Category Archives: Research

Second Front, Grand Theft Avatar (2008) Review



Founded by Linden Lab who first launched Second Life in 2003, it has pioneered to become a virtual world where many transacted millions across this platform. Second Front (2006), a team of 7 live performers, were the first to perform in the online virtual world of Second Life. The main source of influence mainly derives from Dadaism, Fluxus, and many other geneses of contemporary performance artists like Laurie Anderson herself. Second Front continually pushes the notions of conventional performance and the culture of immateriality.



One example of a live performance by Second Front is the Grand Theft Avatar (2008). Being hosted in the virtual world, this is a presentation of a robbery case where the group posed as the currency liberation army and eventually made an attempt to escape by riding on a bomb, diving into the sunset.



The third space is a fluid matrix of potentiality and realizable connections to the most far-reaching remoteness.Randall Packer, The Third Space (2014)

A definition from the web: It represents the fusion of the physical and the remote 
into a third space  that can be inhabited by remote users 
simultaneously or asynchronously.

Unlike performances that were set in the real world, the artificially simulated dimension provides infinite opportunities for them to work their magic, a hyperspace where traditional laws cease to exist. This notion acts as a blur between the real world and the virtual through distributed existence. The possibility is endless, and the benefits of virtual reality are just the tip of the iceberg.

Summary of Reading by R.Packer & S.Vaidhyanathan

Summary and Reflection? Here we go! To kickstart the topic, I have included a video which may clarify anyone’s doubt on the idea behind Open Source concept. The explanation is simplified into a straightforward yet uncomplicated comparison to the notion of LEGO building.


Open Source, as the name suggests, is referred to as a program whose source code is readily modifiable for developers to reconstruct and enhance due to its accessibility. Known as ‘Free Software’ or rather, Socially Responsible Software, it gives people a higher degree of flexibility and control. Open Source Software boasts transparency since the idea was conceived as the progress of your idealisation, is readily accessible.

During my time of using OSS, I found that peer to peer interaction made the creative process more inclusive in terms of idealisation of my concepts as I was able to understand and reference how my peers conducted their idea developments. (click to find out wiki’s definition of peer to peer interaction) In the world of media art, the focus is being shifted away from traditional forms of art creation which heavily involves individualistic qualities, to embracing the ideas of a community and sharing of ideas.

With the advancement of technology, it gives artists another avenue to explore and reach beyond the limits of their creativity. It is becoming increasingly common for artists to incorporate the use of some form of technology in their artworks, especially in the field of media art. From the use of micro-computers to react to the audience by adapting the space in the form of sound, visuals and even smell to accommodate the viewer. However, this poses an additional problem when we compare it with more traditional proprietary modes of art creation. The use of technology can be a double edge sword as we have become so dependent on using technology as a tool to fuel our creations that we are unable to proceed without it.

Being labelled as the most successful model of peer production, revision and peer review, the article by R. Packer wrote, Marc Garrett describes peer-based practices in the arts: “The process is as important as the outcome, forming relationally aware peer enactments. It is a living art, exploiting contemporary forms of digital and physical networks as a mode of open praxis, as in the Greek word for doing, and as in, doing it with others.”

You can find the extract written by both R.Packer & S.Vaidhyanathan here and here.