Online Video Conference (2)

The conference in Amsterdam I participated in last night turned out to be mostly a case study in Baudrillard's hyperrealism.

For example: I was telepresent through a Skype video connection (projected on a TV screen on a chair on stage), an 'old skool' telephone line hooked up to the theater's speaker system, and separately through an IRC backchannel online. While happily chatting away (while at the same time participating in the on-stage debate as best as I could) it turned out at least one (Frank) of the chatters was in fact an audience member in the theater... and as the whole event was streamed in almost-realtime video, at some point the roaming camera zoomed in on him. The circle was complete: we were all copies without an original!

Shortly after the event, bloggers blogged excellent reports on the evening, both in the written word (Blueace) and through pictures (Sjors; the picture on the left was ripped from his Flickr page).


Everyone was/is monitoring everyone else.

A true example of a Perfect Participatory Panopticon.

not P2P but PPP.

The conference was supposed to deal with the 'dark side' of Web 2.0, but save a few underdeveloped statements (Tonie's on the utter lack of privacy or protection of personal information while using applications such as Flickr, Facebook, Blogger or MySpace), or my warning about the less-than-idealistic motives of media corporations to co-opt the user-as-producer in order to outsource or otherwise downsize the media workforce and its semi-autonomous creative process, nothing much was critically debated.

At the end of the evening I managed to put my dog, Martha (an wonderful Scottish Terrier), in front of the camera - instead of me. As they say: on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog...