there's a huge noise in the middle of this: the ha[ng]ppenings of Karaoke

Curator's Note

Kyougn Kmi and Daniel Rourke [collectively known as Karaoke ] facilitate happenings where participants are invited to sing karaoke duets with one another. Breaking from tradition, participants are paired with partners halfway across the world, singing together over the Internet. “Using free versions of Skype, YouTube and collaborative web software, we orchestrated duets between people who had never met each other, who didn’t speak the same language, bypassing thousands of geographic miles with glitchy, highly compressed data and a little bit of patience.” [ Karaoke, from their website ] At these ha[ng]ppenings Kmi and Rourke go to great lengths to avoid glitches + delays + drops [having been present at a few I can attest to this] while trusting in the network’s unreliable signal to not render their name [] innapropriate.

src footage [in order of appearance]:
@chicago: @camden:


So pleased to be here, another social space mediated by glitchy modalities. Data squeezes us together, even as it is ripped, torn and bruised by its passage through the networks it mediates. Hooking a Skype-shaped tube up to a YouTube is now a common function of social media hubs like Google+ and TinyChat. As the bandwidth increases though, will Karaoke gltichers be missing out on the creative potential of jumps, delays and false starts to blend their performances into works of social art? Singing badly at a webcam is always more fun with far flung friends. Try it yourself.

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