—The Order of Things—

November 14th, 2010 by mariepix

My collaboration with Esther Jones, The Order of Things, has been screened at the MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics) conference held at Birkbeck back in April 2011.  It has now been published in their journal, Studies in the Maternal, (Volume 3, issue 2 available online at http://www.mamsie.bbk.ac.uk/visual_media_art.html)

The Order Of Things: Where Are You?

authors: esther jones and marie-josiane agossou
video, colour, sound, 8’20”

Three faceless women try to juggle the care of an-Other with the tasks-at-hand, both essential in their roles. They are finding it difficult. The Order of Things: Where Are You? looks at themes of identity, time and thought and the way it shifts in relation to the person-cared-for and the paraphernalia associated with that care. All three women are taken up with doing-for and being-for. Around them the environment hurries them on, they find themselves focused on the tasks. In contrast the toddler, the old man, the baby is urging them to slow down, to take notice. Time slows almost to a standstill at the point of connection, when they find themselves being-with their charges. The clarity of the task, to which they wish to retreat for all its defensive virtues, its neat categories, the semblance of order – cook the pasta, wash the dishes, sterilise the bottles – gives way to something powerful, something that stirs them up.  But where should we find these women: in the tasks-at-hand or in the being-with, or somewhere in between? In between the push and pull: the concern, the anxiety, the anger, the adaptability, the softness, the ambivalence, the one-handedness, the memory trace …?

esther jones

view The Order Of Things here.

conspiracy dwellings cambridge scholars publishing

June 6th, 2010 by mariepix

One sentence exactly from my short write up about the webcamNow site has been quoted and referenced in this publication. Hooray!

find it on amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conspiracy-Dwellings-Surveillance-Contemporary-Art/dp/1443819050

 

 


vooduino: active watch

June 6th, 2010 by mariepix

We had this fantasy of bringing voodoo, knitting, video and electronics together.

We went into this project with a somewhat literal concept which involved a knitted doll fitted with a number of switches and one RFId reader.

Jars – with Tangible Experiments

May 22nd, 2010 by mariepix

[singlepic id=71 w=500 h= float=left]

Jars  is a simple sound, video and lights installation …in glass jars using Flash, Arduino and flex sensors.

It came about because we were experimenting with the new flex sensors we’d just acquired and because I had just read an article about the death of young American designer Tobias wong who had brought us the famous sun jars. Jars is a modest tribute to the late designer.

Three conserve glass jars triggering sound, video and L.E.Ds. Fitted with flex sensors, the analog data is sent to a flash ActionScript program via Arduino, changing values in sound volume and led intensity.

[nggallery id=6]

We wanted to keep the content simple and create more of an atmospheric piece where the audience would enter a different world through the jars, each jar being a portal to a space that is not the city. We wanted natural sounds reminiscent of the peaceful countryside, somewhere to escape to or be contemplative in.

Again, this piece is more about play than a well rounded conceptual works.

It is about the participation of the public and their immersion into the piece through choice.

 

 

emolab meeting: second thoughts about SecondLife…

November 19th, 2009 by mariepix

SL2

Emolab meeting in SecondLife: My hancroft, kyryl71 Byron, La Pau and Mariepix Mixmaster try to set up a group chat over late breakfast at Kalepa gardens.

We’d started this collaboration and relationship a few months back, first with a skype meeting.

Some of us had met in person before, but the group had never physically been in the same space together before.

The technical unsuitability of the Skype conference system led us to Oovoo. This let us video chat, each of us having our own channel. Communication here also had to be adapted to the distractions and interferences brought by busy networks, slow connections, webcam failures, sound delay…

SecondLife was one of our most challenging experience in terms of communication and exchange. Public chat, private chat, group chat and live chat; different options for conversing within the same immersive environment yet the interface is somewhat inconsistent moving from one communication tool to the other. Surpassing that, having all these options available in one group situation makes for a potentially complex dynamic to handle.

