one person.
- It was bright, a golden hour, I guess.
- The sunset ray shined on me
- After that, we rode on something, I think it’s a bicycle.
- Hiding under the bed
- Being chased by mummies
- Orange wall
- Pink and green bedsheet
- Cannot cry, just scared
- The zombies/ mummy didn’t know I was under the bed.
This dream was a childhood dream that I still remember until now, probably because this is horrifying for a 7 years old girl and I dreamed it after watching The Mummy.
- A deceased friend of mine appeared in my dream, two weeks after his ‘departure’
- It was dark, then a light lightened the view of my side
- I saw a big tree, which looked easy for us to climb
He said, ‘be Zechariah, Feli.’
I asked, ‘why? is it for a play?’
He answered, ‘just be Zechariah.’
- And I woke up.
Yeap, the friend of mine passed away that year.
Something is Coming
So, in this piece, I am trying to convey the feeling of shocked and afraid because I hear something is coming. I am jolted awake as I hear the voice, but I don’t know where I am. I was asleep but when I wake up, I’m inside a ‘box’. I’m trying to get out of that ‘box’ but I can’t. Inspired from my Mummy dream, the position of my dance is at low level, just like as I am under a bed. Then, the terrifying thing which is approaching might be mummies or zombies as well. I somehow laying flat on the ground at the end of the choreography, because suddenly the ‘box’ shakes and I slip from my sitting position. For the sound effect, I use Inception’s sound effect.
Monkey at The Rehearsal
This is inspired from The Rehearsal dream journal. So, in this story, the acting rehearsal takes place in a new location. I am so amazed and want to explore, touch, feel, everything I see there. However, the coach scolds me for being not ready for warming up. So, I start doing the facial exercises (just like the icons I drew above), but I become bored and start disturbing my other friends as well as touching the stuffs at the new location. My coach saw me being mischievous, and she scolds me. And I frown, afraid and sad. Here, I want to portray my mischievous side, and create a fun choreography with fun sound. I use Doraemon instrumental soundtrack.
Eiko & Koma, My Parents
In this choreography, the movements are explained with a voice over/narration: it depicts the life of both Eiko and Koma, who seek social change and self-aspiration by being dancers. In their gestures and movements, they always stick together and move in response to one another: as the female rotated her body, the head of the male followed; as one of the hand hit, the hand of the other partner hit as well. Such glued togetherness might be used to show how the two merged as one, as dancer and the love in life, because they said “to be with someone before they die might be a good thing.” There are a lot of body and limbs twisting. Most of the motions are excruciatingly slow, accompanied by traditional Japanese instrumental sound. In my opinion, the dynamism of the whole performance lies not in the choreography, but in the video as a whole. The choreography shows not much changes in position and speed, but the moving video/images are the source of speed and movement variations.
Opinion about Eiko & Koma
They are really experimental in their artwork and it has a lot of deep meaning in their concepts for e.g. the trees (?) live and grow on the ground and die on the ground, hence their movements are flat on the floor. However, in this video (part 1), about 60-70% of the narrative is explained not through dance but videos and voice over. Maybe, the amount of those other ‘ingredients’ can be reduced and let the dance speaks for itself. In addition, maybe more variation in movements, speed, sound and positions, may create a better performance. Overall, it is unique and one of a kind.
In contrast to Eiko&Koma’s performance, this dance is much more fast-paced with a lot of variation in speed, sound, movement, and even props. The whole video performance is divided into three parts: the bedroom scene, the dance in a ‘box’, and dancing in a dress attached to the floor. It plays around with angles, creating the illusion of ‘anti-gravity’ (or all direction have their own gravity). The variation in camera panning adds suspense and surprises to the whole experience watching the video. Hence, the dynamism in this performance is really strong. There is a lyrical music towards the end of the video. However, there is no explanation about the whole thing.
Opinion about Motion Control
When it comes to meaning, My Parents, I think, has deeper meaning than Motion Control. I do not really get the message of Motion Control but I think it is about dream (?). However, I am totally entertained by the cool body gestures and movement, and how the different sounds can be matched with the gestures (even to the smallest gestures like finger movement!). Screeching sound, for example, actually causes simple body movement ‘sound’ unrealistic (you move your waist and you hear a screeching car? that’s awesome). Moreover, the ‘anti-gravity’ effect by rotating the ‘screen/box’ is a real jaw-dropper. The dance in the red dress, when the screen is upside-down, looks like she is standing on the ceiling perfectly. This performance, in my opinion, is an excellent example of using ‘the box’ to create variation and awesomeness.
About RIOT by Mark Napier
Riot is an alternative browser that crosses the virtual boundaries in the web: it breaks software-based rules of Internet domains and blends web pages together as users surf from site to site. For e.g., Playboy.com blends with whitehouse.gov, CNN.com with NPR.org. Images from different websites are mixed together into the live browser for audience to see on their screen. The images were mixed randomly. Just like its name, Riot disrupts those rules and is unconventional.
“When the mixtures of banner ads, government reports and personal declarations are taken as a jumbled whole, meaning falls apart. More becomes less” – The San Francisco Gate, Glen Helfand, July 22,1999
This artwork is about the line where human nature meets technology. Internet domain supposed to be rigid, defined by hardware and software, data and instructions. However, human can recycle those information to make something new in infinite possible ways. This artwork is against ownership, copyright and branding. (more)
About Mark Napier
He is an early adopter of the web, and work as web developer for startups such as Kaarme.com and Loan Pricing Corporation. He is also recognized as a pioneer in digital art and included in the Whitney Biennial in 2002. He taught 3D graphics programming at ITP in NYU.
Critique and Opinion
Rosa Menkman once visited the World Wide Wrong exhibition, and her experience about glitch…
“However, the work that made the biggest impression on me, UNTITLED GAME (1996-2001), which was a modification of the videogame QUAKE1, seemed the most incomprehensible. I could only understand it as irrational and void of meaning, and so I walked away from it, confused and titillated. In hindsight, I learned about myself in that moment – about my expectations and conceptions of how a videogame should work. The strange game seemed only to return me to my perspectives and expectations around the medium that it was failing to be. “
She thought the glitch art that she saw was weird, but at the end of the day, she found glitch art to be thought-provoking. The same experience happened to me as I read about RIOT by Mark Napier. The visual result of the alternative website is not bad, actually. It is interesting, but at first, what I was thinking was, “so, what?”.
Then after more research and reading different sources, I came to the conclusion that this RIOT is for us, the audience, to experience ‘digital riot’. It is also funny to imagine the elements from two entirely different sites such as Playboy.com and whitehouse.gov to be on the same page – it is like a self-created irony or a mock to both websites.
The fact that RIOT is not simply a static glitch art but an interactive glitch art amazes me. It is not just the technical skill of Mark Napier that caused my jaw to drop (create a website that combine websites in a website…how did he do that…) but also the intention as well as the deeper meaning of the art. Moreover, RIOT also serves as “glitch art generator” too for those who accessed the website. Isn’t that utterly cool?
I don’t think glitch art is popular enough these days (that was I observe from my surroundings). Hence, glitch art has to be explored more and to be made more popular. Just like Rosa Menkman said, “focusing on the glitch…makes it possible to think through some of the more interesting political and social uses of the glitch within the field of digital art.”
It is definitely true that “a glitch…is not always strictly a result of a technical malfuntion.”
At first, It was so hard to make it entirely different from the original image. What happened was some parts of the picture moved or were copied to the other parts of the image. There were no change in color or pattern whatsoever. After some times, finally, the color changed!!!! Rejoice rejoice! So what I did was copying a big chunk of text, then put in inside that highlighted big chunk of text that I copied. So the copied text is inside the original text itself and TADDAH the color changed. Yeah.
Using Image Glitch Tool
When I was frustrated yeah I did try using this online software. The results were even more awesome! I should try the TextEdit more to get the results as good as this tool.