Second Front is a performance art group based in a online virtual world called Second life. The social construct of Second life is very similar to reality, you create goods and sell them. This performance art is the embodiment of the third space itself. The third space is a virtual space which integrates two different physical spaces.
“The third space is a fluid matrix of potentiality and realizable connections to the most far-reaching remoteness” – Randall Packer
The characteristic to create anything and everything is especially evident in the above performance. Second Front was able to leverage on the games unique ability to alter the characters appearance and gender to create a totally different persona. In addition to this, Second Font parodied the Hibernia Bank Robbery, by altering the mastermind appearance to look uncannily similar to Patrica Hearst. (refer to figure 1.) I believe that this is a commentary on how Hearst was not acting with her own conscious but as a puppet to the mastermind of the terrorist group, SLA. This is supported bay reports showing that the SLA threatened Hearst with guns prior to the robbery. The throwing and distribution of the money to the mass may be referencing SLA demands for the Hearst family to donate 400 million worth of food to the needy. I refer back to Packer’s quote, Second Front fully utilized the third space ability to create anything. Staging the above performance, while retaining the different references would be impossible in real life. In Second life, Second Front were unconstrained by the laws, money, time, common sense and of course the ability to cast, Patricia Hearst (or a look-a-like) to partake in their work.
However as a social commentary of Patricia Hearst involvement in the SLA, may not come across as effective if it was performed in reality. As it is created in a virtual game, the value of life will never be the equivalent to reality. We have been desensitized to character deaths after all they are immortal. The severity of the issue isn’t as greatly conveyed.
Overall I really enjoyed this piece and think that it was greatly able to unique characteristic of the third space by working directly in the third space itself.
Before I start rambling on the readings here is a video summarizing the concept of open source:
Like the name suggests. open source is a open platform facilatating the exchange,appropriation, collaboration, contribution, amplify, information and methodology among artist and even with the audience.
Unlike the traditional proprietary of artist creation, where its a one way conversion of the artist to the audience, (such as a painting exhibition) the peer to peer social interaction in open source has triggered for greater engagement between the artist and the audience, through a greater distribution. The facilitation of the exchange of information with people with the right skill sets allowed for better development of programs.
open source has also change copyrights. copyrights initially functioned as a form of incentive to encourage innovation. however with intellectual property rights, it has stifled developments, evident in the free software developed by a concerned community exchanging and information along with their skills. open source has fostered the common consensus that copy right is not a single entity granted to a part, but multiple rights that the party license, allowing for changes and improvement.
Open source has greatly changed the way the interaction of the artist and the audiences. In the traditional setting of a museum, there is minimal interaction of the audience, and the artist. however, with open source, the audience now play an essential role in the artist artwork. Many performance pieces are solely dependent on the audience interaction. one example is Rhythm 0 by the Serbian artist Marina Abramovic. For a period of six hours, visitors were invited to use any of the 62 objects (ranging from harmless like a feather to a gun) on the table on the artist, who subjected herself to their treatment. where is test the reaction of the public to a the objectification of herself as compared to a human being. without the participation of the audience, the artwork would not been possible for Abramovic to execute herself, or uncover her aims.
in conclusion, open source has moved the work of a creator, from a individual to a collective social act. drawing influences, information from a diverse source.
In my opinion, open source has already become an intrinsic part of our lives. This is evident through the avid use of google docs for note taking among students in lecture. Our number one source of information (as unreliable as it is); Wikipedia also acts as an open source, inviting the public to edit and update pages. Have a problem that you can’t solve? Ask google. In a nutshell the the Do-It-With-Others concept isn’t as alien as we think, after all it has been seamlessly incorporated into our lives.
