Re: Site Specific Work: Webbed Feats

Stephan Koplowitz (
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 19:45:00 GMT

>Mark Coniglio
>Stephen, I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask of you.

>- Do you have plans to present the final outcome to the web audience in
>some way? When we did live performance interaction via the web in our piece
>"The Electronic Disturbance" one of the valid complaints I heard was, "I am
>contributing, but have no idea what is going on at the other end." It seems
>important to give the contributor the opportunity to see/experience in some
>way what it is that they helped to create.

>- Will there be any live interaction via the web? It doesn't seem that way,
>and I don't think that kind of interaction is really your point, but I am
>endlessly curious about such things.

The final event in Bryant Park is going to be "cybercast" onto the web that day
both with video images and hopefully through a RealAudio radio program....All
poetry, creative writing, monologues, suggestions for improvs and the new Faust
play will be posted on the site that day (and beyond), as well as images and
sounds....The cybercast (budget willing) will be done as follows...a two-three
camera video crew will be recording the performances, a video director will do
a live edit (switching) among the three cameras...each hour a tape will be sent
by ultra fast transportation (bike? taxi? rollerblades?) to Thinking Pictures
on the westside of NYC,who will put the tape onto their network to be shown on
our site (they use their own video push technology that does not need special
software, it is not full motion but enables many more people to see slow moving
IMAGES), this means we will be "live" with about a one hour delay.....I will
probably do a version of this with REAL Audio....Depending on what kind of
connection I can make from the Park (and how much it costs) I would love to
have some kind of live component but I will have to see....I am not planning on
having a live-interactive component for this event...After the event is over,
there will be all the text/sound/visual submissions for people to see plus
edited moments taken from the video.....

>Do you have any system for choosing the material sent to you? Or, as
>creator, do you simply get to choose the stuff that you like? It seems that
>one narrative I can invent for this piece is that there is this model of
>democracy going on, a gathering of materials from the increasingly diverse
>membership of the web. The feeling of my invented narrative would
>certainly be lessened if the final materials were determined by a yourself,
>being a sort of monarchy ;-) Really though, how do you plan to choose? Is
>there a subtext to this ability for many to submit their ideas?

Well Mark, for the first Webbed Feats production, the material will be
chosen/edited by myself and my team of collaborative artists (Galinsky of Go
Poetry is my Gertrude Stein producer, Brooks Williams and Quentin Chiappetta of
the Harmonic Ranch are my composers and the other artists will be named
later...)...I will have a different collaborator for almost all of the five
sites...the idea behind this production is that it is a collaboration between
the Webbed Feats creative team and the web audience....I guess it could be
possible to have the web audience "vote" in someway on which submissions should
be included into the performance or have some other structure.....obviously,
this depends on the amount of material submitted, number of hits per day/week
to the site etc....My whole approach to creating the performance in Bryant Park
will be to try to include as much of what has been submitted as possible, but
for this first production, I am clearly a filter/editor. But this is not about
me just choosing what I like but also what will be the most appropriate for the
site etc...obviously this IS subjective. I guess you could liken this to a
massive call for submissions, like a magazine, but the difference is that there
are no "staff" writers, that the entire publication will contain outside
contributions....Todd Machover's Brain Opera solicited submissions from the web
and as the composer he placed the sound files as he saw fit...obviously there
were other modes of input (from the lobby that day which were perhaps more

But, you raise a very interesting idea, one that was touched on by the two
Russian artists Komar and Malamid sp? who asked people online what kind of
painting they wanted to see and then produced a composite of people's
choices....We should talk more about this idea about creating a more
"democratic" system but we also will have to discuss related topics like
aesthetic vision, artistic voice, point of view, an artists relationship to
his/her audience (during a live performance) and the nature of collaboration a first step, I have just spoken with my web producer and we
could very well post several submissions for each week and ask people to send
us email which ones THEY like the most and think should be included in Bryant
Park in September.....

As an artist, I naturally collaborate with other artists and my performers,
this first project is a big extension of that process.....

One more note....I am hoping to attract a WIDE variety of people to this site,
not just "artists" or people in the arts but people who simply want to indulge
their own creativity regardless of their background, training'll
notice that we don't ask people for their age or anything else other than their
name and email address (if they want to register we ask for their
address) there could very well be submissions that are performed created
by people of all ages.....of course I am hopeful that all of my incredibly
talented friends in the arts will send something but I'm also hopeful that
we'll be hearing form people from far, far away....

Since we live in the same town, we should get together and talk!!


Packer Collegiate Institute
Brooklyn, NY USA