Analysis of my practice within ‘Live Art’

I’ve been trying to work out where my practice sits within this discipline.

I’m aware of the LADA and TATE Live streams and the general trend to Live Stream performances  from galleries, but this is more to extend the audience the as a part of the work.

I was aware of the Shia Le Boef in a Lift  performance but I have not been aware of other artists Live streaming as part of their practice.

I’ve unfortunately had to make the choice not to visit BA and MA Showsthis year so that I can be sure of completing my own work….so I’m not sure of emerging artists practice in this filed.

I‘ve been concentrating on my own use of the streams a mode of interaction and connection to extend ‘community’, a way of ‘open-source’ sharing and simultaneously creating my work with a  ‘non-art’ happenstance public audience, who become accidental participants and collaborators. I reached a stage where making and reflecting on that became more important than wondering what other people were doing…Possibly not good!

This next step will happen after the completion of the course in my case….

I’ve made a list though of Live Art practitioners whose work has resonances  with mine, but without, as far as I know, the live stream…

One thing that Interactive Periscope Streaming does, by allowing for conversation, is to make the work very affective I feel.

My first Research question was “How can digital technology produce affect?” and I think that the use of Periscope and similar can allows that.

So the list

Lygia Clark for her use of props  to encourage social interaction and the expression of ‘the embodied’ and affective work plus her links with anthropology.

Adrian Howells for his intimacy and sensitivity, in one-to one- performances. Something I could aspire to in some way with `Live stream….?

Ann Hamilton  ( does she count her self as a Live Artist?) for her relationship with site and archive but not ‘theatre’

Bill Drummond and also the very relevant events at Eastside Projects which I,sadly,  haven’t been able to get to…..but hopefully I will  get to Production Show before it finishes.

 Joshua Sofaer for his work with communities.

 Mike Pearson theatre performer and participation related to Archaeology and Tradition

‘folk’ performance.

 Hayley Newman  … maybe just an aspiration…

and maybe some elements of Juneau Projects  thrown in.

So in Summary

I don’t know where I fit in Live Art… if at all….

 

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The more things change…..

After choosing not to archive my streams, Periscope now gives the option keep the Scopes for ever!…… I’ve just has a notification when I opened the app.

It’s been coming for some time in different forms, since the demise of Katch…as seen here  using the appropriate #.

But now it’s here automatically …if you want it!

In the meantime here are some of my streams  ..

21st May: I broadcast Louise and I looking through documentation of some of the work I made on Crouch Hill , some 8 years ago. Neighbours and our sons were involved in this work. We shared our memories and I reflected on the work, the space, then and now.

22nd May: I took down the pin-hole cameras and broadcast that process. Brian Little, historian and Elvie the dog, happened to be there at the same time.

29th May: I opened my birthday gifts from Louise on the Hill and shared the experience with the Scopers. There was little Trolling! Just jealous…

31st May : Walt Whitman’s Birthday. I read two Walt Whitman poems, Song of the Universal and To think of Time, from Leaves of Grass. These poems address, `time, Space, ephemerality, rural life and politics with thoughts of simultaneity. It rained very hard and I abandoned the reading because the wet paper disintegrated.

3rd June: Colleague, Jon Shapley, whose work also addresses issues of space, came  up the Hill and we discussed the nature of the space of Crouch Hill. I read from the summaries  key to my Research Paper that  I’d presented for the Research Discussion in February. He used to work in town planning, so I asked him to ‘build’ a new development, as housing is being constructed around the Hill as this project continues. There was some interesting ‘chat’  and lots of interaction as visitors to the summit altered the installation.

 

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and its still continuing now… see Twitter Here and Here 

I also made a Vine : I was reading from Bailey’s thoughts on Time Perspectivism whilst Jon built a village.

