Courtesy of Neox Image and the artist

On Friday, April 27 at 9:31pm, A.G. Viva will broadcast a five minute photo shoot on www.lowlives.net

1) By coupling the photo shoot with the webcam, you fuse two functions of photography that are very different. The webcam is democratic, while the photo shoot, as a being an offshoot of the fashion industry and celebrity, insists upon a hierarchy between subjects and viewers. Where do your sympathies lie?

There is a juxtaposition of two contexts in this singular experience. Here, hierarchy between subject and viewers seemingly require secondary priority as the various levels of accessibility are offered simultaneously. There’s an excitement whenever a “behind-the-scenes” process is exposed and observed. In this case it’s a photo shoot of the actual artist, the creator, where the decisions of self-representation are occurring in real-time. These decisions become the hyper-important tools in the art-making. Every change in physicality is like a brushstroke, that carries with it an expression and vision for the whole painting. Using the photo shoot as a template for these representational techniques, the added element of the live voyeur creates a new direction for intent and outcome.

Yet the audience’s experience in this scenario, as opposed to looking at produced images in a publication, does in the end have a more equal hierarchy. With mass accessibility, this contained bubble is a space for the audience, in the real-time moment. It’s a space for them to experience a sense of expression, without anyone’s jpeg being the ultimate goal. I’m the one at risk. Which is the position I’m placing myself in. So it’s fine.

2) How does this performance relate to your other work?

I’m ultimately creating a trajectory where image and context are the tools for a grander vision. I’m trying to stay in the desert for 40 days and nights, forever. Resurrections happen sporadically. And when they do, that’s my work.

3) You say that the photographs are produced with “an unknowing as to their intent and destination.” Do you think that digital modes of dissemination (be it facebook pages or chat roulette) has obscured the knowledge of where the photographs will go and why, or clarified it on some initial level? I would argue the latter, but add that digital photographs have interesting and rambling afterlives.

With this experiment, there’s an implication that the final images are less important than the awareness of the image-making, and the witnessing of that awareness. I don’t know about you, but when I make the decision to gargle smoke through a mouthful of whiskey at a bar in front of a friend’s camera, I’m no longer making an image just for the moment, I’m making it for the Internet. And this shift in projected outcome is a result of the Internet and social media, so it’ll hold true for the global audience.

4) This is exciting way to connect viewers from across the globe, provided that people are aware of the event. What challenges and benefits does the live video stream model provide? Without the social component (free wine), will people watch from their living room? Was Henry Rollins on to something when he began chanting “TV Party Tonight?”

Low Lives is being presented by about 26 international art institutions in locations such as Japan, Paris, Bogotá, Norway, New York, Tulsa, Sydney, the Caribbean, and in Miami at Diaspora Vibe Gallery. But yes, you can also watch it from the comfort of your Snuggie. You’re welcome.

The online broadcasting allows for live experimentation in a forum without physical audience presence, but the global energy is still very much there. It will drive me. It will tow me down the streets of Wynwood. And I’m totally with Henry Rollins on this one! Make yourself a drink. I’ll be having Jameson on the rocks all night.