(Xchange) net, 'radio' and physical space: FAKESHOP

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Posted by Josephine Bosma on December 18, 1997 at 09:34:52:

This interview is part of a series of email interviews about
the what, why and how of audio and the net. They are focussed
on whether this can also be connected to physical spaces, to
see if we could get more people to enjoy net.radio and participate
in it in various ways, instead of only the few with the right
Fakeshop is an electronic arts and performance warehouse space in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn and also a Virtual place, an online meeting
ground for multi-media international collaboration.
They have conducted many experiments in CUseeme collaboration.
The most important part is the active link between remote locations.

< -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- >
/ | \/
>|____||____|> _.-"""""-._

JB: Since when are you involved in net.casting, and is it audio
or video mostly?

shopworker Jeff:
Since 3 years ago.
The FPU group was founded to explore the new computerspecific
strategies of electronic audio/visual transfer. Important to the
group from the beginning was the transfer of experiential information
being collected at the site of production, (namely "site specific"
installation environments), to a remote recieving, or reciprocally
retransmitting audience or collabortional link.
First experiments with were with Cuseeme, expanding into other software
applications such as; Picture-tel, Internet-phone, Tibuktu, etc.

JB: Is this because you merely wanted a larger audience? Thats what it
sounds like...

shopworker Jeff:
Its no secret that the web has offered artists, performative and
otherwise, an expanded sphere of exposure. That is merely one side
effect of working in this way, as in any broadcasting or publishing
medium. The work I have been involved with involving remote linkups has
sought to explore the medium for more than just its lure of a "larger
audience". I hope some evidence of that is left in the archive of works
available online.

JB: Are you interested in it from an art point of view, or do
you also use it as kind of tactical, low access medium?

We are equally interested in both sides of that coin..

JB: can you give examples what kind of performances there
happened and by whom?

shopworker Jeff:
The first few performances have been from a work in progress by the
Fakeshop group. Still without a title, it consists of scenes from
films, presented live with actors/actresses as well as audio/visual
re-digestation. Four scenes so far, two from Fahrenheit 451, and one
from Coma. Coming up will be a scene from Solaris, & THX-1138.
during those pieces we have been simultaneously broadcasting some
element of the performance on Webcam (Live on the site) as well as
Cuseeme. We make no claims as to the satisfactory accomplishments of
that part of the operation, as our technology is still limited.

>|____||____|> _.-"""""-._
,' `.
| Living Scenery, |
| |
\ Music from Films, /
`. ,'
`-..__ ..-'

JB: I like your taste in movies, but: why re-do scenes from movies...
and then such typical techno-paranoia sf-stuff? About the influence
of cinema: cinema was the ultimate indulgement in image/visuals as
sensory seducers, as kind of amplification of that particular sense
which in humans is so overdeveloped, compared to other mamals. We
tend to trust so much more on what we see then on what we experience
otherwise (directly or indirectly), that we are easily fooled by it.
It seems to me that with the appearance of tv this characteristic of
vision was revealed rather then amplified, and with the net this is
even more so. Other aspects of art and reality,
(society/economy/politics) become more transparant,
once one is used to the medium more and more.

shopworker Jeff:
To answer this question I will tell you a little story.
The name Fakeshop is "lifted" from a line in a book by Alain Robbe-
Grillet. He is perhaps my favorite writer. Recently in re-reading
Baudrillards' Simulations, I came across this passage which helps me
explain to myself why I like Robbe Grillet so much, and also why I
like to "re-do scenes from movies".


"To exist from the crisis of representation, you have to lock up the
real in pure repitition. Before emerging in pop art and pictorial
neo-realism, this tendency is at work already in the new novel. The
project is already there to empty out the real, extirpate all
psychology, all subjectivity, to move the real back to pure

In fact this objectivity is only that of the pure look -objectivity at
last liberated from the object, that is nothing more than the blind
relay station of the look which sweeps over it. Circular seduction
where you can detect easily the unconscious desire of no longer being
visible at all.

