A Field of Interconnected Realities: Cyber Drawing and Mash-Up Electronic Goodness


Session Title:

  • Digital Performance

Presentation Title:

  • A Field of Interconnected Realities: Cyber Drawing and Mash-Up Electronic Goodness




  • 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.