BRB (2018)
experimental documentary, 5:25 min

BRB a short experimental documentary where absence is the focus of the work. The images are composed of recorded sex-cam streams. We see empty spaces, in these spaces scattered teddybears and sex-toys. Occasionally a cat or dog yawns and walks across the screen. In text we follow the chats of various members talking amongst each-other in different chatrooms, whilst waiting for the performer to return in front of the webcam. The viewer is left to wonder who inhabits these spaces an and what has happend in the moments before, with only some clues to help them imagine. The chats that occur when the performers are gone are occasionally very humorous, where others have a darker context.

There is an interesting interplay between what is revealed and what remains hidden. The image of a space is never a true depiction of the actual physical space. I became increasingly interested in how this physical space informed the digital space and vice-versa. I started screen-grabbing empty rooms of webcam performers in the ‘open’ chat areas of free sites, when the performers were on a break. I recorded the empty spaces that show hints of human presence, like signs saying; ‘Be Right Back’. The chats that occur during the absence of the performers are made visible in text. There is a very strong sense of community on websites like where users talk amongst other users about far more than just sex.

During my research on online webcams I became increasingly interested in the community aspect of webcam platforms. A lot of the active ‘visitors’ spend a lot of hours online and on these platforms, sometimes even befriending the performers or other members. With this work I wanted to create a reflection on the presence and absence in existing and performing online and the resonance on the viewer that’s left behind.

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