Tuesday, November 07, 2006

about art_room

In art_room, I used a webchat called webcamnow. My performance was developed in the context of Identidades Virtuais workshop, and I had set a schedule during the month of June. When I began the performance, on the first day, I went to room 1 to announce what I was doing by simply posting the sentence: "Don't be afraid to ask everything you always wanted to know about contemporary art". I moved to a free room (from 30 rooms, only three rooms had people in them), and I began to have conversations with some of the people. I soon realize that some of the users felt like they "own" the website (no matter what room I moved into), and they began to become very aggressive towards me. If you see the still image of me during the performance, you will only see my eyes. I was hiding behind my powerbook, because some of the users kept saying that I was showing off too much (even if I was decently dressed). In order to avoid some visual disturbance, I ended up "veiled" by my computer... The result was totally the reverse from the other experiences...The experience of a certain degree of intimacy, soon lead to fear acted as aggressivity and exclusion. In the second day I was expelled from the "family and friends" area: my camera was shut down, and I was disconnected as a user by the moderator (just because he felt like it...he confessed it, when I later protested signed as a new user). At first I was really furious and sent a complaint letter (that was never answered), but soon I realize that this experiment was very fascinating and revealing of how a human community can function - in a social and political sense - no matter what kind of media you are using or what kind of space you are at.

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