While being able to visualize ourselves as a group, existing in avatar form in a common location, La Pau could be in a private chat with Mariepix Mixmaster. My hancroft, kyryl71 Byron and La Pau simultaneously could be together in a public chat open to and heard by all visitors of the location; a group chat could be happening alongside all other communication groups and forms existing within Secondlife. Huis-clos situations forming between members of a team whose confidence as a group could be insecured could not only break up the group communication but also fragment the group visually.

The difficulties were spatial and temporal sealed by the technologies’ failure to sustain us collectively in a given location. As we merge with our avatar, as we learn about our environment and how to operate within it in a virtual skin, as we dislocate our mind from our physical place, the introduction of a group situation makes us having to juggle more simultaneous motor, mental and intellectual activities than we are used to.

As a result, La pau might return to Paula at home in Portugal, Mariepix Mixmaster returns to Marie at her desk in London, kyryl71 Byron might return to Maria somewhere in Malmo and start exchanging disengaged messages via email. Meeting over.

Email, instant messaging, video chats and virtual environments, all part of our daily lives for a over a decade now, we thought we were masters of wired communication. Ultimately, communication is a skill to be re-learnt and re-developed with every situation, place, platform, time and technology.

media in nature…

September 2nd, 2009 by mariepix

P1050155RLe Parc Floral In Orleans, France is a beautiful space where nature and low technology intertwine unobstructed. The purpose on first look seems to be mere aesthetics, outdoors art, although non negligible and simply successful, the plus of added information accessible through various media forms to all, along the paths and open spaces of the park, makes each visit a natural, artistic, and educational delight.


developing with drupal…oh lord!

August 12th, 2009 by mariepix

When manually installing drupal and if on a mac, the .htaccess file required to enable clean urls will not show as it is hidden. In order to copy it to your server you can dowload Tinker Tool. This will allow further options for your system such as viewing hidden and system files.

developing emolab.msdm.or.uk with drupal…the suffering continues

August 11th, 2009 by mariepix

…and remember ‘filtered HTML’ can ruin your entire day!

picture not displaying? make sure your content type is set to ‘FULL HTML’

developing emolab.msdn.org.uk with drupal…and suffering

August 10th, 2009 by mariepix

Having immersed myself in the enormous task of developing a drupal site for the webcam operators new emolab (emotional labour) project, I have slowly but surely been learning a few basic things about this quite complex but powerful content management system.

EarlyStageEmolab

Without going back to the very start of setting up a drupal site (many tutorials – OH THANK GOD!- are available all over the web, although mostly written by experts who have no idea how to relate to and address less experienced people like me ), I still am at the very beginning of this site’s development and today I was faced with the problem of editing the Home page.

The Home page when building a drupal site, has a default configuration that cannot be edited (easily).

A couple of ways are suggested when doing a web search on the issue; the most common one being creating new content (page for example) and setting the publishing options to “promoted to front page”, and finally add the node’s url  to the path for the Home page (configure>site information>default front page).

promoteFrontPage

However, doing this wasn’t the best option for me as I didn’t want the authoring information appearing on the page and neither did i want a Title as the site information section allows not only the site’s title, but also description, slogan and logo.

So there I was…stuck.

But, i am lucky. I have David. everybody should know a David! He came out with this genius idea that I should …simply (!) create a new content type and view using Views.

Here is a bit of drupal Therapy:

DavidChat

field work in WebcamNow – cctvecstasy project

August 3rd, 2009 by mariepix

wcn and cctvecstasy project, jan 2009

Picture 2C2

webcamnow- the platform

American-based Webcamnow.com or WCN for its most avid users is a video network connecting live webcams around the world. WebcamNow activated its free videochat service facility in 1998, which makes it one of the oldest online adult videochat providers. It advertises itself as having the biggest directory of live cameras.

