Please note that the last Thursday club of this term will be.
THURSDAY CLUB, THURSDAY JUNE 25th 2009
Goldsmiths, University of London
Ben Pimlott lecture theatre
All welcome and free
Theorizing Performance in Virtual Spaces
The presentation will describe and analyze the theoretical issues for
Performance Studies posed by new genres of performance in virtual
environments, such as Second Life. We will also demonstrate
the technological modifications to Second Life that our team has developed
to facilitate a new form of mediated performance and outline the
experiments that we have initiated to take advantage of this technology.
Utilizing a panel discussion format involving live participants and
avatars in Second Life, our presentation aims to shed light on the unique
opportunities provided by virtual environments in formulating new
approaches to theorizing contemporary performance practices. A
fundamental premise of the discipline of Performance Studies is that
theory is enlivened and most rigorously tested when it hits the ground in
practice. We at Georgia Tech have a particular opportunity to test that
premise, because our institution is a meeting ground for technological
practice and critical reflection.
The Augmented Environments Lab (AEL) and the Wesley Center for New Media
are in the process of developing technological modifications to Second
Life that will facilitate a new form of mediated performance, one in which
actors and audience share a performance space that is both physical and
virtual. We are already planning performances that will take advantage of
this technology: these performances will be a negotiation between
professional improv artists in the city of Atlanta and technologists here
at Georgia Tech.
Members of the team presenting are
Kathryn Farley, Prof. Jay Bolter, Professor Michael Nitsche and grad.
student Jenifer Vandagriff.
Web site for the project: http://arsecondlife.gvu.gatech.edu
On Wed, June 17, 2009 3:13 pm, Kelli Dipple wrote:
> It's an interesting discussion.
> Often times net art is more than just a website. Works are often
> conceptual or performative, involving elements that are not well captured
> within the browser interface. Take some of the early works commissioned by
> Tate, for example.
> Looking at the archived websites linked to from the Tate website it is
> difficult to understand the performative intervention that Graham Harwood's
> work 'Uncomfortable Proximity' executed, when it randomly opened in place
> of the formal Tate site, for every 10th visitor. The work was a replica of
> the Tate site as it existed then, with poignant variations to the imagery
> and text within. However the Tate site has changed a lot in terms of the
> way it looks and navigates, 8 years on and this relationship is lost in
> the current archive, unless one reads the accompanying text.
> There is no documentation of Susan Collin's year long performance as the
> Director of 'Tate in Space', although a text-based interview reveals the
> act. This project was launched at the time, with a media release stating,
> as a fact, that Tate was planning to launch an actual Tate in space. There
> was an architecture competition, live forums, satellite sightings etc...
> Even though we still, on occasion, receive enquiries
> about this project, as if it were a real thing (believe it or not), I think
> that much of the narrative and irony involved in this work is in danger of
> being lost in archive as a website on its own.
> Every work is different and of course many net art pieces are complete
> within the browser. It would be difficult to evolve a blanket strategy that
> would be suitable for all works. In each case a different sort of
> evidence/reference/archive/documentation may be required.
> I think documentation is an important consideration in commissioning new
> work and yet it raises interesting philosophical questions around notions
> of authenticity and how one might define what the work is. Difficulties
> can also arise in terms of ownership, depending on who produces the
> documentation. One can employ open content models, but ultimately this
> decision is in the hands of the artist/author of the original work.
> Documentation can be many things... anecdotal, technical, descriptive...
> It is rarely impartial though. An authoritive, tightly edited film about
> an artist's work, compared to a more informal interview, a recording of the
> artist speaking in front of a live audience, in discussion with an
> interviewer or a conservator, or a bunch of mobile phone videos uploaded
> to YouTube by audience members will all give different insights into the
> The notion of a networked model put forward in Annet's summery is an
> important point. Centralisation and autonomy can put things at greater
> Ironically methods employed by other sectors, say archaeology, often
> involve digitization. Capturing a stone wall that has lasted a million
> years, for example, and transcoding it into a short-lived digital format.
> I can't help but view the irony in this, but these activities
> are often tightly linked to issues of access rather than preservation.
