[ISEA2011] Panel: Paula Roush & Maria Lusi­tano (moderators) – Intimate TV: Webcamming and Social Life-logging In the Surveillant-Sousveillant Space

Panel Statement

Chair Per­sons: Paula Roush & Maria Lusi­tano
Pre­sen­ters: Annie Abra­hams, Mar­garida Car­valho, Cinzia Cre­mona, Eu­nice Gonçalves Duarte & Helen Var­ley Jamieson

For this panel we pro­pose to re­flect upon the prac­tice of dig­i­tal per­for­mance with the use of we­b­cams, ad­dress­ing is­sues of in­ti­macy in the net­work. We­b­cam­ming refers to the use of we­b­cams to stream live from per­sonal en­vi­ron­ments to the in­ter­net, and de­velop life-logs that archive such prac­tices as on­line doc­u­men­ta­tions of the every­day. We­b­cam­ming prac­tices have been the­o­rised with dif­fer­ent re­sults from within the areas of dig­i­tal per­for­mance /cy­ber­for­mance. On the one hand, an his­tor­i­cal ac­count of dig­i­tal per­for­mance equates the use of we­b­cams in the hands of artists with the “sub­ver­sion of sur­veil­lance,” and an ironic ques­tion­ing of we­b­cam’s myths of au­then­tic­ity and im­me­di­acy. The field of cy­ber­for­mance, on the other hand, the­o­rises we­b­cam­ming in the con­text of in­creas­ing on­line par­tic­i­pa­tion, and the types of col­lab­o­ra­tions it fa­cil­i­tates within web 2.0 en­vi­ron­ments. How­ever, none of these analy­ses ad­dresses the in­creas­ing in­ti­macy fa­cil­i­tated by the main­stream use of sur­veil­lance/com­mu­ni­ca­tional  tech­nolo­gies for per­sonal video stream­ing and archiv­ing, or the par­tic­u­lar aes­thetic  and sub­ver­sive spec­ta­to­r­ial  po­si­tions that in­form such in­ti­mate video prac­tices.  Our pro­posal for this panel at­tempts to fill in such gap by look­ing at the ge­neal­ogy of per­sonal video-stream­ing and its place within art re­search on we­b­cam­ming and the sur­veil­lant-sousveil­lant space.
1.What are the char­ac­ter­is­tics of cy­ber­for­mance in the con­text of net­works of in­ti­macy? What de­fines  its par­tic­u­lar aes­thet­ics and the spec­ta­to­r­ial po­si­tions that in­form such in­ti­mate video prac­tices?
2. Now that peo­ple’s lives are per­formed for the In­ter­net and dis­trib­uted across mul­ti­ple so­cial net­works as chunks of self-au­thored con­tent, is it still pos­si­ble to sep­a­rate or dis­tin­guish per­for­mance art from the per­for­ma­tive stream of every­one else’s lives?
3. How is on­line per­for­mance con­cep­tu­alised from a con­tem­po­rary art and media sur­veil­lance-sousveil­lance per­spec­tive?

  • 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