we are making art to view at home…
By Helen Varley Jamieson.
I really do wonder what the Tate Modern means when they say that their "live performance room" is "the only place you can see art made for you to view at home". Quite aside from the myriad artworks available online for people to experience - live or otherwise - have they forgotten about television, radio, and other media, digital and analogue, that has made the viewing of art possible not only at home but in all kinds of private and domestic spaces for - well, a very long time?
Instead of expressing my frustration the Tate staff's ignorance of the field they claim to lead (they describe their Live Performance Room series as "ground-breaking" and "the first artistic programme created purely for live web broadcast"), I'm going to talk about some of the other, actually ground-breaking and innovative work that you can not only view, but also participate in, from the comfort of your own home; which is actually nothing new - ground-breaking artists have been creating this kind of work for at least 15 years.
Last Saturday night, while sitting at home, I had the pleasure of participating in "Transmittance", an ongoing networked performance project by Maja Delak & Luka Prinčič - this time in collaboration with artists at the Trouble festival in Brussels. "Transmittance" combines a live audio-visual stream with an IRC chat, and invites online participants to guide the action by selecting from a range of "choices" - movements, sound, text - that are then performed by the artists to the camera.