This video walk leads the viewer around the familiar and routine school space. Along the way, they will encounter an unexpected spectacle of moving balloons which seem to appear from nowhere.
After a few hours of bicep curls, I pumped about 60 bright pink balloons and positioned them in 3 locations around basement 1, the lift lobby and outdoor shallow pool. This is a development of an initial idea which involved the addition of objects to alter the space. Instead of using static objects which the participant would walk around, I opted for balloons as they have an organic movement i.e. they float down slowly when released from a height. With force, balloons can also make dynamic and quick movements and
Documentation of video walk experience
(The documentation shows 2/3 locations featured in the video walk)
Original video participants’ view while going through the space
Paul Sermon‘s Telematic Dreaming (1992) is an interactive video installation connecting two separate locations via ISDN video conferencing. A double bed is set up in both spaces for participants to lie on and interact with each other remotely through video projection, cameras and monitors.
A New Reality and Way of Seeing
The work goes beyond bridging the local and remote, creating a new reality in the third space. Participants are only together in this third space, visible in the monitor or telepresent projected image. Although video-calling is now ubiquitous, Sermon’s work is groundbreaking for its time. It presents the co-creation of narrative and experience through remote interaction in a third space, which has become an integral aspect of today’s Internet.
“And from this ubiquitous state of shared presence we have come to inhabit an entirely new way of seeing via a fracturing of perception.” — Randall Packer, “The Third Space” (2014)
Similarly, Telematic Dreaming alters perception and reality through sensory replacement. As participants lie on the bed and encounter each other as telepresent images, the seeing eye replaces the feeling hand. The third space rejects conventional ideas of time and space, and engenders new modes of navigation, creating a synesthetic experience.
Allowances of the Third Space
The double bed has psychological and cultural associations as an intimate, private space. Sermon subverts this by bringing together strangers who readily share this space and test the limits of this new reality and relationship. Their interactions suggest that people are open to intimacy in the third space and even boldly seek it, perhaps because it is “a space of invention and possibility… where participants might assume their avatar identities”.[i]
Although the third space has become our reality and can bridge vast cultural and geographical chasms, it nonetheless begs the question: Is it enough? The common expression ‘the human touch’ typically refers to some intangible quality of care and emotion. However, could it be as simple as warm, damp, physical contact?
[i] Packer R. “The Third Space,” (2014) in Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge
In his classic dystopian novel, George Orwell presented a grim vision of 1984 with total surveillance, oppression and the tyranny of technology. Good Morning, Mr. Orwell (1984) is a refutation of this vision and instead shows the positive reality of 1984 where new media artistic collaboration between artists, musicians and dancers in a networked third space can bridge the chasm between different locations and cultures. The work was an hour long, cross-country performance televised live on New Year’s Day.
“[Video collectives during the 1970s and 1980s] attempted to democratize the media by facilitating people-to-people communication, altering the themes and aesthetics of commercial television.” — Randall Packer, “The Third Space Network” (2016)
Similarly, Paik — a pioneer and visionary of video art — used video effects to create a new aesthetic, and challenged viewer perceptions of the commonplace television and its potential as an artistic medium. Some segments of the performance distorted temporal progression and spatial limitations by uniting asynchronous elements into the same plane.
For example, in Merce Cunningham’s segment, delayed footage of the dance was underlaid, creating an illusion of dancing with himself and being in two ‘time frames’ simultaneously. The reenactment of TV Cello by Charlotte Moorman also distorts space when we see the host George Plimpton appearing in both our television screens and in the TV Cello at the same time, forming a new composite image.
Furthermore, Paik’s work was an ambitious collaborative project and arguably an early form of the ‘Do-It-With-Others’ approach with its “collective organization”[i] of artists from “geographically dispersed locations and situations”[i]. It enabled cross-cultural interaction and brought various artistic visions together in a single third space, which was then broadcasted live around the world. The technical difficulties faced during broadcast would become part of the work, lending it a sense of immediacy and equality as viewer’s watch the work unfold at the same time as the artists.
Song Wig is an ingenious and playful piece of wearable tech by Japanese creative lab PARTY. This interactive device offers a new way of sharing music. The user experience has a large social element, as the users interact with the device as well as with one another.
One main user wears the device and shares music with physical proximity. It works similar to wireless headphones and syncs with devices via bluetooth. In terms of interactivity, it has limited user input and feedback. However, the metaphor and the resultant interaction that it generates between people makes up for this. It’s simple yet the affordances are easily identifiable. It also encourages physical interactivity between users.