The Death of Privacy ☠
by Third Front (Putri Dina, Siewhua Tan, Tiffany Rosete, Valerie Lay)
Final Live Broadcast:
Posted by Dina Anuar on Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Project Summary Description:
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.
Tiffany’s role is someone who decides to go on cam and talk about whatever she was feeling, doing at the moment and also interact with whoever that watches her.
Siewhua’s role is someone who also goes on cam but to broadcast her desktop activities. She realizes her friend, Tiffany who is also broadcasting now and decides to join in Tiffany’s broadcast simultaneously browsing through her facebook feed on her own broadcast. We decided to use facebook as a metaphor for data.
Valerie’s role is a masked character, called Scream who wants to teach people who give out too much data a lesson by disappearing them. Ironically, she herself is giving out data too.
Dina’s role acts like a control station and watches closely to the movements of each of our broadcasts while taking on a hidden identity by blending in with us by going on cam to vlog like Siewhua and Tiffany. She switches between screens at times and watches each broadcast individually and switches to another just as Scream strikes its victims. (Is this a act of hiding certain content that had gone wrong from the public?) Ultimately, she kills Scream but her hidden identity remains ambiguous as to whether she is a hero who killed the killer or was she the mastermind of everything where Scream was just a puppet of hers.
Side note: for a project that is all about glitch and disconnectivity, there was a lot of coordination and planning require in real life.
During the first brainstorm I came up with the ideas that was like a game #5 Telepathy Teamwork Game, #6 Fictionary / Word Bluff and one that was more artistic #7 Interpret-ception. Even though our final idea was formed from the second brainstorm (Glitchy old television screens), the syncing of same actions (#5 Telepathy Teamwork Game) was incorporated into the final broadcast during my co-broadcast with Tiffany.
I mainly contributed to the work mainly in the narrative of our piece, what are our roles and how the sequence of how the broadcast would go. Hence I was in charge of how the story goes and what each of us are, and how the whole broadcasting process would flow, from which screen to which. To draft things out better I did a few very rough storyboards trying out various type of narrative and sequence/flow.
Below is an image of the final storyboard that was agreed upon.
Using Facebook as a metaphor for giving up data, I created the desktop stream from OBS and adjusted the colours with colour correction to make it more saturated and vibrant and “unreal”. I then overlay a glitch green screen and lowered the opacity to about 30% to make the page more interesting and well, glitchy.
My part in the final broadcast was more significant in the starting where I’m live both from my laptop and on my phone (co-broadcasting with Tiffany).
Trial because I wanted to test whether it was possible:
Posted by Tiffany Anne on Tuesday, 14 November 2017
And it works perfectly fine! YAY 😀
Moving on to the “death cams” (footage for after my disappearance):
Death Cam Rehearsal Part 1
Death Cam Rehearsal Part 2
Final (my individual part):
(Part 1 – FB Browsing)
(Part 2 – Death Cam)
Posted by Tiffany Anne on Tuesday, 14 November 2017
(and also with my fellow co-broadcaster, Tiffany)
I think we collaborated very well as team and I must say that our teamwork is really the key in our whole project. Even though our chosen concept was something that seemed full of errors, glitchy and disconnected at times, it may even seem unplanned or easy but in reality so much planning, coordination and teamwork was needed to achieve our outcome. For a work that is so full of imperfections we did so many rehearsals over and over again just to get it perfect. We honestly tried so hard to get the imperfections perfect. Ironic isn’t it? XD We also had to be very aware of each other’s movements and interactions with one another, from the small details to the obvious. It was honestly like a relay race going on from behind the scenes, because SURPRISE we were all in the same room! If we did not have such an awesome teamwork, from the careful passing of phones back and forth, resetting up the cams for “death cams” to the quiet prowl of Scream, I really think we would not have been able to make our project even work. So good job to us hehe! 😀
The influence came mostly from Jon Cates and the Jennicam.
Our desktop is more than screen space, it is a virtual extension of our physical reality, a space for the formation and design of new identities, and an alternate world for artistic invention.
