[ISEA2011] Panel: Helen Var­ley Jamieson – Ex­er­cises in re­mote in­ti­macy (or, “when web-cast­ing IS cy­ber­for­mance”)

Panel Statement

Panel:  Intimate TV: Webcamming & Social Life-logging In the Surveillant-Sousveillant Space

A  year ago, I wrote a blog post en­ti­tled “why web-cast­ing is not cy­ber­for­mance”, in­spired by a num­ber of pro­pos­als to the Up­Stage fes­ti­val that as­sumed this was a plat­form for web-cast­ing. I ar­gued that, in its sim­plest form, web-cast­ing uses the in­ter­net as a broad­cast medium, to make some­thing that ex­ists of­fline ac­ces­si­ble to a wider au­di­ence; whereas with cy­ber­for­mance, the site of the per­for­mance is the in­ter­net, the per­for­mance is sig­nif­i­cantly shaped by this, and does not exist with­out the in­ter­net. In this paper I will fur­ther ex­plore these ideas by dis­cussing ex­am­ples from my own cy­ber­for­mance work that in­clude web-cast el­e­ments. In par­tic­u­lar I will ad­dress ques­tions posed by this panel re­lat­ing to the sep­a­ra­tion of per­for­mance art from the per­for­ma­tive stream of daily lives, and the aes­thet­ics and spec­ta­to­r­ial po­si­tions that in­form net­worked per­for­mance prac­tices.

  • Helen Var­ley Jamieson is a writer, the­atre prac­ti­tioner and dig­i­tal artist from New Zealand. In 2008 she com­pleted a Mas­ter of Arts (re­search) at Queens­land Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (Aus­tralia) in­ves­ti­gat­ing her prac­tice of cy­ber­for­mance – live per­for­mance on the in­ter­net – which she has been de­vel­op­ing for over a decade. She is a found­ing mem­ber of the glob­ally-dis­persed cy­ber­for­mance troupe Avatar Body Col­li­sion, and the pro­ject man­ager of Up­Stage, an open source web-based plat­form for cy­ber­for­mance. Using Up­Stage, she has co-cu­rated on­line fes­ti­vals in­volv­ing artists and au­di­ences around the world. Helen is also the “web queen” of the Mag­dalena Pro­ject, an in­ter­na­tional net­work of women in con­tem­po­rary the­atre.                                                                                                                                                creative-catalyst.com   upstage.org.nz  avatarbodycollision.org  themagdalenaproject.org