5th June: I wasn’t intending to Scope but as we reached the summit, I heard people partying. Some people had had a camp-out. The first I’ve seen this year.. It was an unusually warm day. The space changed again

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13th May: I broadcast Trace see in this post An inadvertent but significant simultaneity

22nd June: I broadcast For the Heart. I  read from classic texts, Hilda Leyel’s  Herbs for the Heart and Gabrielle Hatfield’s Hatfield Herbal on traditional herbal medicine, regarding the medicinal properties of Hawthorn. I’d intended to do this on May Day, but the May blossom was very late to flower and on the Summer Solstice, I hurt my back and couldn’t really walk at all. This day seemed appropriate to talk about traditional medicines to heal the heart. I broadcast it at 3.30pm, as others were holding a memorial for Jo Cox in Westminster and around the world. This time I was an intentional participant in ‘a simultaneity’, Scoped or not. 

26th June: Visited the Car-Boot sale at the Self-Pick Farm situated at the bottom of Crouch Hill., looking for bowls for the Show. I had several interesting conversations whilst Scoping. Particularly pertinent  was a seller from nearby Chipping Norton greeted by a viewer from Morocco, who marvelled at the tech. and said.. “So why do we need the EU then ” .. with all that tech…One of the sellers, Paul from Stargoat  recognised me from my involvement with publicity for the the Old Town party community in Banbury, some years ago. He played his guitar and chatted about music, David Bowie, walking the Wainwright Way and his home in Nethercote just outside Banbury.He also told a story about the role of his home in the exchange of information about nuclear fission to the Russians in 1948…I feel a project coming on….

From Snapchat to 4chan with some in-between

A Summary of some of the apps and Platforms I’ve looked at during the last 12 months .

  • My journey around apps started I guess with a fascination with Snapchat  and watching it in the Reading Room project see this post  last Spring .

My son had introduced me and I loved it… for daft middle-aged not teen reasons! No sharing images of  my body-parts, Thank You! … The trouble was that non- of my contacts joined! No community... One replied to my invitation with ” I’m not on Snapchat but would you like to meet in town for a coffee . “Well we are over 50!

In some ways these events  were key to  the paradox of  living within and between several digital and physical communities which is demonstrated also in my Research Paper. And probably the start of thinking about bringing those together within my process.

  • At the end of Unit 1 in October 2015, Jonathan mentioned Storify, story-telling platform, in a tutorial  so I  signed up and started to investigate it. I drafted this post then and have been editing since.

I kept looking at Storify and trying to fit what I wanted into it…..It is great for  adding content from social media but I did have some problems with the Search trying to find exactly what I wanted.

That’s pretty hard call even when just using a browser as I wanted such specific times and dates and of course had to consider Time differences in location of the event and also on the platform. Twitter time does not equal UK time for instance! The problem can be sorted by altering the settings within the browsers but I couldn’t seem to get the specificity I needed with Storify. I’m sure I could’ve done it a ‘long way round’ and imported the content as images ? but I didn’t feel the other all rest would produce what I wanted in the end, so I abandoned it…There for future reference though….

The  main problem though was that it still produces too linear a narrative.… although more recently for an Upgrade there is livefyre which may be worth investigating. At the time of I was investigating there was no Free Trial, otherwise I may have gone down that route! There are others and others!!! all with different emphases on image, text etc…..

 Later on I decided I  wanted to be able to include live feed from Periscope on  a storytelling platform….. I might have been able to do that  by using Katch but then that disappeared ( see below)

  • I had already spent some time looking at other simpler platforms for documenting the narrative of my process. Some image hosting sites I knew already…Pinterest, Flikr and have dipped into in the past. I set up Instagram and Imgur account to investigate further. The latter on my son’s recommendation because I had been thinking of posting on Reddit, when searching for synchronous events to document along side my actions  to demonstrate simultaneity  as in these described in   Protected: Same time, different places  and here

 described fully in Notes for Research Discussion Thursday 11th February 2016

  • I looked at a range of news sites on Youtube and also Buzzfeed, Huff Post and others.I’d also been directed to and ‘warned’ about ( my sons assume I need protection – they are possibly correct)  the content of 4chan and used some content for the video clips made in   Final Cut – these short pieces which became  works in themselves.