For this project, I was paired up together with Jocelyn, who happens to be my junior college classmate and now hall mate. Okay back ground Info time~
Cutting the long story short, Jocelyn and I met in Nanyang Junior college in 2015 as we shared the same form class. Both of us belong to a close knitted class called the AEP ( Art Elective Program), which played a major part of outlives. So we were in the same class for two years and then now we are classmates in your class again. (yay~)
Upon receiving this project we thought of the places that we could possibly walk, we wanted to keep it simple and kept it in NTU (yes we are lazy). We wanted to express the idea of how our lives may briefly intersect, but then separate once again. This idea was inspired by a conversion we had about friendship and our hopes for this friendship to continue even outside ADM. We have lost contact with many of our old classmates after leaving school, which greatly saddens us. Then we thought of our journey to school. you see me and jocelyn live in the same hall; but the way we travel to school is very different. i prefer to walk to ADM cutting through hall 8,9,10 and 11, however Jocelyn preferred to walk around the halls or take the red bus to North spine and then walk down. We always have a mini debate on which route to take. I found it interesting how we were both traveling to the same place but with a different route. This is very similar to our relationship’ both me and Jocelyn came from a similar background, but our personalities are vey different.
So to make sure that the journey would take 15 minutes, we timed the journey it took for us to reach school via cutting through the halls and walking around it. The journey took about 13 minutes each.
Our sequence of action during the walk
I begin planning with Jocelyn on the content, on what we should do during the walk. At first i wanted to remain silent but soon realized that it was the best or smartest idea as the whole live feed would be extremely silent, extremely boring. Jocelyn suggest that we have a daily mundane conversation, about school, plans after class , but we felt that it didn’t value add to the project. we wanted to focus not the fact that we both had the same destination but have different methods or ideology. I then proposed to having a debate (different routes) ending us coming to a similar conclusion (similar destination). But, I soon realized that neither of us is intelligent enough to hold a debate without sounding ignorant… Then we thought of using parallelism where one of us would have a delayed reaction (for example if jocelyn look to the left and turn around i would do the same action with a delay of 10 seconds) but after using this gimmick for 5 minutes it would get boring. Building on the idea, Jocelyn suggested that we passed each other notes questioning our past, present and future. We decided to pass the note is: through the screen. If i was on the left side of the screen, i would pass the paper to the right side, where Jocelyn would pluck it out of frame and bring it into view. We also decided to change phone every time we meet. (downstair outside the halls, and at the zebra crossing outside ADM). This symbolizes that no matter a meeting is, we are able to influence each other.
So things that went wrong …
We faced a few problem in the first live video. Firstly you can clearly see that I forgot to stream in a landscape position… Secondly, we walked way too fast in the video. We did the first shot in the afternoon at 5pm for better lightning, but that also meant more humans. while we were doing the live feed, many stared at us and gave us weird side glances. That… made us very self-conscious and so our pace increased so quickly that the whole journey took us only 10ish minutes? Thirdly, our message passing thing didn’t really work. so the initial plan was for me to pass Jocelyn a question slip, where she will receive it on her side. But I forgot to “pass” her the question. so… the question intended for her were answered by me. Fourthly, we forgot to pass the phones back to each other upon meeting at the zebra crossing outside ADM. Fifthly, in general my live feed was very shaky and unstable due to my aching arms from holding out the camera.
unstastified with the end result, we wanted to do a retake. But lady luck wasn’t on our side, my phone was running out of battery at 17% (technically I could charge my phone via a portablycharger, but I carry a iPhone 7… I CANT CHARGE AND HAVE EARPIECES ON AT THE SAME TIME!) and we were losing day light; so we had to postpone the retake the next day.
Things that went right 🙂
By this time both of us were use to the stares, so we managed to walk slower and shot more steadily this time. The note passing went fairly well, despite the lack of space in framing.
At the beginning of the project, I was very afraid and of this project, as I felt that it invaded my privacy. However as I begin to stream, I begin to ease into the idea of social broadcasting. I grew more comfortable and even enjoyed it. I like the aspect of doing a dual broadcasting, where my friends appeared on someone else screen while I could broadcast the behind the scenes of her injecting into a third persons broadcast. I’m also intrigued by the idea of being able to transcend both space and time; how all these different fifteen space and time are able to coexist on the same page.