WCN offers three main experiences on its video platform. Users can register as visitors, free members or as paying members or “Speedsters”. As its name indicates, the Speedster membership allows users to view cameras at a faster rate, otherwise limited to a low speed preview, with the image refreshing every 6 seconds only for free members and visitors.

Visitors can navigate through the network of live webcams, or “rooms” as well as communicating via “Chat”; however, they are not able to broadcast themselves on the video network.

Upon entering a username and password, users can access the WebcamNow chat rooms, and  select the area they wish to socialize in.

WCN provides the choice of two networks, being presented as two distinctive spaces. The first is the Open Area, governed by an Adult Content Agreement hence essentially populated by members looking for intimate or sexual experiences of a kind only limited by each user’s needs, desires and fantasies.

The second area – Friends and Family- as opposed to the latter is a monitored section, in which users can meet and exchange; nonetheless on a very personal level, yet respecting the area’s conditions of use to behave in a non-offensive or objectionable manner. This area wants to cater for mainstream audiences.

The default interface for Wecamnow.com is made of four distinct areas. The first and main area is the Viewer Window for receiving other user’s webcam data. This window is situated at the top left of the screen and can be resized to a choice of available settings from small to large.
Webcam volume can also be adjusted from this window, provided the chosen chatroom has allowed microphone access.

Picture 2 Immediately below the video screen is a drop down list of all available webcams to view. The list can be organized by ID name, alphabetically or not, and an option to have a thumbnail preview of the cameras also exists. The user can chose a webcam view by clicking on the ID name. Most of those will be somewhat descriptive. LUV_U_2 or Man_Kandy reflect the general strategy for assuming a webcamnow identity.

Users can also use their own id name from the list and thus have their own image presented back to them.

A popularity rating system is also available in the form of a health bar or Life bar borrowed from video gaming.
A life bar, in a gaming environment is used to display a character’s remaining life or state of health.
Usually represented by a horizontal rectangle, a life bar would begin filled with colour, and every time the games character gets injured or makes mistakes, the coloured area would decrease, thus reducing the character’s life until death. When the bar is empty, the game is over.

Similarly, on the WCN platform, an emptied popularity bar represents a very low number of supporters of a particular room. It is then assumed that nothing of interest to the majority of WCN users is usually happening in that chat room. The “performer” isn’t performing well. This might mean no sexual content, the person has left the room but kept the webcam on or the person isn’t “showing” but just “watching” without interacting.

A partially full or full coloured popularity bar represents a high number of supporters. Someone, logging to the platform, will instantaneously know which webcam is generally popular. This does not represent the number of viewers watching at the time but rather the number of users who have been following a particular webcam.
Particular chat rooms or id names can be selected to then be placed in a viewer’s favourites window. Paying members of WCN, can then receive alerts, which warn them of their favourite webcams coming online.

The chat area is situated on the right end side of the main video screen. The chat window will organize three areas of chat activity into three tabs within one window.
The lobby, the user’s chat room, and the selected cam’s chat room.

The Lobby is a common area where the WCN community can relay comments, ads and information on rooms of interests and particular users’ whereabouts.

E.g. “cctv is chatting over at marie_pix” or  “any1 wanna cam on yahoo? add me. a10win**”

The user is able to contact and be contacted by others via its chat room or by visiting another user’s chat room.
Text can be typed in a dynamic field at the bottom of the chat window, which upon sending will appear in the active chat room (selected tab) along with the user’s id name.
Users can be ignored or banned if content is deemed offensive by the receiving party, thus instantly stopping all communication from that user to reach one’s own chat room.
“Bans” can be managed and users “forgiven” under the “Chat Settings” menu.

Underneath the chat window is an area called “My Broadcast”. In this area is a display of the user’s own webcam stream. Only free members and Speedsters will have access to this area and have control over their image and voice ‘s broadcast.
Users can choose whether they want to be seen or not by turning their webcam on or off, they can also choose whether or not they want to be heard by switching their microphone on or off.