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