In BOLD3RRR, Jon Cates uses the technique of glitch to broadcast realtime where he fiddles around with the various softwares he use in his daily life with the overlay of sound and text simultaneously. Additionally, there is disruption and seemingly a lot of things going on at the same time. In our work, we utilised the glitch a lot and there was also many disruptions going on. The element of recursivities that is prominent in his work – a frontal view of Jon Cates in full screen but slightly fuzzy and blurry, text overlaying programs on screen and generally a very glitchy scape plus the strong buzzing of white noise is also prominent in our work where at times you see a frontal view of one of us, at times an overlay of Dina over one of our broadcasts and the four screens as a whole plus the occasional buzzing of static noise or glitchy voices. I also tried to show giving up of data with my Facebook account as a metaphor as well.
In Jennicam, which is focused on giving up her own data we tried to incorporate it by our own individual “vlogs” where we’re just doing our own things, in our own world before something unexpected strikes. Also, like the fans and haters of Jennicam, the actions of viewers ranges according to how they feel about this piece. You could remain anonymous and unknown to what others might be doing with the data you have given up. In our case, we decide to go play with the extremes of surveillance(Dina), killings because of hate(Valerie) and typical modern day users of the internet (me & Tiffany). We also played with the element of paranoia from the virtual world the had leaked into reality.
Though the production of our final broadcast was rather tedious, it was actually quite fun and I enjoyed myself during the process of filming it. I think our rehearsals and tryouts can be slightly different each other even though we planned and already know what to do, which i think allowed for some surprises each time. I also think we improvised bit by bit, removing and adding elements accordingly to how our rehearsals went. Hence, i think our final result was mostly achieve due to planning but there were also some parts still left to chance. I think we explored a lot about the boundaries imperfections of social broadcasting and both the dark side(surveillance, anonymous, threats) and good(communication, connection with others) of it.
Our group’s fb group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1140305776106354/?ref=br_rs
Document of the whole process: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/putridin001/2017/11/16/final-broadcast-the-death-of-privacy-by-third-front-for-presentation/
Locations: Punggol & Clementi
Theme: Urban Jungle & Old School Heartlands
We choose to juxtapose these two locations specially because Punggol Waterway Terrace is a relatively newer and a not so conventional style of HDB apartments while the estates in Clementi are relatively much older with a more traditional flavour. A example as seen in the two images above.
We also wanted to focus on finding contrasts in similarities, for example in the lines, shapes, colours, context, etc.
First of all before everything, I must admit I had to actually research a bit into how much of data does it consume to do such a lengthy broadcast since I have very very limited cellular data. Thankfully even about 37min of broadcast I did not burst my data quota. #thankgod
I think this telematic stroll opened up many surprises and discoveries as we explored together simultaneously two very different places. Thou we had planned what and how we wanted to execute it, along the way we both got absorbed into really taking a stroll together (so absorbed and invested we were to do it unconsciously for 37min when we only planned to go for a 15min XD) and went along with the flow of wherever we were brought to and I think this allowed for some pleasant surprises. Such as these unexpected contrasting but interesting visuals such as:
It was also interesting how both places had a heavy downpour right after we ended our broadcast. Would have been cool if we captured it boohoo):
Overall, I felt that this would be something embarrassing and awkward to be done alone but with a partner it was actually quite fun and personally it did felt like we were “strolling together” and discovering things together even though we are physically apart.
Randall asked me to go live #telematicstroll
Posted by Val Lay on Saturday, 4 November 2017
Wherever we go, something would crash!
On the 28th of October 28th at 11pm, we had the chance to finally meet the creators of “Grand Theft Avatar,” the Second Front. The interview was a rather refreshing and interesting one. The members were all rather laid-back and I could tell that they were passionate in what they were doing as they did their own personal explanations.
It was intriguing to learn that they were not exceptions to backlashes from the public. When asked about this particular topic, Jeremy Turner actually brought up an incident where a guy was able to “see his IP address” and in turn knows where he lives and threatened that he was going to come and kill him. While this may be sounded scary, I guess its a part and parcel for all artists. As had the virtual space made the Second Front free-er and more daring in what they could do, so did the public. Perhaps it was more easier to make such threats with the internet allowing for one to be anonymous and mysterious. This could be tied in with the abundance of cyber-bullying cases as well in our current times. The internet had not only allowed for artist to push boundaries but also for its audience as well, I found this rather interesting.
