Who Are You?

I feel like there is just so much to say regarding our digital identity because it is something so relevant to us right now in this time and age. We all hide behind social media platforms with an identity that we put forth on the web for everyone all around the world to see.

If we choose how we present ourselves, and we choose who we present ourselves to, don’t we risk just falling into a collective just-so-story about who we are and what we ought to believe? This is why so many of the chapters to follow are about authenticity in various forms—authentic selves, authentic relationships, and authentic communities.

D.E. Wittkower (A Reply to Facebook Critics)

How do we truly know someone if all we might know of them is only a part of them that they choose to show? What is worse is that the part that they show might not even be close to who they are because that is just how free we are on online platforms, we have the power to decide whatever we show!

In Carla Gannis’s work ‘Until the End of the World’, she questions about the hybrid nature of identity, of how our identity online and offline intersect in this time and age. The creation of the video was inspired by a film by Wim Wenders where a woman is addicted to watching her dreams in a small handheld device, hence Carla Gannis converts it to be more applicable to the current age to discuss about the digital identity politic issues. In the video, imagery of the mobile phones can be seen and there is some sort of narration that goes on in the background to narrate the changes as time passes from year 4545 to 5555 to 6565 and so on.

screenshot of the video from Carla Gannis
Source: http://carlagannis.com/blog/prints/until-the-end-of-the-world/

There was this particular scene which I felt was quite thought-provoking to me. The phones are buried on the ground and it resembled tombs on a cemetery and I wondered if this was meant to convey the message that we are all trying to portray a certain side of us online that we bring it to our ‘deathbeds’ because that is how we want people to remember us as. Then again, this is just something that came across my mind haha!

DIWO

I’ve heard of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) so many times unlike DIWO (Do-It-With-Others), so when I was first introduced to the concept of DIWO, it seemed like something almost impossible to achieve. Imagine a huge group of people contributing their ideas all at once, I can only picture a chaotic mess. However, I was given the opportunity to look into Furtherfield, which changed my mindset entirely. Furtherfield is a non-profit organisation started by Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow, whereby they create an online platform for individuals all around the world to work together to create something extraordinary. Unlike the DIY culture that focuses solely on the individual, DIWO stresses on the importance and significance of collaboration and sharing amongst different creatives. Making use of free and open software technology, they create a platform to expand one’s creativity by establishing connections with others.

Due to the introduction of open source technology, artists are able to better themselves and their works through a more elaborate research in collaboration with other artists.

-Randell Packer, IEEE POTENTIALS’s article

As I’ve mentioned before about open source, DIWO also shows relation to that. Rather than working alone, artists are able to discuss concepts with others and go through the process with others.

Screenshot of my social broadcasting video Source: My social broadcasting video

Going back to the first ever micro-project that we did, it shows how we can make use of the third space to converse with other people who may not be physically with us, hightlighting the possibility of interaction between individuals at different locations and different timezone.

From Telematic Embrace micro-project
Source: Taken from my phone

Bringing back some concepts from our micro-projects which I thought were appropriate to this idea of DIWO, similar to the telematic embrace project, DIWO provides a sense of intimacy and hence encourages the sharing and negotiation between users to create a piece of work with their collaborative efforts. DIWO allows effective communication amongst different parties, raising their awareness towards others.

Hello World installation
Source: http://christopherbaker.net/projects/helloworld/
Screenshot of the flickr group uploads
Source: OSS
Screenshot of the adobe connect with Marc Garrett
Source: https://vimeo.com/255880481

Although I was unable to attend the adobe connect on the actual day, I did look through the recorded video and found some points mentioned by guest Marc Garrett which I thought was extremely familiar and relatable. Quoting from Marc Garrett, he mentioned that DIWO is a “collective experience” and that it becomes a challenge of working with others, rather than only about ourselves. Individuals are also given the freedom to explore. These pushes an outcome of “Art for a better society” as mentioned by Randall Packer, allowing artists to venture outside their comfort zone and explore with different materials to create something new unlike their usual style, making full use of the advantage of working with others. The collaborative effort will in turn allow them to create outstanding unique pieces of work like the plantoids with BlockChain, as mentioned by Marc Garrett.

Plantoid, a Blockchain technology where different plants are created due to a combination of different interactions by different people
Source: http://okhaos.com/plantoids/

 

 

Hello World!

A photo of the installation piece
Source: http://christopherbaker.net/projects/helloworld/

Hello World! is a work by artist Christopher Baker where he compiles over 5000 videos of different individuals speaking to an imagined audience from their private spaces onto a single screen as an installation to talk about participative media and the human desire to be heard. He is inspired by the interconnectivity present in our world today, where we might be alone in our own spaces but yet we can be together on this online platform. The viewers can either listen in to each speaker or just be immersed in the cacophony.

