Ant Farm, Media Burn Review

(Video of Media Burn, the Project)

On the third space once again, the audience from all parts of the world coincides with the Adobe Connect platform to watch the live conference hosted by Mr Randall Packer and Chip Lord. Founded in 1968 by Chip Lord and Doug Michels, Ant Farm explores the experiment of avant-garde architecture, the medium of television, the power of image, the fetish of automobile design and many other aspects of hyper futurism. Their attempts are often conceptual or realistic, which focuses on disseminating criticism of the American Culture and Mass Media. A strategy to redefine the meaning behind an item perceived by the country’s imaginary.

In one of their initiatives, Ant Farm organized Media Burn, in which 2 drivers dressed in astronaut outfits are put in a 1959 Cadillac which is then renamed as the Phantom Dream Car. They “drove” at full speed right into a wall of flaming television sets. In this act, Ant Farm focused on bringing Cultural Icons in view, to address the extensive presence of Television in daily life through humour. In the 24-minute video, it is styled as a coverage on space launch, which encompasses an exaggerated stagy interview with the group members as well as an interview with John F. Kennedy impersonator.

In the initial phase, things were not smooth sailing. While Michels and Lord were looking for an event sponsor for the planning of Media Burn Project, Walker Art Center was the first to reject the role of the idea of sponsorship. Eventually, the planning of Media Burn took a whopping six months worth of planning as Michels and Lord had the idea of wanting it to be “more than a spectacle”. Through the collision of symbols (Cadillac and Television), this project thoroughly encapsulates and reflect the essence of Guerrilla Television. The act of spreading countercultural propaganda to the public.

The Telegarden Review

The Telegarden – Directed by both Ken and Joseph, is a telerobotic garden displayed through an online platform that acquiesces users to interact and connect with the garden. Inspired mainly by the internet, through a small screen, one will see what looks like an industrial robotic arm who takes your biddings.

The interaction is a mash of old technology versus the new – in other words, it means saying goodbye to the traditional agricultural style of plantation where farmers are required to keep an eye on their plant 24/7. Imagine, observing your biennials through the eye of a camera. Its main aim was to foster a strong sense of social interaction and community through intercommunication in the virtual space.

Now, it might not seem like much judging from the advancement of our technology in the current era, but back in the 1990s where internet practices were considered scarce and remote, this is the project is a quantum leap.

The art installation took it preceding commencement over at the University of Southern California. The directors of this project anticipated a challenge to the notion of the internet and post-nomadic community, where the continuance of life is highly dependable on teamwork/synergism.

Over the years of its launch, over 9000 participants were involved in this cultivation project. It was then the location of the installation took a switch and moved from online to live – lobby of Ars Electronica Centre in Austria.

In retrospect, K.Goldberg’s conception on allowing multiple people on control to contribute to online streaming will always remain relevant and tantalizing.

Second Front, Grand Theft Avatar (2008) Review

 

ABOUT:

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.

 

OVERVIEW: 

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:

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.