Re: [-empyre-] networked_performance
Hi Michelle and thanks for the great response. I am familiar with the
work of both Chris Salter and Usman Haque. But I think what I was
talking about (or at least what I meant to talk about) is slightly
different because they are working with environments that respond to the
public within it making that public aware of an interactive element.
This will cause people to change the way they behave. They'll start
"looking" for that interactive element and try to figure out what
triggers what. At this point, I'm more interested in capturing "normal"
behaviour. So it's more about a sensitive environment rather than a
responsive environment. The work doesn't respond to whoever interacts
with it, it simply records or transmits the information to another
viewing public. This ties into some ideas I've been working with in
regards to abstraction for quite some time.
I'm very happy that my work has been included in the blog. The projects
definitely involve performance. They aren't necessarily networked but
ideally, they would be. For instance, in the case of "Hlemmur in C" the
original idea was to use track the movements of employees inside the
busstation and that the "base" point for each would differ. That way we
would've been able to set up a server inside the station to stream the
data out live. However we couldn't afford the super expensive GPS
devices that would have worked indoors (the place has big skylights but
we couldn't get regular GPS devices to work reliably enough). So I came
up with the idea of tracking taxi's instead and collecting the data for
the "simulated" live stream. The interesting thing about the taxi's is
that even though they were fully aware of the fact that they were
participants in a work of art, they couldn't really do anything about
it. They have to go where the passenger wants to go and where that
passenger wants to go will affect who the next passenger is and so on
and so on. Sort of a cascading chaotic effect.
Fictional Space was basically just a "sketch" of some ideas I was
working on. It involved using bluetooth to track the proximity of
someone carrying a bluetooth phone. The "performer" in the piece was
myself, so I couldn't help but to be "aware" of the fact that I was
being tracked (by myself). But the idea was to use this one-dimensional
spatial data to create a sort of "pallette" of data to mix into a two or
three dimensional representation of space so that the result would
represent a space that doesn't really exist. I did a somewhat more
refined version later called "A painting of three places" located here:
http://pallit.lhi.is/3places But these are some ideas I'm still working
on. It's my current research.
Autodrawn is the only one of these that are actually networked. The idea
there is that anyone who happens to be driving on one of those freeways
at the time that the traffic cam takes a picture and my program happens
to randomly select that location, becomes a "performer" in the work. But
it kind of stretches the concept of something being "interactive". In
that sense it's a bit similar to a little sketch piece I did a couple of
years ago called "Headlines". It was a program that would constantly
read and parse the local headlines from the website of Iceland's main
newspaper and play them as notes. It was presented as an interactive
piece explaining that if you wanted to interact with it, all you had to
do was make the domestic headlines in Icelandic news.
And yes, I wouldn't mind hearing your reasons for documenting these
works as networked performances.
Michelle Riel wrote:
In response to ‘involuntary interaction’ or responsiveness that participants may not be aware of, what you describe brings to mind a responsive, sentient or context aware environment (also referred to as smart architecture but I like ‘environment’,
or ‘space’ as it has a more open connotation). The work of Chris Salter and Usman Haque come to mind.
In the case of Chris Salter’s ‘Suspension Threshold’ the light levels of the space are raised and lowered in response to the aggregate breathing patterns of the audience, which he describes as ‘an environment that lies barely on the threshold of
human perception’. Chris is also an eloquent writer and sums up a lot of compelling aspects of ubiquitous / pervasive / ambient computing from a sociotechnical or technocultural perspective.
In the case of Usman Haque, who is trained as an architect and who sites his work in architectural practice, his proposed work ‘Haunt’ seeks to create the parapsychological effects of the feeling of being haunted. He describes the work as ‘using
humidity, temperatures and electromagnetic and sonic frequencies that parapsychologists have associated with haunted spaces to build an environment that feels "haunted".’ By gauging biofeedback via galvanic skin response meters a dynamic database
modeled on learning algorithms learns what is effective in creating the sensation of feeling haunted. The adaptive system responds in real-time to the physiological state of visitors.
The project focuses on how the psychology of human perception gives rise to the construction of space. See also his project ‘Scents of a Space’ using scent in three-dimensional space.
Usman Haque is also an interesting to reference in that he is engaged from the perspective of an architect. This is parallel to what Helen and I propose through the blog, which is to look at the body of works on the blog from the perspective of
‘performance’. We ask our selves how and why any particular work is performance and what specifically makes it performance or performative. I’ll take this up in a separate post and elaborate on the earlier question to define what we mean by
performance and will return to your proposition that what makes this body of works performances is their physical interaction.
I’m also interested for you to elaborate on your example of ‘turning a work environment into an interactive space’. Also, since a number of your works are featured on the blog – ‘Hlemmur in C’, ‘Autodrawn’ and ‘Fictional Space’ - I’d like to hear
your thoughts on being included on the blog by which we propose your works are performative. Do you see these works as performances or performative? How would you understand or rationalize them as such? Though, we should be explaining our
justification to you, eh?! Hopefully, this will emerge as we endeavor to further define networked performance.
soft_skinned_space <email@example.com> writes:
I just want to briefly tell about one of the issues I've approached in
my own work and would like to hear if anyone has any thoughts on this. I
think the basic premise in these networked performances is physical
interaction, i.e. not directly through the computer (that's what makes
them "performances"). But most of them seem to involve voluntary actions
from a certain public. I'm more interested in the idea of involuntary
interaction. Using common actions without the participants necessarily
being aware that they're interacting with a work of art or in a way that
they don't have actual control over how they interact (for instance, by
turning a work environment into an interactive space).
I haven't really formed any deep concepts around this (besides feeling
that this is, in a way, a very "pure" form of interaction), so I would
be interested in hearing Helen's and others ideas on this.
michelle riel, mfa
asst. prof. new media & dept. chair
teledramatic arts & technology, bldg. 27
california state university monterey bay
100 campus center
seaside, ca 93955, usa
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