Identity was a big topic during the interview and it was interesting to learn about the backstories and inspirations that allowed for them to later form their avatars. Overall, their identities seem to be an alter ego and a blend of their favourite characters. When asked if it was easy for them to differentiate who is the “real me”, whether it was the self in real world or the second life self, almost everyone said they tend to be thrown into confusion all the time. Is this virtual leakage happening? With games like Second Life allowing for easy access to take over someone’s else appearance and identity, one could easily switch their identities around easily. They had the freedom of expression too.
Grand Theft Avatar was a live performance where Second Front attempted a local bank heist, where the Linden Treasury was robbed. The robbers then flew off in helicopters, freeing the loot from the sky in the process. In this performance, members of the Second Front started off with their usual virtual identities, and then changed their avatars to impersonate the members of the panel, before embarking on the bank heist. Aside from the inspiration from trying to replicate an actual event, was changing their avatars part of an attempt to disguise their “real” self? Just like robbers in the real world, they would tend to cover up or disguise themselves before attempting their heist in prevention of being caught or recognised. I think it was interesting as to the self in second life is technically not real yet with more and more time and effort invested into it, this “real self” becomes more “real”, sometimes even more real than the real life one. I felt that their was a blur and leakage in how actions and behaviour is been carried out in both in the virtual and real. Also with the title of their work to be Grand Theft Avatar, it had a lot of resemblance to the game, Grand Theft Auto where players can just steal other’s cars. With it being Grand Theft Avatar, was the emphasis more on robbing identities instead of a bank heist of Lindens?
Second Front is an international performance art group who utilises a online world platform, Second Life as their main choice of medium. The group are made up of performance art (not performing arts) artists from around the world. They aim to explore new and different environments in the virtual world, like the game Second Life. In a way they are exploring how the third space can create a “alter self”.
In their work, Grand Theft Avatar, it is a live performance created in Second Life. Like any other virtual world game, Second Life has its own currency, laws, rules and regulations. They wanted to challenge the authenticity and embodiment of virtual identities by assuming avatar identities including those of Camille Utterback, Char Davies, Howard Rheingold and Christiane Paul to commit a parodied staging of a bank hold-up of the Linden treasury.
GREAT ESCAPE: One thing I think we’re looking to do is to question the underlying assumptions of Second Life and what it means to be a virtual being in that space. A dominant trend in Second Life is to shop, make friends online and participate in a virtual economy. The possibilities for the space haven’t been fully explored as of yet and so I think people are much more receptive to performances that they might be in real life. Because it is so new, we can have a huge affect on people’s thinking.
I think raises the question of authenticity and identity. Can anyone easily just “take over” or steal someone else in the virtual world? Also, how real is the virtual self in comparison to the real one? In a virtual world where anything and everything that is possible I think it is easy for identities to be “stolen” or “faked”. I think using Second Life as a platform allows for more unrestricted, creative, crazy ideas and experiments as compared to having to carry out in real life that is full of restrictions and limitations. It might not even be possible to carry this out in real life. Another aspect is that I believe that the virtual world makes us much bolder and daring. What we would do, interact or behave in real world might be a different reality when changed to something virtual. In this work, it raises the question of whether we trust and believe in everything we see in the virtual world?
To end off, I think this particular sentence stuck me a lot and it holds so much truth for the people of this century:
ALISE IBORG: While we as Second Life avatars become more real in the virtual world, so too, that we as human inhabitants of the real world become more virtual.
To get started, we decided to try and get the servo motors working through voice commands. The voice recognition is done through a app (BT Voice Control for Arduino) that links the voice commands through bluetooth and transmits this information to the Arduino, resulting in the respective movement in the server connected. We also purchased a component, HC-06 to allow for signals to be sent between the phone and Arduino.
- It took a many tries to get voice commands part working and we had to speak clearly and in a certain way for it actually register.
- Servo movement is too small and weak.
- Have to be controlled by phone where you have to press a button whenever you wanna trigger an event (not so intuitive)
Landscape mode bois
Posted by Val Lay on Thursday, 12 October 2017
Basically this is a new function in Facebook Live where broadcasters could invite up to one view to join his/her broadcast, resulting in a split screen broadcast.
