Click here for my 4th live broadcast!
Some post-broadcast thoughts
This week’s live broadcast was made in the style of Jennicam (1997). Like live webcam or surveillance footage, the camera was static and unacknowledged, creating a sense of observation and even voyeurism.
I realised that my and my brother’s rooms are mirror images in terms of the layout and furniture. However, we are total opposites and our private living spaces suggest very different inhabitants.
I set up the surveillance camera in the hallway at home; its field of vision (aka the viewer’s field of vision) was framed between these
2 ‘reflected’ rooms, creating a real life ‘split screen’ effect. In addition, save for the narrow dividing wall, the webcam window creates the illusion of us being in the same space, working in a shared study.
“When Ringley was not visible “the set” was ever-present; there to be read as one reads an advertisement — signifiers everywhere, like a Jacques Tati still of a sleepy village evoking a particular mood and era, everything reeking of time and a version of normality.” — Steve Dixon, “Webcams: The Subversion of Surveillance” in ‘Digital Performance’ (2007)
In reviewing the broadcast, I see a likeness to theatre sets. The
identical harsh fluorescent lighting serves almost as a spotlight to these ‘stages’. We perform the everyday in these sets, be it reading, playing piano offstage or typing on our laptops. The ‘reflection’ also creates momentary temporal confusion: are we actors in the same set but from different scenes of the play?
It is surprisingly difficult to show mundane moments that have so far been kept thoroughly private within the walls of my home. Perhaps more so than being interviewed or addressing the camera, these everyday private moments where I am at ease are more revealing. Furthermore, because we live in an age of constant stimulation (the Internet has an abundance of stimulating and gratifying content), despite understanding the value in works like Jennicam, I can’t help but feel a residual tinge of creator’s guilt for letting viewers spend time watching something as ordinary as me in my PJs.
[i] Dixon, S. (2007) “Webcams: The Subversion of Surveillance” (pg. 443-455), Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation.