The Big Kiss (texte en français en bas à droite) Brooklyn, New York

the big kiss
Inspiration source: the performance “One the puppet of the other” with NicolasFrespech, May 26th 2007, Centre Pompidou Paris.

On October 10 2008, from 7pm to 10 pm, Over The Opening is pleased to present The Big Kiss, a performance installation by Annie Abrahams. You are invited to participate in the creation of a communal kiss. OTO N6th Street, Brooklyn New York.

What’s contact in a machine mediated world? What’s the power of the image? How does it feel to kiss without touching? Does the act change because we see it? What does it mean to construct an image with your tongue? And is there still desire? Does the act provoke it? What’s contact in a machine mediated world?

OTO Over The Opening. Once a month, from 7PM to 10PM, the artist collective MTAA convert their N6th St. Brooklyn studio into a venue for the presentation of time-based art.

Machine mediated kissing in a performance = drawing with your tongue = taking pleasure, while constructing an image = a way to be superaware of the other = never totally abandoning yourself =  ???????? = not at all like real kissing, it’s better! This might be a female view point.

Thanks to the Consulate General of the Netherlands for their generous support which made my stay in New York possible.
Thanks to for inviting me to present Oppera Internettikka - Protection et Sécurité in the New Museum.
Thanks to Mark River and MTAA.



A kisstory :

A The Big Kiss avant l'internet : In july 2015 Randall Packer pointed me to a precursor of this piece. In his article Videofreex Chronicles #1: TV as Social Media he shows an image of DeeDee Halleck's Explorations in the Videospace, Part I from 1974. It's a splitscreen kiss performed by Nam June Paik and Shirley Clarke. The technical design is by David Cort of the Videofreex, 1974.


In 1975 Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz got rid of the split-screen that had always prevented people from merging their image ambassadors in a "live" composite imagespace. They used a selfmade experimental setup in the Sony Salon on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. (after open showroom hours - Kit had a key).
More on Kit and Sherries work on what they called Aesthetic Research in Telecommunications here.

Kit Galloway, Sherrie Rabinowitz
(Image : Collections of Galloway & Rabinowitz.)


Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm might have attempted the very first transcontinental split-screen kiss during the Oscars in 1957. More here.

Oscar1957Lewis and Holmes


In May 1938 Popular Mechanics published an article on the possibility of kissing via facsimile telegraph transmission.

A  not edited image from the original article here.



More photos : OTO’s Flickr Set.

Article "Le baiser le plus long... ou pas." Troudair for Fluctuat. 31.10.08. (French)

Presentation of the video:

-18-02-2009, Regards croisés: AGNES DE CAYEUX et ANNIE ABRAHAMS (France) 18 heures 30, Studio “Friche de la Belle de Mai” 41, rue Jobin 13003 Marseille. Organisation RIAM#6 et Zinc.
- 6-03-2009, 18h30, Artelinea, PPCM, Nîmes. Relation entrecoupée, retour de résidence.
- 10 Mars 2009, 20h, cinéplastique3, LUX Scène nationale, Valence.
- 24/10 - 30/11 2014, Subversive Systeme. Poetische Transfiguration des Digitalen, Stadtgalerie Mannheim, Germany. Curator: Benedikt Stegmayer.
- spring 2015, Catalog Stadtgalerie Mannheim 2011 – 2015, page 65,  Einraumhaus c/o Verlag, ISBN: 978-3-944128-50-4.
09/10-12/12 2020, Melting Point*, expo Bel Ordinaire, festival accès)s( #20, Pau. Curation Jean-Jacques Gay.
catalog Stadtgalerie Mannheim


Video sample 5 min :
A 20 min hi-res version is available for projections and installations on demand.

Overview of the installation while performing with a Ursula Endlicher.

Information en français.

Qu’est-ce que c’est le contact dans un monde où tout est médié par une machine ? Quelle est la puissance de l’image? Qu’est-ce qu’on ressent quand on s’embrasse sans se toucher ? L’acte change-t-il parce que nous le voyons ? Qu’est-ce que ça signifie de construire une image avec sa langue ? Y a-t-il encore du désir ? L’acte le provoque-t-il ? Qu’est-ce que c’est le contact dans un monde où tout est médié par une machine ?

Si vous êtes à New York, vous êtes invité à participer à la création d’un baiser collective à OTO.

Faire la bise par machine interposée = dessiner avec la langue = prendre du plaisir pendant qu'on construit une image = une façon d'être super consciente de l'autre = ne jamais s'abandonner complètement = ??????? = pas du tout pareil que faire la bise en réel, c'est mieux! Parole de femme . Plus d'information en français.





The Big Kiss reperformed by Thomas Geiger in the 4th Festival of Minimal Actions on the 25th of July at 18h.
Kunsthalle Wien, Reumannplatz, July 15–August 2, 2020
Concept: Thomas Geiger
Realisation: Kunsthalle Wien as part of KISS
Curated by: Laura Amann, Anne Faucheret, Aziza Harmel, WHW.

  The Big Kiss in Ljublana #1 Live Internet Broadcast Performance: Škuc Gallery, Stari trg 21, Ljubljana 21 June 2009 at 9.30 pm

The Big Kiss in Ljublana #2 Le Tourisme. La Guérilla. L’Art. Live Urban Mobile Guerrilla Performance: Ljubljana City Center 20 June 2009 at 9.30 pm The Big Kiss in Ljublana (The Big Kiss 100% féminine)
Jeudi, 2009-10-15 20:00
TURN*ON, la quatrième édition d'Artivistic, une rencontre transdisciplinaire internationale de trois jours sur l'interAction entre art, information et activisme à Montréal.