Watermelon Internet Art Cultures: AFK Final


Watermelon AFK Final

Ilona Kovacs
Professor Noah Travis Phillips
Internet Art Cultures
June 8th, 2021
Final: AFK & Meatspace

In the Web 1.0

Masks In order to explore the meanings of both Meatspace and Masking, I started by diving into what they really mean for me. Masks are used to cover up, whether it be to hide our identity, for our health and safety, or even just for fun. In a digital art space, I think it is equally as important to acknowledge masking as a digital art tool, where we are able to take out or hide parts of an image. Using both of these ideas, I gathered up tons of images of masks and masked them with repeated layers and exports atop a video of a women using the internet in a pretty general way. Below, you will find what the process looked like at parts.

The final Web 1.0 piece is a video, and in order to reach the next level of AFK 1.0 it will be put into the Meatspace via computer screen projection. In order to further undertand masking in the sense of it as a both a digital art tool and an identity device aligned with the studies and research that Legacy Russell supports throughout many of her pieces including A Manifesto: Glitch Feminism and in her interview by Ben Davis featured in artnet news.

AFK 1.0

As previously mentioned, this piece was brought into the AFK or Meatspace with a projection of the video in a live space. In order to emphasize these concepts of masking, the masks are actually interactive in that a participant can 'try them on' or stand in front of a mask projection in order to have it appear atop of the person in the AFK space.

Because of the limited capabilities of iMovie, I found myself creating this piece by exporting each time I made a new layer. This style of editing made it more difficult in finding ways to balance the number of masks on screen at one time. Each level of exporting and reimporting has the capacity to destroy anything from the quality, timing, or even functionality of the .mov file which was an added understanding in the more natural progression and emergence of glitches especially in trying to further project it into and show it in a very large AFK space. The final stage of layering can be viewed here:

In the Web 2.0

To demonstrate this piece and its impacts into both a digital space and our Meatspace, the interactions between a live person and the video being played on the projector are recorded and uploaded back into the web. The final result captures ideas of masking being a type of glitch in the World Wide Web and in MeatSpace, while not completely negative, there can be harmful things formed due to secrecy and hidden identities. I intend to bring more emphasis to the idea that glitches and masking are not always entirely erroneous.

In trying to accomplish my final stages of filming, I encountered so many of those natural glitches from forgetting adapters, faulty cables, or even just other humans needing the physical space. After many trials in figuring out the projectors around campus, I am blaming the issues on the USB-C to HDMI adapter needing to be included in the mix and instead showing my Web 1.0 film on a television in a living space. I leave in some of those hiccups where I move the mouse through the screen because I like the added levels of 'glitching' that it sort of adds to the final piece. While the television was too small to demonstrate what the film may look like in an exhibition space meant for human interaction with the piece as I originally intended, I hope these extra layers and levels of masking into screens portray those same concepts and ideas. The final piece back into the web, or Web 2.0, can be found below.