The artist wants to discuss about how technology created the existence of social media platforms which functions as a medium for people to share their views with the world, while expressing concerns as to if this ‘third space’ is really providing a suitable platform for them to actually be heard. He wants to focus on the concept of a third space and how it gives people the idea of their presence being noticed. The individuals in the videos continue sharing their opinions with the idea that there are people paying attention to them. However, this makes the third space of the social networking platform seem very one-sided in a sense that although individuals are given the opportunity to share their opinions, their opinions are not essentially heard by everyone else. This brings to a discussion as to if these platforms are social if they do not effectively provide a response to all the opinions voiced out.

Installation in the gallery
Source: http://christopherbaker.net/projects/helloworld/
The entire work in the gallery, one can imagine how chaotic it must be to hear each individual with their own opinions
Source: http://www.strozzina.org/identitavirtuali/e_baker.php

Grand Theft Avatar?

The moment I received this assignment, I went ahead to watch the video Grand Theft Avatar by Second Front. To be honest, I was completely lost in the video because I could not understand what was going on in the video. Upon researching and re-watching the video a couple of times, I think I am able to gain a better understanding and appreciation towards the work. The video Grand Theft Avatar was a work created by this group called Second Front, which uses the software of a game called Second Life to create life in this virtual world. In the video, the characters mimicked members from the ‘From Cinema to Machinima’ panel, robbed the ‘Lynden Treasury’ then freed the money and left on hydrogen bombs.

Second Front freeing the lynden currency
Source: Grand Theft Avatar video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoHctMuI_HU

Second Front wanted to explore the virtual reality of the third space and this work was an experimentation by Scott Kildall to produce a work using the Second Life software as an emerging cinematic form. I feel like in a sense it is quite interesting as the work showed the possibility of a creation of a space where different people from all around the world are able to interact online. At the same time, it also opens up a world where everything is literally possible, such as the scene where the characters sat on hydrogen bombs.

Virtual identity of Scott Kildall on a hydrogen bomb
Source: Grand Theft Avatar video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoHctMuI_HU

The third space is a multifarious web of connections for all who inhabit and explore and share its dimensions.

-Randall Packer, The Third Space

This proves that there are no restrictions to this third space and everything nonsensical can be explored, unlike having rules in the real world to hold us down, providing the experience of a tangible virtual world.

Open Source Culture Summary

Let’s talk about open source! Source: http://geezam.com/linux-open-source-technologies-benefits-jamaica/

The concept of open source is a relatively new concept which was a remarkable change away from the traditional methods of creative world production. The introduction of open source gave way to much more brand new possibilities that were not explored given the traditional medium and way of sharing. Open source allows and promotes the interaction from people all around the world to alter or to make up a piece of artwork to give the work another level of depth and creativity. From the IEEE POTENTIALS’s article by Randall Packer, he mentioned that due to the introduction of open source, artists are also able to better themselves and their works through a more elaborate research in collaboration with other artists. In relation to production, works are not necessary about making money through it but more of a social process to actually encourage social interaction with others to view and evaluate to improve the work. It becomes like a platform which appears to be a blank canvas and everyone will be able to work on it collectively, producing something so unique like a shared masterpiece.

Several people can come together to generate ideas for a work Source: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/teamwork-foundations

However, from the essay on Open Source as Culture/Culture as Open Source by Siva Vaidhyanathan, he mentioned about some issues caused by the concept of open source, one of them being the copyright issue. Copyright was meant to help to stimulate creativity by limiting the rights but now with the rise of open source, it seems like it would be harder to enforce copyrights for just a single individual for a piece of work.

Risk of stealing of ideas Source: http://www.howdesign.com/design-business/business-issues/intellectual-property-copyright-issues/

Micro-Project #2: Tele-Stroll

Posted by Jasmine Foo on Tuesday, 23 January 2018

For our Tele-Stroll, Me and Nadiah thought that we could film our livestream at two different locations that is very relevant to us in our daily lives now, in hall for me and at home for her respectively. We thought that we could use this to show the differences in our lifestyles since I stay in hall while she does not. We also thought maybe we could use this to compare how one may constantly reminisce their childhood even as we age.

In our video, we discussed to synchronise our moves, however replacing it with different objects to suit the context. I would be representing the outer appearance of a person, the more matured side who has to deal with work and is constantly stressed out. On the other hand (or other side of the screen), Nadiah represents the inner child in us, of how we secretly still have that immature side of us that we miss as we grow older and carry more and more responsibilities. We tried to synchronise from the start, closing of a laptop on my side of the screen as she closes a children’s book. We then continued the half body method to carry out other actions such as packing our things, wearing our shoes and walking out. We also tried to synchronise our eye direction when the camera pans to our face, however we later discovered that it would be quite hard to do especially since the cameras might face some technical issues and lag behind. We tried to do the synchronisation by communicating beforehand about actions we will do to prompt a change since it was relatively hard to calculate the exact timing of our different locations.

Although there were some technical issues here and there which made the synchronisation kind of off, I appreciate and was able to see the beauty in this realm of a third space where me and my partner were able to connect spiritually without actually talking if we actually communicated beforehand. It amazes me how two or more people can actually be literally at extreme corners of the world and yet still be able to connect via their phone due to the introduction of technology. Isn’t it amazing?