I was still desperately trying to make something non- linear within the constraints of the linear.There’s a long and rambling post where I discuss ( with my self) the vary aspects of that and how film- makers approach the problem.

I eventually stopped trying to tell the story of simultaneity and demonstrate it simply through the action.

  • But on my way I’ve been having ( and continue to have ) fun, playing with Vine here and Anthropology – ritual and space on Vine
  • Using Periscope as  medium of making and showing my work has evolved during my process. The app has developed and continued. The best way to find to what’s available is to watch and interact with other Broadcasts. I did a lot of that at the beginning but recently have limited myself to Broadcasts only. I may have missed out on some updates but didn’t want to get distracted by the app. Just work within the constrains of it, as it was in May. The full functionality depends on having a decent phone so things have improved since upgrading to 8GB iPhone SE. Just after I’d started to use Periscope, this happened:

Scope Day  Originally on November 7, 2015, 56 broadcasters in 37 cities on 6 continents showcased destinations in their respective cities/countries over the course of 16 hours, a sort of simultaneity demonstration. In December 2015 Issac Duckett, the CEO of SCL Brands / Slickchix has acquired the rights to Scope Day.

  • I have used, with varying degrees of success, YouTubeLive and  Google hangouts but rather stupidly deleted the evidence of attempted and successful Trials from my YouTube Channel when tidying up! but Here is one from YouTube below  and one here which was successful on Google Hangouts

is one remaining failure!

I downloaded the encoding software onto my old laptop necessary for YouTube Live stream  and managed a successful stream from my living room but then next time  I couldn’t even access Youtube because the OS no longer supports the updated version… I tried my son’s Chrome book and again had some success but I wanted to broadcast from the Hill where there is no Wi-Fi and using my phone as a Hot-Spot didn’t work for streaming, certainly not with the phone I’d got at the time.The Chrome book had 4G but  still didn’t work. Periscope is just So Easy in comparison.

From an audience point of view it allows anyone with the app to find your stream and watch. The accessibility is so much greater than Youtube where people have to search harder or know her to find you. The Map and List on Periscope make it straightforward and you can search for users using username.

I looked at Lifestream  but it is very corporate, the audience would not be the broad, happen across audience that I was hoping for. I didn’t investigate Snapchat Live.

  • Twitter  : All my broadcasts are automatically shared on Twitter. This gives my Twitter Followers even without the Periscope app the chance to see the Broadcasts for 24 hours.

I’ve been using Twitter more now, to share Vines and posts on my MAFAD Blog as well as posting and re-tweeting.So much so that it has become an essential component for my Final Show, as an access point for an audience

  • Google Translate: In the early days of using Periscope I had a large number of viewers from Turkey (and Russia) so I used Google translate to view the conversation. I could only do this from Screen recordings though. Here they are below,  rather long, clumsy and unedited; but they  show some of my investigation…

There was some chat about an app for simultaneous translation whilst broadcasting, but I couldn’t find it….

and

  • I was interested in the work of Blast Theory especially after the  Participation session with Jonathan and downloaded  Karen app, which was fun.
  • Katch was an app which saved automatically all Periscope streams WITH Comments and hearts  but it closed at the beginning of May. It was useful when I found it and the results of the archived content can be seen in several posts below

Lewis Carroll, Time and Philosophy   

Egg Rolling: Easter Day 

Games without frontiers?

Questioning the i Ching- games without frontiers continued,

All the other broadcasts  were saved to Katch from early March until the end April and I archived them from Katch to this Youtube  playlist Here. The comments (on an Excel spreadsheet), stats and video files were downloaded to my Desktop. It wasn’t available for the St George’s Day work, so this was screen- recorded on the Desktop.