I think first of all it really helped with communication between me and Val and we could also see/hear what each other were doing. I think it also reduces the awkwardness a little since you sort of have a visible broadcasting buddy up there with you now. The downside is just that both persons really require a stable and strong bandwidth because while broadcasting I lost connection at least twice and its always a mini panic attack when you lose connection midway.
Overall, I think this opened for new ideas for we could do now for broadcasting. I actually found this more fun and liked this more than the previous “solo” ones. I think function could be adapted to into our final projects that require more sync-ing / communication with other co-broadcasters.
In 1996, Jennifer Ringley, a junior at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania stumbled upon a new piece of technology at her college bookstore – a webcam – and came up with this radical idea to broadcast how she lived her life for seven years which updates an image every 15 minutes on a website. She shared every uncensored detail of her life, in what she called a “virtual human zoo”. As the project flourished, she also added more webcams and charging for access to her site, allowing both paid and free access with the paid access updating the images more frequently than the free access. (wait but I thought she didn’t originally want to charge viewers according to “Jennicam’s Jenni on Letterman’s Late Show“?)
Then it all went downhill when she stolen the fiancé of a friend, Pamela Courtney who was a fellow cam-girl as well. The drama continued with bouts of “love” and sex on Jenni’s side and bouts of depression on Courtney’s site. Fans eventually stopped supporting Jenni and some people even judged her harshly. In 2013, she went completely off the grid since then.
In my opinion, Jennicam seems to be a curious and innocent experiment that went wrong. Also, what started as a purposeful even somewhat turned contradictory?
But first of all, why/how did she manage to do it for so long, over a span of 7 years? What are the appeals?
“I keep JenniCam alive not because I want to be watched, but because I simply don’t mind being watched. It is more than a bit fascinating to me as an experiment. So feel free to watch, or not, as you so desire. I am not here to be loved or hated, I am here simply to be me.”
She aims to portray only the real life, uncensored and unedited, even if that means giving up all of her personal privacy.
She carried out her life, from the mundane to more exciting ones, over a span of seven years entirely and wholly broadcasted for all the world to view as they please. I guess this appealed to large masses of people because of how relatable it could be and it was almost like viewing humanness into the computer age. This helped with people who were lonely and desperate for a form of companionship where on one Saturday night while she was doing laundry at home, she got an email saying it had made someone feel like less of a “loser”. She could connect with viewers because it was relatable and humans somehow just thrives in trying to find like-minded people. Its similar to how celebrities, especially in the case of Korean pop idols to be keep their fans in the loop by broadcasting their mundane activities too. Humans in generally are just inclined to learn about others, their stories and their lives. There is just a unexplainable attraction.
At that time, it was a radically new idea. Something people have never heard, seen before ever on the internet. Humans being curious beings as well might have been swayed to check what all the hype for this was about.
I think this was one of the elements that played a large part. Aside from her daily chores she can also be shown nude or engaging in sexual behaviour, including sexual intercourse and masturbation. People was anticipating what would happen next. I guess it was also human nature to tend to be voyeuristic. I won’t say all the viewers that tune in are anticipating for this kind of action but i think its mainly a split between this and people trying to find connection with others who relates to their life.
A strong community grew in the chatroom on her site, where she also hung out. She was accessible, part of the gang, a friend. How surprising for her audience of new web recruits, who had probably never experienced this kind of connection with someone they’d only ever met online. And probably for Jennifer herself, too.
As the saying goes, communication is key, humans bond and thrive only with communication. I think with the chatroom is kinda reduces a layer of wall between her and everyone else. Even in our current times, many people can be great friends or even “soulmates” just be talking to each other virtually without having to meet up.
Through this project, she opened up discussions as to what is privacy and what it encompasses, a question that we are still asking ourselves till this day. What can be defined as privacy? In our day and age, we’re all similarly surrendering our personal life and details both voluntarily and involuntarily. I found it interesting how Jenni herself was aware that she would never be able to completely remove herself from the web even if she wanted to but still proceeded on with this project head-on.
