Session Title:

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

Presentation Title:

  • Untitled




  • 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?