In this paper, we propose to reflect upon the practice of drawing in the context of cyberformance. We present and analyse the project “A field of interconnected realities” that was shown in Auckland, part of the public art Project Living Room 2010. The webcam operators, Paula Roush in Auckland and Maria Lusitano in Malmo, collaborated through webcams in the development of a series of networked drawing performances, inspired in the artist’s book “A week of goodness” made by Max Ernst in 1934. In this collage book, Ernst had arranged and re-drawn cut-up images of women, men, animals, dragons, plants, and indoor /outdoor situations, to produce hybrid bodies and surreal landscapes, that presented a dark, surreal world addressing themes of sexuality, anti-clericalism and war. These collages, by dislocating the visual significance of the source material, tried to suggest what had been repressed. Revisiting these images, we produced new networked collages and drawings in a networked performative process that included a collaboration with the public. Relying on techniques such as hand drawing, drawing with the use of sketch-a-graph ( a machine that can both enlarge and reduce an image whilst copying it), water colour, acrylic painting and collage, we produced revised bio-tech versions of that book, addressing the new unconscious phantasies, dreams, fears and expectations of our zeit geist. The outputs of this project are the networked drawings and also the 5 films that resulted from documenting the production of each drawing.
This collective project, which placed drawing into a disruptive new situation, challeged the usual characteristics atributed to this medium. It addressed the dream fantasies of the past, placing them into the present (through the mashing up of Max Ernst’s images book with contemporary ones ), and revisited the various historical devices that have been commonly used to make drawings. The glitches, pixelisation and splitting of the images produced by the webcamstreaming device, introduced a new puzzling time/space dimensionality to this experience and served as a trope/interface to the production of a contemporary dreaming space where the new collages/ drawings revisit the collective unconscious fears and fantasies of today. Video: field-mashup-drawing Video: a field (of interconnected realities)
- Paula Roush is an artist-educator-researcher. She is the founder of msdm, a platform for mobile strategies of display & mediation, encompassing online technologies and site-specific approaches to participatory art. She is a lecturer at the London South Bank University and University of Westminster, UK, where she leads courses on artists works with archives, publications and the area of digital performance. Her work has been shown internationally, including: Play Gallery, Sparwasser and Kunstraum Bethanien/ Berlin; GAK: Gesellschaft fur Aktuelle Kunst/ Bremen; Bauhaus Foundation/ Dessau; Centro Cultural de Espana/ Montevideo; Museu da Cidade, Centro de Arte Moderna Jose Azeredo Perdigao/ Lisbon; W139/ Amsterdam; Iniva, Coleman Project Space, 198 gallery, Cubitt Gallery, Space, Elastic Residence and South London Gallery/ London; Galleria Nazionale Veletrzni Palac/ Prague; Overgaden Gallery/ Copenhagen; Living Art Museum/ Reykjavik. She also co-curated Local Worlds: Spaces, Visibilities and Transcultural Flows, Centro Cultural de Lagos, Welcome Goodbye Adeus Obrigada: Journeys, Dislocations and Imaginary Nations, Blue Elephant Theatre, London, Postscript: Portuguese Live Art in the Age of Scripted Reality, Space, London and Outsourcing: Creative Collision Between Artist and Curator, inIVA, London. msdm.org.uk
- Maria Lusitano is an artist from Portugal. In 2009 she completed her MA in Fine Art at the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden and is currently doing a PhD at the University of Westminster UK. She participated and exhibited in various events such as Manifesta 5, Photo Espana 6 Madrid, LundsKonstHall, Sweden, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 29th Biennial of Sao Paulo and Joshibi University Museum,Tokyo. In parallel to their individual practice, Paula Roush and Maria Lusitano have collaborated as Webcam operators, a collective assembled in 2009 to research networked performativity. They have worked within videostreaming platforms, Second Life and webcam communities, producing online-offline actions. The outcome of this process have been various performances and performative lectures, installations and short films, presented at AGM09: under control and Radiator Festival (Derby), Zavod P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E./ Gallery P74 (Ljubljana), Living Room10 (Auckland), Channel TV at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof/ (Hamburg) and Sput-e-nick Space (Porto). marialusitano.org/maria_lusitano/homepage.html