I looked at lots of other Video and screen saving apps available on my 4S but non- worked well and kept to screen recording from the Desktop which if accessed using Chrome as a browser shows the hearts and comments on the replay

  • i Ching: I played around with this app as I aim to use the iChing in an action during the Final Show…possibly using the app…I’d used cards already see above 
  • Geocache: I’ve played around with too ,see here Protected: Geocache possibilities
  • I’ve debated the use of Bit.ly  vs other alternatives  as shortners for Twitter etc.. My son favours Goo.gl but I’ve stuck with Bit.ly so far
  • Soundcloud here 
  • Clyp as here 
  • I investigated Anchor too,”Anchor is radio by the people, where any voice can join the conversation. Anchor makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips to a global audience in seconds. Your listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations that were never before possible.”but found it rather dull at the time. Very corporate…Maybe I’ll investigate it when it’s been around a bit longer.IMG_3727.jpg

 

The Longest Day

I’d planned to lead a short herb- walk on the Hill via Periscope tonight, and thought of advertising it to the public as i’ve had a few enquiries this year…for some reason I didn’t…

Just arranged with a couple of friends to maybe go for a stroll, possibly to do a walking mediation and broadcast that…

However, yesterday I slipped on a wet floor in a car showroom (!!) , whilst taking my car to be serviced…No chance of walking up the hill today, or doing much walking anywhere.

On this significant day in the calendar, there is no Broadcast…it feels strange….that’s when you know  you’ve developed a personal ritual process (although not a collective community ritual in strictly anthropological terms..)

Here’s the Hill from my bedroom window. That’s not my garden BTW….IMG_3651

 

That old documentation paradox again….

Following my broadcast on Monday, 13th June, I have made a decision not to document anymore Broadcasts. I will delete any video saved to my camera roll, if this should happen. I have more than enough material to work on and the excessive amount of documentation here within the Blog.

Paradox is at the heart of  my process including my excessive and compulsive documentation  and the contrast with  ephemerality of the medium. So for these last few weeks of the MA, and the broadcasts I make during the Final Show will cease to exist after 24 hours…at least as far as my hard-drives are concerned.

Does this feel uncomfortable.Yep, but the relationship between performance, documentation and archive  has never been an easy  or static one and I’ve wrestled with it throughout my practice

It will be time to look again at key works from Peggy Phelan’s Unmarked: The Politics of Performance ( 1993), Derrida’s Archive Fever ( 1995)  and works regarding performing the archive .

Just for now though, I’ve made my decision. The broadcasts will be listed on Periscope and there will be documentation of the number of viewers and other stats. that I can access on my phone for a limited period afterwards. This will include Peak numbers of viewers and a graph showing numbers over time (the latter is not possible to see here for this broadcast) There is also a list of viewers so that if I want to follow them or contact through Periscope or Twitter, I can…

I’ve posted some examples below. The graph is from a more recent broadcast.

On Twitter it will be possible for me to see a record of  Total Twitter activity  as below:

 

An inadvertent but significant simultaneity

I have been trying to decide on an image for the paper strip around my chocolate for the Final Show. Struggling with the idea of of branding... see next post.… I decided to go up the Hill with Louise and  take some photographs.

This felt really false. A deceit.

So, after looking through my box of materials containing ‘As yet unmade actions’ I decided  to take some candles, matches and the inside of a roll of parcel tape.

My intention was to melt wax on the surface of the Hill, inside a ‘frame’, to make a kind of ‘Wax Tablet’, an impermanent print – an ironic nod to Empiricism, as it seems to me to serve as the opposite of a Tabula Rasa, containing  previous action within and on the surface of it and so, an ‘a priori’ residual presence.

Also  a commentary on the concept of palimpsest with a fluid reflexive relationship, between layers of  what is ‘written’ and erasure.

It started to rain as I  pitched my tent and talked to a passing dog ( Alfie) and his owner. We heard some shots, which I took to be a bird-scarer on the nearby Pick-Your-Own farm, but Alfie’s owner was not so sure, and was rather concerned thinking it was gun-fire. Not unknown in this rural area, but a bit close for comfort.

Louise arrived and I started work and broadcasting Trace #Crouch Hill.

Several people ‘hopped on’ including this viewer who had joined me before. It was a ridiculous Scope in many ways with Louise acting as ‘straight guy’ , chatting to viewers whilst I tried to light candles in the rain. I found a small wooden toy man figure, which had ended up in the earth

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 and placed the frame over ‘ him’ / that, to incorporate him in the wax.

