Re: [-empyre-] original form

this work, the website
reminds me of the similarities of new media art and performance poetry.
especially performance poetry in the street or in a shopping mall or at a
festival or in a park, with a large moving audience passing by the
in that situation were you do not start with an audience but have to
attract one, this is very similar to the web experience. you pass by many
sites but few gain your attention and even fewer maintain your attention.
in the ones that maintain my attention either the navigation/means of
progression through the piece and/or the content and/or the effect i am
having on the piece keep me engaged.
in a performance of poetry in the street, the audience may read the poet
visually, but apart from their words the poet has few other devices to
engage the passing crowd.
buskers have their devices, build an audience, prepare them for a
performance, mark out their performance area. place their props around that
area, its a performance pre-performance to let people know something good
will be happening soon.
alan gregory, a melbourne poet in the 1980s and 1990s, a busking poet,
would put up a big menu board of poems for people to choose, hand out
menus, wear a big red cape, and sometimes ring a bell.
but most performance poets who read in the streets just sound their work
without any techniques to draw attention to themselves other than their
words, they just put it out there, and whatever gets listened to is the
audiences decision. tom the street poet, poor tom or as he is now known tom
the world poet, would stand at the corner of bourke street and flinders
street, the busiest street corner in melbourne reading out his poems and
handing out street sheets of his poetry. another australian performance
poet, pio, would shout at the top of his voice, no matter where he was, in
a coffee lounge, or in the street.

Young-hae and Marc's site is like the street poet of the internet, standing
there shouting their words to the passing crowd, some are engaged and
continue to read, continue to follow the logic and the art of the words,
some move on.
i have been engaged by each piece i've visited but i don't think ive seen
any of them all the way through.i would really like to project them onto a
wall and just have them playing continuously whilst i do other things,
maybe in a bar, or coffee lounge, so that i can drift in and out of the
someone said that poetry was giving extra or special significance to words
we are familiar with in everyday language. these works by using large bold
black fonts on white screens give words that extra significance. and unlike
what we read from a page we can't see what is coming next, so again the
similarity with performance or spoken word poetry.

it is interesting how kim describes the selection process for the initial
workshop and the most basic, but effective, use of flash technology these
pieces involve. i have been teaching the CyberStudies major at griffith for
six years now and one thing that becomes obvious is the importance of
studying and developing narrative strategies for this medium. whilst the
major has to do with computer and web technologies and their impact on the
arts, visual, media,language, film, etc, and there is always pressure to
teach skills, software and hardware, it really comes down to how these
tools are used to make the art, or even be part of the art.

of course there is new media art that requires little narrative
interpretation and lots of programming skill, that is generative and
experiential( Derived from, or pertaining to, experience. Coleridge. "It is
called empirical or experiential . . . because it is divan to us by
experience or observation, and not obtained as the result of inference or
reasoning." Sir. W. Hamiltion.) ,
that leaves the writing of the narrative to the end-user. you get what you
get while your getting it then you are gone; an of the moment experience.
this is also a quality, but more likely a criticism, of performance poetry.

well thanks for listening.
can you point me to any of your work that doesn't bombard me with stark
rhetoric, or uses other devices to engage?

komninos wrote: -----

To: "'soft_skinned_space'" <>
From: "Kim Machan" <>
Sent by:
Date: 11/05/2005 11:41PM
Subject: RE: [-empyre-] original form

Hi Mike
It seems Young-hae and Marc may still be down on the beach and Victoria
be busy with other creative responsibilities,  I was waiting for their
comments ... but will put a few lines up.... They have been working very
hard on this list!

You wrote:
'What was 'it' that was seen by Kim to attract her attention?
How did Young-hae and Marc feel about the idea of a commission? Did the
notion of being asked to do something, fall comfortably within their
cultural remit?'

In 1999 a general email call was made inviting artists to participate in an
online residency that would commence with 10 days in Brisbane during the
MAAP festival and APT and then with ongoing support via email etc....with a
very nice guy called Jeff Sams.

Young-hae Chang wrote an exquisite application that was, in comparison to
other applicants, 'technology free' in approach. For my own research, I am
trying to dig into my old rusty hard drive to resurrect this amazing

When asked 'what experience do you have in technology applications?' All
applicants listed dutifully photoshop, director, etc, etc, in contrast
Young-hae told an intriguing story of passing through metal detectors in
airport security - it side stepped all of our expectations and in my
opinion, dealt with the application as a piece of art, (very conceptual!).
That was 'it' for me!

Just briefly on the expectations of the training and residency, there were
none, there was no demand for a commission, it was very open and we were
happy whatever the outcome... The Perfect Artistic website was born out of
unconditional love!


komninos zervos
lecturer, convenor of CyberStudies major
School of Arts
Griffith University
Room 3.25 Multimedia Building G23
Gold Coast Campus
PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Centre
Queensland 9726
Phone 07 5552 8872 Fax 07 5552 8141

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