This is certainly the impression that the new novel leaves: this rage
for eliding sense in a minute and blind reality. Syntax and semantics
have dissapeared-there is no longer apparition, but instead supoena of
the object, severe interrogation of its scattered fragments-neither
metaphor nor metonymy: successive immanence under the policing
structure of the look.

This "objective" minuteness arouses a vertigo of reality, a vertigo of
death on the limits of reperesentation-for-the-sake-of-representation.
End of the old illusions of relief, perspective and depth (spatial and
psychological) bound to the perception of the object:it is the entire
optic;the view become operational on the surface of things, it is the
look become molecular code of the object."


JB: Tell me if I am wrong, maybe I am looking too much for underlying
theories, but could your 'cinema' performances with the choice of
the scenes you do, be some expression of discomfort and (what we call)
healthy paranoia with certain powerstructures behind the development
of technology? Like who is it ultimately *really* developed for?

shopworker Jeff:
No you're not wrong, I think you are correct in this assumption.

fakeshop pr:
>Currently we are having an audience of about 100 people in physical
>attendance and the goal is to explore the possibilities of a virtual
>audience, preferably "seating" people in different countries during
>simultaneously held openings, events etc.

JB: Why do you want a seated audience?

The installation/environments that we are building are becoming more and
more theatrical in nature. When everything is plugged in and humming, it
takes a live audience to close the feedback loop.

JB: With whom do you collaborate?

shopworker Jeff:
So far at the Fakeshop we have hosted two colloborators outside the
core group. The first was a Project by Marc Hungerbuehler, "Placenta
Sister Republics", which presented a simultaneous CUseeme view of two
placentas (both saved from childbirth of his children), one installed
at the shop in New York, and one at a gallery in Tokyo. The
documentation for this event is online at the website under

The second collaborational group was presented on Dec 6, '97, "Adrift",
by Marek Walzcak, Helen Thorrington, and Jesse Gilbert. a link to their
info. is on the site now on the opening page.

/ | \New York/Austria/Real Time Hookup
/ | \VRML/Sound/TEXT/Space
| / | \ |< -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- >
-- \ / --
|____|"A New Work Evolving in a Networked Digital
|____|by Jesse Gilbert,
- -- >Helen Thorrington, and
- -- >Marek Walczak|____|--------|____|>

JB: How are your experiences with ether/cable radio or tv?
Any different from online radio/audio or video?

shopworker Jeff:
We are relative newcomers to both mediums, coming from a more
traditional art background in which the process of publication is a much
less performative thing, but consists of more solid matter. In both
Cable and Online broadcasting it seems to me the object is very
ephemeral, but potentially much more public. But this publicness is very
abstract until the corporations want to pay to have you archived in the
tape space left over between their commercials.
I mean that web work is very ephemeral until some powerful organization
decides that the work is worth archiving for posterity, or publicizing
with their logo underneath it, or banner above it.

JB: you seem to be having a weekly show allready, is this connected to
a space for audience?

We are having a weekly gathering in real space, but the online space is
not inhabited yet.

fakeshop pr:
>Currently we have been "squatting" on
>the brazilian reflector:
> (Brazil) Rio Internet TV

JB: Why did you 'squat' on a reflector, is it otherwise impossible
to do what you want?

shopworker Jeff:
Out of neccesity we must pick a destination for other people to meet us
on. It is really not an ideal situation, but since we haven't been able
to find a host reflector, it seemed like the best choice. One of the
problems is with nudity, because our work includes the use of the human
(male and female) body. As the online world is currently being split
into two camps, one of the pornographers and one of the paranoids of
pornography, it is difficult to be able to participate in the artistic
use of the naked body without falling into one of these two camps. For
this as well as many other reasons we want to find a reflector site
donated by a University of something that would be friendly to
theatrical and artistic experiments without censorship.


Documentation of some early FPU work can be found at

performance Adrift:

90 North 11th st



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