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This gives an indication of the conversation during the process.

Towards the end, with the dogs getting restless, the wax leaking from the frame and me burning my fingers on the candle’s flame, I decide to just rest the candles on the soil and let the wax flow down on to the soil. Louise left and I just sat quietly chatting to the remaining viewer watching the flames via the Scope and my phone screen.

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When the candles had burnt away, I waited for the wax to cool, tool down my tent, packed up and returned home. As I left the Hill, I felt a sense of loss, as I often do when broadcasting alone from the site… a sense of detachment.

Later that night as I went through the Broadcast to save these screen shots I, unusually, had the TV on in the background.

Then I realised that I had been coincidentally privileged to be taking part in a simultaneous global community ritual of mourning and solidarity without being aware of it, and I understood the  meaning behind some of the comments a little more ( see link).

Orlando

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Local Historians – Brian and Margaret

Brian and Margaret are frequenters of Crouch Hill and nearby Salt Way  when walking their dog, Elvie. They are also local historians and members of the local Banbury Historical Society . Brian writes a weekly column for the print edition of local weekly newspaper Banbury Guardian.

Brian had arranged to come up the hill, sit in the tent and talk about the history of Crouch Hill and its historical importance to the town. However, the weather had been so wet that access to the summit was very slippery and both Brian and Margaret had recently had accidents, falling; so we decided it was wiser to stay in the house!

I broke the chat into streams of around 15 minutes to see if this had any effect on audience. There was what has become a common feeling of local and global communities joining. Some of the names on the stream were familiar; Andrea from Asturias, who I shared my cycling memories with, in an earlier post was there.

Again, someone from Blackpool recognised my username as having a specific reference to the area. This has happened at least twice before; I get drawn into a chat about which school I went to and which hospital I was born in!!!

This brings a strange and lovely personal context to the Broadcast for me and hopefully  other viewers, the way that communities collide and merge in an open network……

The conversation ranged from some of the more general history, contemporary residential developments along the Salt Way, archaeological investigations prior to building and the controversy surrounding them.

Brian also told a story of a birdwatching trip to the Battlefield of Edgehill site several years ago with local naturalist, Ernie Bingham and a follow-up ‘ security’ visit from the local ‘Copper’!

We looked through his extensive collection of books and he spoke about how the top of the hill was created artificially and that a local legend says that ” the Devil dropped it there…. on his way to the nearby church in Bloxham”  ( if my memory serves me right!)

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During the chat I mentioned Alfred  Beesley’s  History of Banbury ( 1841). I hadn’t wanted to read in the official archives held in Oxford or Banbury libraries for this work.

My methodology is of re-mediation through people as agents, so it was a marvellous coincidence when Margaret said she had her own copy and went off to the shelves to get it.

That couldn’t have happened if we had managed to climb the hill!

Then she described  Chap Books, which were small, cheap, simple books and  on the streets to individuals and travelling sellers called Chapmen; who also sold  bootlaces, ribbons, lace,seeds and spices etc.  in the  17th to the 19th century .
Chap books were  were flimsy, ephemeral and passed from hand to hand with a readership  mainly  the poor.  They served like  broadsheets, ballads, and long songs,  covering a very wide range of topics from fairy tales to news of politics.   She had some re-prints with short verses describing the extreme Puritan views held in Banbury and also the  books printed by Banbury printers, Rusher  (whose poem I read from at the very beginning of this stage of my research, Reading William Rusher #Crouch Hill)

Brian also talked about some more recent activities on the hill including Steeplecashing and sledging which still continues…my younger son broke his foot doing just that !

We were joined, not just by the Periscope community, but also my son in a notification about his Amazon Prime account!

Another tender mix of the production of simultaneous, intimate and global space  through contingent social interaction within a re-animated past.

As I walked away from their house in the dull, damp weather I could see Crouch Hill with it’s distinctive summit from the ‘end of their road’…..

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