GK3 (17 Aug 2011): london+seoul+bbqs+rain+plastic goose+more kludge

one of my favorite things about GLTI.CH is that it’s not just about the Big Event.  the ideal is an ongoing stream where people pop in and out with no muss or fuss and/or people build their own events around a 24-hour party. for every GLTI.CH we do, there are tests in between and sometimes we just hook up with friends and family not because it’s part of GLTI.CH but because karaoke is fun and people we love are living in other countries, or sometimes just a few blocks away and we’re lazy. at any rate, a thing that d and i have talked at length about is that GLTI.CH not be limited to the Event space or the gallery space. that it’s just as interesting, and sometimes all the more so, when it happens in people’s homes, backyards, etc.. one of the things i keep on imagining is a totally lopsided situation. one person in their bedroom, rocking out and disturbing flatmates on the other side of the wall GLTI.CHed into a massive party on the other end. like the actualization of a lucid dream. but i digress, sort of.

GK3 was a link between two barbecues. neither of which were at the Optimal Karaoke Time of past midnight, but again, whatever. in the late afternoon in seoul with homemade mexican food once again at the gracious home of safety robert, and in london with burgers grilling in daniel’s backyard. in both instances, we started off the karaoke outdoors. which posed a problem regarding sound and visuals. the sun was a bit too much on the screen for those in london to see those in seoul, despite the clever umbrella shade outfitted by the london-side. then mother nature stepped in and rained out both barbecues, nearly simultaneously. one less cynical might say it was the weather showing us its stuff, that this syncing thing is mere child’s play or, on a more positive note, simply wanting to get in on the action. at any rate, it led to a break where both sides took some time to get indoors.

technically, this one was barebones. no extra amps or mics. just our respective computers. after some pre-testing with daniel with google hangouts, we tried it during GK3 with high hopes. google hangouts had a lot to offer. the chat box and the shared youtube feature allowed us to access any youtube karaoke vid we desired on both ends. cutting out a lot of the livestream, twitter, gchatting we had to do during GK I. but the youtube vids needed so much time to load up, otherwise they wouldn’t be synced in the playback. also, the audio from the other side would cut out every time we sang on one end. in the end, we reverted back to the livestream model of things. daniel and i wonder post-facto if it has more to do with the settings on our computers than the programs themselves. anyway, the “automatic mute” thing on google hangouts make for a real minus. as does the fact that you can’t adjust the size of the video boxes. because in GLTI.CH people really want to see the other people. something learned in GK1. we still have some hopes for google+ and hangouts as a way to build a GLTI.CH Karaoke community that can seamlessly be let in on the action regardless of location and also build on it whenever, wherever. also, it allows for spontaneity and a certain limitless that using livestream which, even though we built up the video list to (if a remember correctly) a few hundred songs, is incredibly limited (as any karaoke-goer knows when presented with an encyclopedic song list that seems to have every song but the one you want), but it still has far to go. until then, more kludge experimenting for us.

the rain combined with the casualness and the technical delays and sobriety of all resulted in a GLTI.CH that didn’t ever gain the momentum and synergy of 1 and 2. instead, GLTI.CH fell more in the background as a strange curiosity for those brave enough to try it out. but again, not a fail. just a different experience. and the strangeness and somewhat sense of awkwardness that the simple act of bringing two very normal summer bbqs together showing just how with all the rhetoric of a “global community” and whatnot, we’re not exactly that. there was a sense of something new and different going on, but in its quotidian nature in terms of the setting and the technology used, it was hard to place a finger on it. somewhere in between entering a party where you don’t really know anyone but also sitting very much amongst your own friends, and knowing you won’t really get to know the other people on the other end in an alternate universe doing the same things you are doing more or less, but observing it and also being observed. almost a weird anthropological quality to it? i have thought about it, but as this ramble testifies, i too am not sure how to articulate it. anyway, there was something uncanny going on.

things didn’t feel quite complete without something to sing into. so, in lieu of microphones both sides brought out kitchen utensils, throwing us back into the play and resourceful imagination of kindergarten.

there was a cameo appearance by a plastic goose on the london end. perhaps in london that goose remained a plastic goose. but for those of us watching in seoul, it became a character of its own. certainly this is a space ripe for tapping into and expanding GLTI.CH into an exciting creative space.

next up, more testing to see what went wrong with google +. tapping into more kludge potentials and maybe newly developed software. 27 october is set for london-liverpool for GK4 with nathan jones and sam meech. to not exactly quote bon jovi: we’re holding on ready or not…