i've now had two classes with the students at nanyang university where i'm having a virtual residency. we are collaboratively creating the cyberformance, "we r now[here]" that will be presented at the opening of the art as a networked practice symposium next week.
the platform we'll use for the performance is Adobe Connect, which works on mobile devices so i've been sending the students on walks around the campus, asking them to think about what they are showing in the frame (and what not), what audio is being streamed, what happens when moving quickly or slowly and so on. they've also been looking for dead spots in the wifi (coverage on campus seems to be quite good so far) and tried using their data plans, although this proved problematic - a lot of lag and drop-outs. the first time they did this exercise, i had neglected to tell them to set their camera to be pointing away from themselves - it hadn't occurred to me that their generation will instinctively point the camera at their own faces unless instructed otherwise. once we got that one sorted out, their journeys took on a whole new level of image and story. we, the viewer, feel as though we are part of the scene, moving through it with the camera; if the camera is focussed on the face there's little space left for us to see the environment, so we are excluded, looking in through a window rather than being inside.
Screengrab from MJ and Ruzana's mobile webcam exercise.
we're also using a piratepad to create a collaborative text for the performance. this allows us to write together, simultaneously or asynchronally, to edit each others' text as we please. it's particularly fun as each author has a different colour and the visual performance of dancing coloured text is always a pleasure.
next week we will discuss what has and hasn't worked in our experiments, and fix a few points for the performance (which will have improvisation and audience participation, of course!).