> I am struck by the idea proposed in Annet's outline of thinking about
> 'permanent access' rather than 'digital preservation'. Is access about
> permenace? (certainly not in the case above) / or indeed, is permenace
> about access?
> Challenging our established notions of permenace may well be useful.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curating digital art - www.crumbweb.org
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Caroline Langill
> Sent: 17 June 2009 12:58
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] documenting and archiving - results
> archive 2020
> I think Myron is correct, there is something needed which moves beyond
> classification and nomenclature.
> It is for this reason I did extensive interviews with the artists whose
> work I chose for my Shifting Polarities project. For those of you not
> familiar with it, I named exemplary works of Canadian electronic media art
> from the 1970s and 1980s. The interviews contextualize the artist's
> practice and then offer anecdotal, as well as important historical
> information, about the chosen work's conceptualization and fabrication.
> Availability of these interviews online (for how long though is a
> question) enables scholars to situate the work beyond a taxonomic
> Also, and this goes back to a conversation I had with Simon Werrett on
> the Banff shuttle at Refresh!, works could be kept in a degraded
> dysfunctional state in order to keep the technical components available.
> Simon pointed out that for scientific historians the components of
> scientific instruments - even fasteners - contain important historial
> information which speak very specifically about the historical narrative
> of the instrument. We could apply similar thinking to new media works
> which are no longer active.
> Finally, we lost an important artist in Canada recently. Juan Geuer, who
> worked with optics, lasers, and seismic sensors to produce exquisite
> real-time projections of the earth's activity, to name one part of his
> practice, passed away on May 2nd at the age of 92. Now, Juan was active
> until the day he died, so there is a vast body of work which now needs to
> be dealt with, placed in museums, etc. One of his works is permanently
> installed in a basement gallery of the Ottawa Art Gallery. The work, Al
> Asnaan, has a very sensitive horizontal pendulum which
> senses the earth's movement, but also the movement of the audience in the
> gallery (this work is very close to the earth's surface since Ottawa sits
> on the Canadian Shield). The work is very complex to install and Juan,
> because he lived for so long, was solely responsible for installing and
> maintaining the work. Anyone can see what is coming here. The gallery
> realized, due to his advancing years, that they would need to have a
> record of his knowledge, beyond the owner's manual accompanying the work.
> They had the foresight to make a videotape (is
> that what we call it now?) of Juan installing the work, two weeks prior to
> his passing. The video document will provide details which will be
> integral to an understanding of the work, not just in terms of setting it
> up in the gallery, but also how the artist's hand produced, and maintained
> a relationship with it.
> I expand on with some of these questions in an upcoming article in
> Here are some links related to what I've been talking about above:
> Shifting Polarities:
> Juan Geuer: www.juangeuer.com (make sure you scroll down beyond Juan's
> photograph to get to the website link).
> All for now,
>> Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:12:04 -0500
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] documenting and archiving - results
>> archive 2020 To: [log in to unmask]
>> I've been following along and recall that we've had similar
>> discussions in the past, often cropping up when we've attempted to come
>> to terms with just what net art is. We do of course need techniques for
>> descriptive documentation of projects. But I think there's a need for
>> more than just taxonomic and technical description.
>> If the physical presence of a work is going to disappear or almost
>> disappear, it's important to have descriptive responses which recreate
> the presence of
>> the work and the contexts which informed it. This would take some
>> curatorial management, but the tools are there for involving audience
>> and developers.
>> Myron turner
>> Sarah Cook wrote:
>>> Sandra Fauconnier and Gaby Wijers at NIMK: how has involving the
>>> public in curatorial selection of works in the archive (through the new
>>> mediatheque, or curator for a day project, for instance) led to new
>>> ways of thinking about preservation and documentation of the works?
>>> Can you tell us a bit about inside-installations.org and the
>>> OASIS project (Open Archiving System with Internet Sharing)?
>>> Aymeric Mansoux at GOTO10: do you think the idea of 'open-sourcing'
>>> documentation tasks, by distributing them to the makers/developers, is
>>> a good solution?
>>> any thoughts from any others would be great too, thanks sarah
>> Myron Turner
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