Re: [Fwd: Emo Ass.ociations w Dissing Dis or Dat - Computer Chickens wit Teeth / Puppet Plays wit Rubber Time

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Emo Ass.ociations w Dissing Dis or Dat - Computer Chickens wit Teeth / Puppet Plays wit Rubber Time
From: Kenneth Newby (
Date: Sat Oct 01 2005 - 01:23:36 EDT

Jam Karet... literally: rubber hour. The implication, in the
exquisitely poetic languages of Indonesia, is that time stretches and
contracts based on the pressure of events. I've never heard it used
in all the time I've spent in Java/Bali, but it sure is obvious that
the concept is alive every time you ask someone "what time does the
shadow play start?".... looks are exchanged, feet shuffle... it's
explained, once more, that it can't be stated like that. It will
happen. Take your time.

The Wayang (shadow play) is one of the early precursors of our
contemporary so-called new media. There's an interesting symmetry in
the evolution of cinema out of early contact with shadow play
traditions from China, India and its automation into the cinematic
apparatus... squeezed the life (performance) out of it... to good
effect however. The symmetry occurs now that computers and interaction
bring performance back in and the shadow play is again an interesting
model... this time for its situatedness in a particular time, space and
context - place. A performative cinema/animation might emerge. (I'm
working on it...).

Interestingly, most people in Java watch the Wayang from the side of
the performers. It seems much more interesting to watch the virtuosity
of the musicians and, particularly, the dalang (puppeteer). Seems
people there don't care much for the virtual after such long contact
with it. Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned? In contrast, in Bali
most of the audience is still glued to the shadow (virtual) side of the
screen. A relationship between ritual efficacy and the virtual?
Another perhaps more subtle lesson? It occurs to me that there's
something there that might inform the laptop performance discussions
that occasionally occur. Is it engaging as performance? What's the
role of the performer? Where is the body in all of this? Of course,
we don't care when it comes to cinema. The projectionist is in the
booth and will take care of any problems with the apparatus that might
occur. We don't give applause to the back of the room at the
conclusion of the film. Will electroacoustic/computer music reach a
similar point where we no longer care about the embodied aspect of the
production of the sound? Or has that perhaps already happened and
we're experiencing a nostalgia for the performer when we ask these
kinds of questions. Or is it the context of the a laptop performance
that reminds us of virtuosos mounting the stage to impress with their


P.S. About the John Oswald thing Sylvi. Next time you come to ECI,
ask where the elevator is that will get you up to the integrated media
area. Or better yet call me and I'll show you!!!

On 30-Sep-05, at 8:10 PM, sylvi macCormac wrote:

> LOLOLOLOLO ... Kenneth, what is th name for Rubber Time / Rubber
> Chicken
> / Geek in Balinese Shadow Puppet Speak .. is a shadow puppet play real
> or virtual .. i suppose it depends on which side of th screen you are
> 'standing' on and whether you have your digital chicken recording ;-) ?
> ? ?
> please Xplain Rubber Time (and etymology) in detail with book lists and
> facts / fiction .. thank you in advance

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