[Internet Art & Culture] FINAL BROADCAST: The Death of Privacy by Third Front

The Death of Privacy ☠
by the Third Front (Putri Dina, Siewhua Tan, Tiffany Rosete, Valerie Lay)

Project Overview

Our project aims to explore the boundaries of glitch, abstraction, disconnectivity & connectivity, distortion, latency and the frustrations of social broadcasting. Inspired by the television screens, each one of us has our own individual screens (top left: Siewhua, top right: Valerie, bottom left: Tiffany, bottom right: Dina). Taking on the topic of giving up of data, each of us are essentially doing so by sharing about ourselves online, by web browsing, skype calls, vlogs, etc.

Final Live Broadcast

Posted by Dina Anuar on Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Concept

From the very beginning of our ideation stage, the group members had agreed on a concept where latency did not matter. We were interested in experimenting and challenging our sole enemy during every live broadcasting; the connection. The frustration and exasperation of getting our live broadcasts interrupted due to bad connection and latency was experienced by all of us. Hence, we decided to come forward and fight, not by running away from it but by embracing it.

From top left in clockwise: ‘No Signal’ in Siewhua’s grid, Valerie’s disappearance, my static screen, the doomed triangular icon on Siewhua’s screen while co-broadcasting with Tiffany.

We were greatly inspired by Jon Cates’ glitch works where he connected different ‘broken systems’ as assemblages.

A screen capture from Jon Cates’ BOLD3RRR glitch art     | https://vimeo.com/49110316

They are definitely not just pieces of graphic elements being attached to one another instead, they are functioning as a whole. Hence, our team would like to use glitch as a tool to portray our verbal expressions.

“This approach to noise or noisiness, or dirt, or dirtiness, is a way to foreground as you say, an aberrance or perversion of normative message or what we might perceive to be logical reasoning.”
– Jon Cates

The Narrative

Incorporating an interesting story (or in this case the message that we intended to bring forward) into our glitch piece was a tough task. We went through developments and tweaked our ideas after every rehearsal we conducted. In the end, we settled on a narrative which deals with data disclosure in Facebook and how effortless people are able to retrieve them to get to you. This was specifically influenced by Jennifer Ringley’s approach of exposing her privacy out in the Internet in her JenniCam work.

From top left in clockwise: Siewhua scrolling through her Facebook feed, Valerie posing as if she was analysing our screens, I was also showing my Facebook feed, Tiffany video blogging about herself.

My Role – A Mysterious Identity

My role in this piece was a mystery as it looked as if she was watching and controlling the screens of other broadcasters. She would switch screens to observe everyone at the same time or to analyse individual broadcasters. To remain ambiguous, she decided to blend in with them by also showing her own Facebook feed and webcam. Towards the end, she had killed Scream (portrayed as a serial killer) but also showed an overlay of herself on all four screens. Was she a hero or the Mastermind?

A hero or a Mastermind?

Technical – The OBS Controller

In this project, I was mainly responsible of glitching and disconnecting our final piece on purpose. The first task was grabbing live feeds of my group members from Facebook into OBS and switching screens during the actual live broadcasting.

A closed Facebook group was created so we could carry out multiple tests without bothering other FB users.

Using ideas and concepts during our brainstorm sessions, pre-recorded materials had been produced like static transitions in between screens and glitch effects to be chroma keyed on individual feeds.

Screenshot of creating the glitch/static transitions in After Effects.

Due to the extreme delay that we experienced in Facebook Live, I had to concentrate on what my group members were doing both in the physical world and digital world so I could sync them the best I could. For example, while Val had gone into Tiffany’s space physically, she was still in Siewhua’s space digitally. One way I overcame that was stationing myself at a place where I could see what everyone were doing and really just, concentrate!

While doing all that, I also had to make sure that my own webcam grid should look interesting as well so I tried really hard to do anything random at every chance I had.

Focusing on small details was also a part of our group’s aim. We wanted our viewers to look into the details of every visual before the next frame changes. This was our way of unveiling elements of surprise. Although I had my hands and eyes occupied, I made sure not to get lost when switching the screens so I could show pieces of information to reveal to the audience.

A split second image of me imitating Val’s mask in an overlay screen before it changed into another screen to give a hint about the real Mastermind.

“The way to not be stuck is to focus on glitch as a form of surprise and as a way of glitching people’s expectations.”
– Jon Cates

The Death of Privacy

Although bad connection and latency during a social broadcasting can be very frustrating, they can also be the central element of an art piece. That is when Glitch Art comes around. By implementing them into our own work, we created multiple possibilities to narrate our story. A sense of confusion and curiosity can be felt by our audiences despite the broken visuals they are seeing on screen. The frustration of waiting for the next screen to happen is what our group had in mind. 

Exploring the concept of giving up data through this project was also an eye-opener for our group members. Is there an actual limit of us exposing our identity out into the public? What can the consequences be? Don’t let your privacy die and don’t let yourself die because of privacy either.


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

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