Mimi Tang

Witness Reflection

Mar 11, 2011 by Mimi

The intention for my witness project was to create a digital fortune teller, showing the mishaps of technology as well as the silliness of information we find online. What I ended up doing was use Modul8 to live capture my face through a webcam that would be projected on the big screen at the EDA. The benefits of Modul8 was that I could easily apply different effects on the video feed so I played a lot with distortion and scale. My projected self became very animated, like a crystal ball with human qualities. I improvised with the fortunes so the presentation might have felt prolonged. I did not practice the end breakdown so I tried my best to perform as strangely as possible. Even though I didn’t think it was so funny, everyone else said they thought it was. I thought my acting was terrible but people disagreed. People did participate in the way I wanted by stepping up and speaking to my projection. The interaction back and forth worked well on both parts. The strengths were that my weird distorted face was projected on such a large scale that no one had seen it before. Definitely, scale and distortion were the two best qualities of my performance. The weakness was probably the difficulty of improvising interesting or funny fortunes. Luckily the visuals had a greater effect than the content.

Final Performance

Mar 11, 2011 by Mimi

I did not change much except that I practiced a bit more to be a better fortune teller. I also added better fortunes, more of a variety to create build up. I was planning on recording the end breakdown, which would be a video that I would fade into. The difference was that because there were more people, I was more nervous. A lot of challenges were thrown my way. Because I was unable to practice in my new location, I was unprepared for a lot of new technical problems. This setting was different and the unfamiliarity made it difficult to handle everything at once. Also the lighting was not ideal because it was directed towards me, which obstructed my view of the audience this time so I couldn’t really interact with each person that well. At the same time, I had to deal with reading off of a script as well as creating live effects using a midi pad. Because I was thinking of all of these things, I did not perform as strongly I would have liked. I would have liked to use the scale and motion effects better, in correlation to the fortunes I was telling. I was looking forward to more interaction with the audience but these factors stopped me from doing so.

Agit-prop reflection

Feb 16, 2011 by Mimi

The intention of my study was to show the failures and of internet-mediated social interactions like video chat rooms. By playing the role of a girl trying to meet her soul mate online, I logged into Goth Chat City and turned on my webcam. Several people approached me, each in a different way. I received some sexual comments but I would respond with mundane questions like, what are your interests or where were you born. I approached the chat room as I would in real life. I asked these potential suitors what they liked to do for fun and what type of girl they were looking for. Some had more genuine things to say, some not so much, and the rest were indifferent.

As this was happening, the audience was watching all of the conversations taking place. The men I was talking to assumed they were the voyeurs, watching me through my web cam. However, the role of voyeur also applies to the audience, which makes them the exhibitionists. They were able to see all of the conversations going on and could tell that I repeated the same thing to different people. The audience reacted in the same way I did. They would laugh at some of the things said and were grossed out by other things.

It worked because the audience saw something that was live and not rehearsed. They first-handedly saw what happens in an internet chat room. I would have no control in what verbal comments were thrown in my direction. I never asked any men to turn on their webcams because I didn’t like the idea of not having control over what I was seeing. And that I was playing the role of the exhibitionist to lure in voyeurs, whom were actually the real exhibitionists. The interactions I had worked the way I had hoped because people are very forward online. It is not as intimidating to approach a girl through a couple of words on a screen than to approach them in real life. So the men who talked to me online would surely react differently in real life. A man trying to meet women would never ask if he could cum on her. Internet and reality languages are completely different. By allowing the audience to see how these men really talk online, they see that these internet interactions are pointless and are not the ideal way to socialize.

What could have been better was if I had more people talking to me. However, it was only about 6 pm so there isn’t as much online traffic as later in the night. When I tried at 12 am, I was having about 15 conversations but how many people were watching me, I was unsure of.

Webcams

Jan 13, 2011 by Mimi

Webcam