Category Archives: Internet Art & Culture

Research Critique : Grand Theft Avatar by Second Front

Grand Theft Avatar is piece done by this group called Second Front.  Second front is a performance art group that was founded in 2006. They pioneered the art of performing on the online avatar-based VR world, Second Life.  The group consists of  8 members that includes Jeremy Owen Turner (Vancouver), Doug Jarvis (Victoria), Tanya Skuce (Vancouver), Gazira Babeli (Italy), Penny Leong Browne (Vancouver), Patrick Lichty (Chicago), Liz Solo (St. Johns) and Scott Kildall (San Francisco).



It is very interesting to take note that the people that took part in ” Grand Theft Avatar” were not from the same country but were people from different parts of the world, from different time zones.

“We essentially inhabit a swath of networked space, no longer constrained to the singularity of a single moment or place.” – Packer R. “The Third Space,” (2014) in Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge



This piece was a great exploration of what the artist could do with the internet and technology. By using “Second Life” as a medium which they could carry out their performance of robbing a bank and making it live with conversations being carried out and the multiple camera angles really changed the rules of the narrative.


“Second Front creates theatres of the absurd that challenge notions of virtual embodiment, online performance and the formation of virtual narrative.”  – Second Front

I think the internet also gives a sense that we can do crazy things without suffering consequences. Taking for example the part in the video which they jumped out of the helicopter without a parachute and sitting in top of a rocket. These are stunts that we can never pull in real life without killing ourselves. Therefore, I feel that this piece was very successful in showing the what collaborative effort on the net can produce.

Research critique: BOLD3RRR… Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by Jon Cates (2012)

The purpose of this art piece was to show and explore what one can do by performing/streaming directly from the desktop. This work demonstrates the new possibilities of performances for the artists of the new media. The rise of the internet culture and technological advancements allowed for real-performances to happen.  It was also great that the work was unedited and raw.

In 2012, when Jon Cates did the piece, it showed how video and time can come together to present a different type of work to audiences.

And till now I still feel that the below quotes is very true of the internet culture now.

“the media arts have not fully embraced this potentiality, despite the progressive nature of the field.” – Catlow, R., Garrett M., Packer R., “The NetArtizens Project,” (2015)

In the more mainstream internet, the idea of live performances/ broadcast is still a relatively new idea as Facebook only started to have a livestreaming function in Aug 2015. However, this function is only for celebrities, which is in contrast to BOLD3RRR which is a artist doing livestreaming raw, in front of his computer.

The Rock doing a livestream from his phone
The Rock doing a livestream from his phone, 2015
Jon Cates, BoldRRR, streamed from his computer
Jon Cates, BoldRRR, streamed from his computer, 2012

The availability to stream live from phones may pave a path in the future for more to do mobile live streaming that could perhaps show a more raw side to the video footages that we see on popular social media sites – or not.

This also raises the questions of “why is live streaming on the mainstream media for “celebrities” only?” , “Why is live streaming not democratised”  and it also raises the ultimate question of, ” Does big players on the internet such as Facebook and Youtube sort of sets the rules of the internet?”


Ps. For me, so far videos like this is the best live streaming videos on YouTube


How do I begin.

It is very hard to catch the wind.

I used to see this person around in school and he was in my CCA.

I talked to him and had interaction with him.

There was once he was sleeping in the gym. The Freaking GYM haha, I mean who does that. It was great seeing him around school because he was such a fascinating figure…

But he never replies his text.

Does not have facebook or twitter.

I have no idea how to contact this person.

I don’t understand how people in the past kept in contact with each other without technology.  I just can not wrap my head around it…

For me,

Photography is my only way of remembering that he exists.

There was one time during CCA he had to use my camera to take pictures. That was the closest I ever got to him, to see what he takes and what he values.









It’s funny how people can come and go in our lives and they leave a mark sometimes.  How even though they are like wind, they can still leave an impact.


This is my only picture of him. How ironic



but how funny that years down the road, I still meet people who are like the wind and they still leave impacts in photographs…


The Collective Narrative


I think that this piece of performance art had suggested issues about power and the shift in the power from the artist to the audience and how these lines are blurred. In addition, the audience somehow also become the performer, changing result of the performance.

What particularly stuck out to me was the last guy in the video who took his time during his turn to cut off her top. I felt that it was distasteful and I was also upset about it. It also revealed the mindset of that person and it added an additional layer to the performance.

In addition, on the topic of exquisite corpse, I do agree that

“One of the best known examples would be the Surrealist game: exquisite corpse (exquisite cadaver), in which a group of artists would compose words or images collectively using pre-determined rules to construct a composited work that is the summation of each artist’s individual contribution.”- Randall Packer (2015). “Collective Narrative“.

I had the opportunity to make a video with the idea of exquisite corpse last year and it produces some very interesting results.


For this project, we asked people in NTU to help us contribute words for our story.They do not know the whole story, just the words before theirs.

How might the open source system of sharing and collective narrative be a creative inspiration and approach for artists?

It is definitely exciting to be living in the age of the internet, where we can make a bigger impact and also reach out to a bigger audience than we ever could.  I really love the idea of the open source being  a “mode of technological production that is collectively authored or manufactured and distributed without profit, or limited profit-sharing according to specific guidelines, such as those laid out by the Open Source Initiative” .

Personally I love the idea of sharing and it is amazing what people of the internet can do together. I think it’s great as a source of inspiration (and FUN!) for a lot of people.  I am currently learning Arduino now and I am SO THANKFUL that it is OPEN SOURCED!

This was something that we did with a code that was freely shared on the internet. I don’t think that I will be able to do this without open source.

Coding fun. Thanks @wind_style listen to the sound of awesomeness hahaha

A video posted by Angel C. (@revivalblessings) on

If video is not working, it can be accessed here “”

Then of course I do understand that there are copyright laws on the internet and that not everyone wants to share their work with one another in a way that is “open sourced” . But I am definitely glad that there are still people who see the benefits of open source and see how all of us are part of a bigger picture.