Desktop Mise-en-scene: Facebook Live

We were tasked to do a 10-min desktop mise-en-scene:

For my desktop live, I switched around with music tabs and my natural desktop activities, but mainly played another live stream from Sweden, as I wanted to experiment with a live within a live. The lag time was doubled; from Sweden to my computer and then to Facebook. It was interesting how there were webcam overlays and desktop streaming from two different people and computers, altogether in one screen (even if the other person doesn’t know about it). While there wasn’t much feedback in my stream, I thought about the possible audio feedback that could be produced through linking several computers. As I watched the playback of my stream, I also thought about the possible interactions between me and the other party, and got reminded of the video we watched in class, of two people synchronising their movements through time lag.

One of the differences between desktop streaming and live experiences from the previous weeks (apart from the desktop aspect), was that I couldn’t see myself this time. The webcam window is displayed on OBS, but not on our desktop when we begin streaming. Toggling to OBS during the stream would disrupt the flow of the video, and since we cannot see ourselves, it was more difficult to interact in the physical aspect.

I do agree that we live partially in the third space and our desktop is an extension of our personal space, much like our physical home. There was a certain unease while streaming, and an increased awareness of not only our physical selves (in the webcam), but also of our actions in our virtual home. We need to ‘check’ before going live, because our desktops are an extension of our personalities and behaviour. This perhaps highlights how ‘human’ our desktops can be, from the way we organise our files, to our preference for the number of tabs opened, even customised content on social media pages.

Overall, it was a great experience and was a feature with many aspects to explore on. Desktop wasn’t as easy as it seems, having to toggle and keep everything in check. It’s a wonder how Jon Cates was able to produce such a noisy/mess/dirty/glitchy, yet somehow kind of seamless performance.

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