After Art of the Networked Practice(2018)

Through attending this online symposium at the first and second day, I would like to pick up some works and views that catch my attention.

Dissolved in Station House Opera in 2014

Dissolved (2014) 

Through the interview with Julian Maynard Smith, the director of Station House Opera, he wants to show that this space is no a theater, although he specializes in performance. He also mentioned that he was interested in architecture recently, so space is important to him. What’s more, he also made a point about “flux,” discussed in the keynote presented by Maria Chatzichristodoulou; “ we need to think about space outside particular rooms, it’s a sort of flux action.” Actually, I cannot fully understand the interpretation of flux from Maria, but introspecting the idea from Smith, I consider that flux is a fluid and endless statement that flows between real and virtual world. And the work “Dissolved” presented in Station House Opera in 2014, he used two-way video link, the idea like Hole in Space and Telematic Dreaming, connecting participants in London and Berlin to interact with others’ images in full-body size in sync. More impressed is the concept of the identity, he said,

“when your face is close to somebody else, it looks like either of you, it’s third character and has its own identity.”

How participants think of themselves in this blended image and how they separated themselves from this image to think of “the other.” I think this is a quite interesting and exciting experience flowing between the subject and the object!

Julian Maynard Smith

Performance- Entanglement

the performance- Entanglement (2018)

When talking about the latency issue in the roundtable discussion, it reversed my view of the latency, which I regarded as a “noise.” The latency is unpredictable, but participants can prepare mentally because it is the feature of this environment that we must accept it and embed it in the performance. The latency could be an element for the performance! In Entanglement, there are seven performers busy keeping an eye on others’ action, following the instruction of the “script,” and paying attention to what happened in the chat room. They were doing something deliberately to create the atmosphere where there is no seasonable or logic arrangement of dialogue and visuals. In the end of discussion, Annie Abrahams concluded,

“without speaking, without viewing, how to connect with others? It’s feeling.”

Actually, my first impression on this performance is blank and meaningless when I just focused on their physical images and sounds. However, when I took a look on the conversation between others’ audience, what they were talking about was atmosphere or their feeling. I started to focus on my own feeling and found out there is a wave in my mind. Sometimes I felt calm, but sometimes I felt nervous. I think participants who expressed their feeling in the chat room also performed in this work. After appreciating and realizing this performance, I consider Abrahams an experimenter instead of a performer, because she mentioned that audience is more important the artists and performers. She makes experiments to realize people and to stimulate people to focus on themselves physically and mentally.

I’d Hide You

I’d Hide You

It is not just an online game, but it’s a life transmission, a game about relation. In the documentary video, the most impressing scene is the runner hiding or taking a break on others’ space like cars. This action symbolizes building the relationship between participants online and people on the street, and it also means participants build trust on strangers in the same city. Although participants are in the online world, they build an authentic connection with people in the real world through the ambassador of runner. I like the idea given by Matt Adams,

“It’s easy to learn, quick to share, but also easy to lose if you don’t concentrate on the game.”

It makes me come up with the point, if people are not building relation, keeping in touch with others or their communities, does it also mean that people might easily disappear or be forgotten in this world? If people don’t concentrate on their life and get together well with others in their society, do they protect themselves in danger? I don’t know whether or not the artists are intent to deliver this idea, but it could lead a different route to explore.

Online Symposium, the networked third space

At the beginning in the first day, when Prof. Sorensen, the Chair in ADM, was making an introduction, some people responded the sound issue in the chat room. It makes me start to think about how important problems can be responded or solved timely by presenters? It’s a technological issue, but I think it’s worthy of discussing this trivial but significant problems. Here is my idea, or more specific, it’s my imagination! In my opinion, the interface of participants can be inserted a button about the technical issue that there is a drop-down list, such as the serious latency or disappearance of sounds’ or images’ problems. If it exceeds to certain amount of participants pressing the same problems, the desktop of the presenters would sound an alarm to disrupt presenters. Although it seems to be impolite to presenters, it can enhance the quality of the communication and collaboration in the third space.

Above this picture, it presents the collaboration in the chat room and really impresses me with the share of intellectual. When I viewed the topic “The promise of internationalism,” it also confused me of the definition of internationalism. It’s difficult for presenters to respond questions through making an oral presentation, but other participants involved in this issue and “co-“created this project (this presentation), just like the core concept of new media art, there is no boundary between senders and receivers, between performers and audience, everyone inside the spectacle is producer. Sometimes, there is more lively, energetic and creative in the chat room, even though text is only mediation available here. And this also could happen in the performance, Entanglement, audience sharing their feeling and idea in the chat room.

“Hope people in the chat room could also create the atmosphere,” said Annie Abrahams.


Before taking this new media history and theory, I consider the use of advanced technology in art work is too deliberate and just for innovation but nothing meaningful. Nevertheless, after the overview of the history and the realization of the significant concept of new media, I think what Steve Dixon, President of LASALLE College of the Arts,  said in the online symposium can represent my view.

“Telematics is a tool to find new relationships between things already exist in,” said Steve Dixon.

Research Critique: Kidnap(1998) & Blast Theory

An interactive media art, Kidnap, was represented in 1998 led by Matt Adams in Blast Theory. It explored the social and cultural phenomenon through the application of innovative technology, live performance, media, dramaturgical structure and game in the fluid environment, combining real, virtual and fictional experience. In the official introduction of Kidnap, it highlights the ideas of control and consent, the media, theatre, surveillance and lottery culture in this performance, or called the event.

Control and consent are related to the political issue, about the power or authority. It asked “winners of kidnapped” for giving up control themselves and asked for approval to snatch them in a symbiotic risky way. In the article ‘How to kidnap your audience,’ politics is infused in our behavior, and how we relate to someone who asks us directions is a political act, through that type of inter-relationship, Adams said. Although he revealed some people described their work as apolitical, I agree with Adams’ view from the broad definition. When I take a look on the definition of politics in the dictionary, one of meanings is the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government. In my opinion, politics is not just control over a physical government, it also could dominate other people’s minds or behaviors, just what kidnap presented.

And in this event, it utilized the digital broadcasting where audience could appreciate the performance or “watch the news” through broadcast, and the interactive media, where people could have an access to communicate with kidnapped directly, but it’s pitiful not to find the document recording the dialogue between the audience and the victims. That’s interesting that besides people are attracted by the idea of being plucked from daily life and having every responsibility taken away from them for 48 hours, they also had a desire to be surveilled. I guess people may be eager to grab others’ attention, but may reassess themselves through this experience and I want to cite an article written in Independent here,

For that, I turned to Roger Plant, who has enthusiastically registered to be kidnapped. “I have been to a number of Blast Theory’s performances, and they are good at making you rethink suppositions and re-examine yourself.”

As Plato said, ‘Know thyself.’

one of winners

The other element that inspired me is “theatre,” which is the first passion on for Adams. In the article ‘How to kidnap your audience’ the author mentioned, audience are given strict guidelines in terms of how they can engage with it. It is a new point for me! Although the work put the audience in the center to make improvised behaviors, it is necessary to have strict and delicate arrangement for the happenings if we want to trigger real feelings and it must be like a “real” event. And “game” is also a new element that was never told about in the previous work we discussed. I never think about the game as a form of media art, a means of understanding and participating more easily for audience as well as a part representation of social and political dialogue. I think the game here has a strong connection to the idea of immersiveness, an easy way for people to swim in the world  that combines reality with virtuality, or an access to stimulating a strong sentiment resort to the strict arrangement of the game.