Part of Digital Artist Residency's show WRETCHED OF THE SCREEN (which, in turn, is part of the Wrong Biennial 2019), Envoy is the most recent of five (5) incarnations of The Taal Sea Snake Series. With this webpage as its home, Envoy focused on the circuitous and encompassing geographical journey of a 19th Taal sea snake (Hydrophis semperi) specimen's story, and was composed of three livestream moments: (I) How It All Began, (II) A Journey to Taal Volcano, and (III) Conference Ritual. Each livestream moment had a working countdown (above) that viewers followed to anticipate them.
As I rewrite these down in Manila during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, I remember Envoy as one of the last projects I did right before the world went on lockdown. Below is a log of the three livestream moments.
—Alfred Marasigan, 5 May 2021
Envoy (I) How It All Began (1.11.2019)
Collaborative livestream lecture
Envoy (II) A Journey to Taal Volcano (1.12.2019)
Collaborative livestream and video installation
Special thanks to photographer Manel Solsoloy; DAR curator Tom Milnes; researcher, writer, and social welfare worker Jord Gadingan; historian and educator Hidde van der Wall; herpetologist Vhon Garcia, PUSOD Taal; the community of San Nicolas at the foot of the crater; everyone who participated in Envoy online and offline; and the volcanoes themselves who allowed us to explore them before erupting.
Featuring numerous gaps in cellular reception affecting me, the actual livestream in the middle of the residency, and my companions’ journey up and down the Taal crater, Envoy (II) A Journey to Taal Volcano (1.12.2019) culminates in Magdalen Road Art Space as a video installation that stands as compass, witness, and companion to the entire expedition. Incidentally, Taal volcano erupted phreatomagmatically right in the middle of the residency and project.
Photos by Tom Milnes
Envoy (III) Conference Ritual (2.15.2020)
livestream and performance
The Taal Sea Snake Series
Beginning online in Berlin as a rabbit hole of chance Internet encounters via the currently private PHIVOLCS volcano observatory live cam, The Taal Sea Snake Series is a serendipitous research project 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.
Currently currently anchored in livestreaming as a virtual medium, anachronistic opportunity, and ceremonial space, The Taal Sea Snake Series was ritualized in Tromsø, reified in Metro Manila, recreated in Batangas, and then presented in Oxford as both a makeshift monograph of German naturalist Carl Semper’s late 19th century expedition to Taal and as my own transmedial play on "real time", storytelling, and belonging.
As the series progresses, it increasingly finds its way into physical print, online posts, work emails, zoom meetings, and numerous oral narratives while wandering through the presently unstable terrains of conservation, spectatorship, and restitution. Today, the duhol matapang’s ghost lies dormant, waiting for another chance to live. 🐍
Wild Time 2 (2018-2019)
Ang Duhol ng Walang Hanggan (The Atemporal Sea Snake) (2019-present)
Heavily inspired by emotional geography, Norwegian slow TV, and magic realism, Alfred Marasigan (b. 1992) conducts serendipitous research and transmedial practices primarily through livestreaming.
Guided by time as storage, mobility as narrative, and the moment as artwork, he orchestrates live, collaborative, and time-specific ensembles of audiences, histories, actions, materialities, agents, and phenomena via social media streaming platforms such as Instagram and Facebook
Livestreaming as a method anchors his explorations into simultaneity, sustainability, solidarity, and sexuality while allowing me to unsettle digital epistemologies, challenge modes of storytelling, navigate the politics of belonging, and apprehend the trappings of chance. Ultimately, his body of work is an ongoing effort to inhabit and impart various convoluted, anachronistic, and queer Filipino stories, among them his own.
Marasigan graduated in 2019 with an MA in Contemporary Art from UiT Arctic University of Norway’s Kunstakademiet i Tromsø and is a Norwegian Council of the Arts Grantee for Newly Graduated Artists. Currently based in Manila, he is now a faculty member of Ateneo de Manila University’s Fine Arts Department for half a decade.
His other artworks have also been exhibited, screened, and presented in Enclave Lab (UK), Haverford College (US), Tromsø Kunstforening (NO), Meinblau Projektraum (Berlin, DE), Arctic Moving Image & Film Festival (AMIFF) (Harstad, NO), Small Projects (Tromsø, NO), c3 Contemporary Art Space (Melbourne, AU), Galerie Métanoïa (Paris, FR), Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila), Poh Chang Academy (Bangkok, TH), Metropolitan Museum of Manila (PH); and included in publications like Fordham University’s CURA Magazine, SFMoMA’s Tumblr, and Ateneo’s Heights, among others.