[Internet Art & Culture] Hyperessay – Concepts in Social Broadcasting


Our first live broadcasting for Real-Time Aggregation

First Impression
This idea of live streaming for introverts like myself can be very intimidating. You are presenting yourself out into the world of Internet without knowing who are looking at you behind their screens and what are their intentions for staying to watch you make a fool out of yourself. However, why has live streaming becoming a popular option for millennials to use it as a medium to reach out to their audience? Exactly the thing that I was worried of when I was told to broadcast on Facebook Live during the first lesson; it builds on the notion that viewers will not be able to tear themselves away from a live stream because they are keen on to what is unfolding.

We are shifting from the Information Age to the Experience Age, expressions created by Mike Wadhera. We are no longer a collection of past experiences gathered and shared, but rather we are ourselves as seen through what we are experiencing in the moment – the idea of live broadcasting.

David Cort from Videofreex, one of the first video collectives, at Woodstock Festival (1969).

Recurring Concepts

Through assignments made during the semester and critiques done on works created by artists, several concepts are seen overlapping each other.

i) Organic Feeling
Videofreex was the first to make up their own rules and break the manipulative television. They did not follow the mainstream techniques of creating content for television and produced a sense of raw and genuine emotion through their spontaneous video shots. This method of live broadcasting helped to convey how serious these people were as nothing was filtered out – everything was a real deal.

“Language of media is everybody’s language. Set up the camera and you can speak to the world.”
– Parry Teasdale, a member of Videofreex

Through the first exercise that we did, Real-Time Aggregation, I managed to experience this moment first-hand. As I pointed my camera out into the space, I was not expecting anything to happen until some of my classmates appeared unexpectedly time-to-time. During those moments, I just had a feeling to immediately shoot them as they were naturally being themselves.

Zi Feng knocking on the glass door behind me as I was capturing the cars outside. (Real-Time Aggregation exercise)

ii) Connecting Strangers

Through Hole in Space by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, social broadcasting was an illusion to transform two screens into a single connector. We have always been looking at screens as a barrier while talking to a person in the Second Space but in their work, the screen acted as a platform to being two complete strangers together.

A woman in Los Angeles conversing with a man in New York, “You’re in New York? Are you in New York?”. Hole in Space (1980). Sherrie Rabinowtiz and Kit Galloway.

Similarly, Douglas Davis managed to get strangers to collaborate even when everyone are distributed all across the globe through his interactive work of co-authoring a never-ending sentence.

The Third Space workshop conducted in class was simply this concept of bringing students together, who might not know each other well, and encouraging them to engage in various social interactions in that new space.

Participants waving at their webcam during the Virtual Classroom session using Adobe Connect.

iii) Instant Connection
The thing about streaming in real-time opens up an interactive and instantaneous connection. As artists broadcast live and be ‘in the moment’, viewers can also feel part of the connection which strengthens the bond. It also allows for instant feedbacks as what was achieved by some of my classmates during their live broadcast sessions.

It is no longer just about being live, but for the audience to be part of the conversation with you – live. 

iv) Live Strategy
From my own experience doing the class assignments, especially ‘The Other World of the Desktop’, the performer still has factors to consider before she can even click on the ‘Go Live’ button. What content should be shown? Should there be audio? How about graphics and transitions?

Hence, I am still fascinated by how Jon Cates managed to create his glitching live broadcast work in real-time. What is so appealing to me is possibly how he was also describing the process of making the work at the same time. I would say, it is multi-tasking at its best.

… my approach to digital arts or new media art is one that takes a systems approach, not in a kind of cold cybernetic way but in a more wholistic sense of system or systematic thinking.  – Jon Cates

Cross Stream Broadcasting Project
The concepts which I had mentioned earlier were mostly applied on this project I collaborated with Tiffany. We had to plan out a strategy to make our content appealing enough for our audience. At the same time, we decided to be natural and followed how the Videofreex had shot their videos; instantaneously. We wanted to create something raw and organic through our expressions and the things we did in front of the camera.

Tiffany directing the camera to her face.

When the two videos were placed side-by-side, I realized how streaming Tiffany’s live broadcast and placing graphics on top of it added depth into the overall experience. Viewing Tiffany’s original live-stream felt like we were in her shoes as she left trails behind. When it was viewed in the Cross Stream version, a new perspective was created; the rescuer.

Left: Cross Streaming (by Dina). Right: Live Streaming (by Tiffany).

Video Wall* of videos side-by-side : 

*Accuracy when playing both videos at the same time :
Left Video : Switch the volume on, Start playing at 0:17
Right Video : Switch the volume off, Start playing at 1:42
And TURN UP the volume!

Final Words
Live streaming has changed the way people interact with one another. As technology is evolving at a fast rate, broadcasting is becoming more accessible to anyone with a simple smartphone.

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Believes in creating works that someone can not only see or touch but be part of, to be within them.

One thought on “[Internet Art & Culture] Hyperessay – Concepts in Social Broadcasting”

  1. Your Hyperessay is amazing! I am so glad to discover this article you have referenced, regarding the transition from the Information Age to the Experience Age. I think I have always been in the Experience Age! I can see more clearly now that our study of social broadcasting, in terms of its live nature, is to focus on the immediacy of the experience, as opposed to the accumulation of information that is discussed in the article. And you are right, the immediacy of the live broadcast can be disconcerting, awkward, and difficult to comprehend who is on the other side, but in fact, it is in the excitement of the here and now that we have the experience.

    And yes, even Jon Cates is engaged in an experiential approach to his performance as he multi-tasks and describe his process as it unfolds. I think that is the very definition of experience, because he is not so concerned with gathering as he is with expressing, and bring the viewer directly into the moment of this expression.

    And I fully appreciate how you applied this thinking to your piece with Tiffany, commenting on the way in which her image cross-streamed across the two videos, creating yet another experiential moment that is directly tied to the live.

    Congratulations on a highly original Hyperessay! Excellent work.

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