23 June 2021, 20:00 CEST
The Hmm @ Online Events
Over a year ago, when events, exhibitions, and performances suddenly had to take place in online spaces, their infrastructures had hardly been developed for this. In the early pandemic, most of the platforms that were used to socialise with each other or to host events were originally intended for business meeting purposes. With the effect being that attending cultural events felt like a similar experience to being in a business meeting, and leading to us spending hours and hours behind our screens. A recent research paper from Stanford University shows that Zoom fatigue is real. Video chats are much heavier for our brains to process than regular face-to-face interactions or phone calls.
How can we combat this Zoom fatigue? Over the last year, artists and cultural institutions have been thinking about the best way to translate their activities to the internet. We have seen all kinds of new platforms emerge and experienced a lot of experimental events. With The Hmm, we also explored the possibilities of the online realm. Tonight we’re giving you a lay of the land. We’ve invited 8 artists, cultural organisations and developers to our very own livestream, to talk about the platforms they’ve built, the events they’ve organised, and how they’ve translated their programs to the online realm.
How can we reclaim the use of cyberspace and interrogate notions of productivity? Aurélien is an artist and designer based in Amsterdam, who has been researching toxic masculinities and the impact of white cis-heteronormative and patriarchal systems. Aurélien will be joining us to talk about Speed Series, the online interventions that s•he initiated following a burnout. Hijacking everything from Zoom to Google Docs to Telegram to Onlyfans, Aurélien explores notions of productivity, collaboration, and bodily exhaustion from a xenofeminist perspective.
When the pandemic hit, it was theatres and performers that suffered the most within the cultural field. But NITE, an interdisciplinary theatre ensemble, responded to the lockdown in unique and innovative ways. Early in the lockdown they built a virtual environment, the NITE HOTEL, for their performances. In this 3D environment new works were presented, like a version of Swan Lake in which both an online and offline audience could choose their own ending to the classic ballet. Jannes, from NITE, will be joining us to talk about their online and hybrid performances. Link
Florian van Zandwijk
What is needed in order to be less dependent on Big Tech and develop your own platform within the cultural field? This is the question that Florian, a freelance designer and artist, is trying to answer with Enter, a platform he’s developing for Het Nieuwe Instituut. Enter is a public ongoing research and conversation piece, combining experimental design, development, and critical reflection on the implications of online platforms. Florian will be joining us to talk about Enter and his findings and failures while working on the platform. Link
Which platforms allow us to explore the emotional impacts of our increasingly automated world, while also speaking to the effects of isolation? Amy, a writer, performer, and experimental theatre-maker, will be joining us to talk about The Program, a theatrical experience that takes place entirely over the phone. It is created using Twilio (a software usually used to create corporate phone trees). Amy is a founding member of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists and runs a video game blog called Gentle Gamers. Link
Jara Rocha and Seda Gürses
“Let’s not just do another webinar, please!” This is one of the driving forces behind the platform (or ‘platframe’) that was built for the 3rd Workshop on Obfuscation, in collaboration with Hackers & Designers. Jara, who works on tasks of remediation, action-research and in(ter)dependent curatorship, and Seda, an Associate Professor in the Department of Multi-Actor Systems at TU Delft, co-organised this workshop together with Ero Balsa and Helen Nissenbaum. Jara and Seda will be joining us to talk about the Obfuscation platform and the Catalog of Formats for Digital Discomfort. Link
Want to watch a video together, hang out with friends, or build your own exhibition? This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible in Common.garden, a grass roots, artist run platform, open for anyone to create their own space. Tereza, an art historian interested in net art and net culture, will be joining us to talk about this new online tool, which was created by Constant Dullaart as a response to the slow responses in creating new and original online meeting spaces for cultural institutions. Link
In the fall of 2020, many students were exhausted from spending all day on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But Gary, a Professor of Transport Human Factors at the University of Nottingham, took his class to a whole new level. He created Nottopia, a virtual teaching island, to teach about simulation and VR from within VR. Gary will be joining us to talk about how he utilised the power of social VR to engage with his students and the overwhelmingly positive feedback of their experience. Get a little sneak peek of a seminar in Nottopia. Link
Monique van Dusseldorp
From virtual spaces to audio-only events, from concerts within game worlds to a sign language for video calls, every aspect of the event industry is changing in this pandemic year – but the basic needs underlying our desire to get together are unchanged. So what is the future of events? This is the question that Monique, a freelance curator and moderator of tech and media conferences, is exploring in her latest research which takes the form of an irregular newsletter. Monique will be joining us tonight to share her research on the future of events. Link