This also raises the question what can is considered suitable or acceptable content? Also another question that we are still debated ourselves. From nudity to sex to publicly humiliating and betraying a friend, do we have to be mindful of the message that we are disseminating to others and how our attentions would affect others?
I also found it interesting how Jenni felt the weight of responsibility for her to try harder and she felt that she had to really go out of her way to make it happen so she’s not just going to give up. Was a need for recognition?
The internet can be a wonderful place but also a scary one. People might find solace but also harsh backlash and judgements. In the case of Jennicam, she experienced both the joy of fame and recognition but also the wrath when a line was crossed. For example, she was called a “homewrecker”, a self-obsessed “vixen” and a “phoney”. Even the The Washington Post called her an “amoral man trapper”.
Another interesting point was how she stopped performing stripteases for the webcam after she was discovered by a group of hackers on Efnet who teased her for their own amusement. After she reacted humorously to their taunts, she was hacked and even received death threats. The hackers turned out to be approximately 100 people including a handful of teen pranksters, but Ringley did no more stripteases after that.
In conclusion, her personal experiment inspired the first conversations about the things we’re still talking about now: digital over-sharing, the value of online expression, and the meaning of online community.
It’s interesting how after years of living publicly, she wanted to reclaim her life as a private person, especially after she got an onslaught of criticism for an on-screen affair.
“Life started slowing down for me,” she says now. “You get into a routine. I’m not 21, I’m not flailing, I’m not making laughable mistakes every five minutes like you do when you’re younger. It’s a little more boring.”
But then I thought the whole purpose was to portray REAL life or was it all for the fame and drama?
The field trip to the Human+ exhibition had been a eye-opening yet unnerving experience. In the exhibition, it explores the meaning and possibilities of the perception of humanity in a world of science and technology.
Optimization Of Parenting, Part 2 by Addie Wagenknecht shows a robot arm that gently rocks a bassinet whenever it hears a baby cry. This work touches on one of the many woes of parenting and the artist choose to replace the task of rocking the bassinet with a robotic arm. As a mother herself, she wanted to discuss the struggles to find a work-life balance by suggesting for robots to take over the more repetitive parental tasks. She questions the idea of what is parenting, motherhood and also this would affect the development of a baby.
In our current world, many various technology has been used to make life easier for us and it is handy to live side by side with such robotic companions. What makes this work so controversial was the fact that the role of parenting is still considered as sacred and crucial for healthy development of a baby in our current times. While it may seem like just a simple replacement of the mundane task of rocking the baby when it cries, it questions the idea of what is crucial and what is not as crucial when raising a child. For instance, this simple action might actually be crucial for the building of a parent and child bond. By replacing this with a robot “caretaker”, would the parent take less responsibility for their child? Would the child grow up thinking much lesser of their parents mean to them? I’m just wondering what makes the cut to be categorise under crucial and not. Would this also “benchmark” also eventually moves up with time since human nature seems to be one that is always insatiable and changing. By letting the robots take care of the child so that the parent can carry on with their tasks, would the child grow up learning from this as well and the cycle continues where when they’re busy with their own work too, the leave their now old and aging parents in the care of robots as well? In my opinion, while robot companions can carry out their given tasks well, perhaps even better than a human, they can never replace or replicate what a human touch is. What I mean from this is that i feel that while we can progress to be more “productive” but simultaneously, we might be gradually lose the meaning to be around other humans. Everything would be so fast paced, easy, convenient yet cold, rigid and emotionless.
Even though this whole idea of letting technology to be so intimately embedded into our lives, it is actually not a very unexpected scenario that we could be facing in the future, looking as to where our current society’s progress is now. It’s scary to realise that how dependent on technology we’re getting at. For most people in our times now, its safe to say that they cannot survive without their technology companions and while they try to reduce the dependence on certain technology, they always somehow, at times unconsciously or consciously get even more dependent on other technology. I think in this work, the main question is not about whether it is ethical or is it the correct or wrong way to progress ahead. Instead, I feel like to provoke some thoughts into us in the sense that not only about parenting, but technology in general, is this the future that we support in building? Is this what we want? And does it really land itself this need? To end off, this is just a random thought that I had from analysing this work but would humans become obsolete in the future since they might even be “no need” for us, like we’re not crucial too in the end?