What is the Taal Sea Snake Project? 
 
The Taal Sea Snake Project is a series of works (which I call "incarnations") that revolves around a the ghost of a 19th century sea snake specimen (Hydrophis semperi) which I believe has been haunting me since I first discovered it online. It is ultimately an artistic inquiry into (real) time, storytelling, and identity; while conducted in various media, it is currently anchored in livestreaming as a virtual medium, anachronistic opportunity, and ritual space. Below are past incarnations of the project to help you piece the past and future with the present, wherever it is: 
Wild Time 2. Email art. Kiat kiat projects, 2019. 
 
In the email art exhibition How To Prevent Hair Loss, I contributed a work that compiles the links I meandered through to find Semper and Garman’s Hydrophis semperi specimen. People signed up to receive the email art exhibition where works exclusively reside in one’s inbox instead of the art gallery. 
Ang Duhol ng Walang Hanggan (The Atemporal Sea Snake). Collaborative occurrence and livestream performance. 30 minutes. Klimakunstfestivalen, 2019. 
 
I invoked the Taal sea snake sample that German animal ecologist Carl Semper collected from the Taal volcano in the late 19th century. In the livestream performance, a fire dancer repeatedly drew an infinity symbol with a poi in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Tromsø while I read a Spanish priest’s 18th century account of Taal’s strongest eruption while. Lasting from May to December 1754, this eruption sealed the area’s fluvial access to the ocean and effectively locked the sea snake into the lake, forcing it to adapt into freshwater; today it is listed as endangered in the IUCN red list and is endemic to the volcanic lake. 
 
 
Insurrection. Altro Mondo Creative Space, 2019. Includes Siglo (with Eboii Villarama of ElectroFire Dancers), collaborative occurrence and livestream, 48 minutes. Photography by Miguel Lorenzo Uy. 
 
Insurrection was the first gallery iteration of my project with Hydrophis semperi. An ensemble of paintings, sculptures, and a performance collectively constitute the livestream. Entitled Siglo, it was broadcasted during the show opening and looped throughout the show run. I wanted to continue invoking the snake specimen in my own country by housing it in a liminal space such as an art gallery accompanied by the trappings of its 18th century home – sulfur, shells, and fire. After the opening, the snake’s ghost showed up in a documentation photo. 
#KAMANDAG. Collaborative occurrence and livestream. 65 minutes. 2019. Photography by Miguel Lorenzo Uy. 
 
Based on new information, I am looking at the unknown nature of the Taal sea snake's venom. Despite the species' conservation status (Vulnerable), scientific literature it—the species and its venom—understudied. In place of this, I will conduct a basketball ritual as a ludic form of research at the end of Libra season. I have been serendipitously led to this specimen's story, its volcanic habitat, its virtual nature, and its connection to the present. 
What is Envoy
 
Part of the Digital Artist Residency's show Wretched of the Screen (which, in turn, is part of the Wrong Biennial 2019), Envoy is an ongoing incarnation of the Taal Sea Snake Project. It will focus on the circuitous and encompassing geographical journey of the sea snake specimen's story, and is composed of three moments: (I) How It All Began, (II) A Journey to Taal Volcano, and (III) Conference Ritual; you can follow the three moments through the countdown timers at the top of this page. Envoy will continue to evolve until it ends with the third moment in 2020. Below is a log of the expedition: 
Nov 1, 2019 
 
Here are some highlights from Envoy (I): How It All Began. We have bad Internet here; if you don't know how that feels, you are either very lucky or very uninformed. I didn't know how difficult it was to stream the way that Twitch or YouTube users do until I did it myself. Stay tuned for the full stream. Happy Halloween, for now! 👹👻🎃 
 
 
 
Nov 6, 2019 
 
Envoy (I): How It All Began is finally here! Enjoy the lag that apparently gave it an otherwordly quality, if I do say so myself. This was not intended; I imagined that with the screen recorder that I used, it will simply be a copy of what my screen was doing while I was streaming. Also, the stream was broken somewhere in the middle so I actually had to restart the stream twice. Not that this has never happened before, but I dunno, this medium just keeps being unstable. 
 
Dec 1, 2019 
 
Envoy (II): A Journey to Taal Lake is finally here! At least, a few seconds at a time. I will upload a screenshot of the (broken) livestreams per day until our show at Magdalen Art Space (Oxford). While I expected that the broadcast will not be perfect, I was not ready for the frustration of not having cellular signal around the area. As a result, the streams are very sporadic. 
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