Networked_Performance

Live Stage: They Watch [us Troy, NY]

They Watch by Workspace Unlimited :: October 30 – November 20, 2009 :: Opening: October 30, 2009; 5:00 – 9:00 pm :: Lecture/Panel: November 18; 7:00 pm :: Studio 1, EMPAC, Troy, New York.

They Watch is an immersive art installation with virtual characters literally watching visitors. Several duplicates of the virtual characters – one man, one woman, and both portraits of the artists – surround and interact with visitors, who are tracked as they move about the physical space, and even projected into the virtual space. Years of research and development with game-technology have resulted in a 360° audio-visual environment, exploiting a 15-meter-wide panoramic screen and a 32-channel sound system.

The subtle collaboration of the real and virtual agents and environments conflate to engender a hybrid space where the observer becomes the observed. Figuratively “wearing” a virtual camera causes the on-screen characters to approach and to retreat, analogously altering the soundtrack; characters that, as visitors will come to discover, are aware of their presence. Visitors’ movements activate visual cues and affect the characters’ spontaneous, unscripted behaviors, so that the installation’s visual and sonic compositions are uniquely influenced by the visit. The piece becomes a composition in movement whereby non-linear blends of real and virtual force visitors to consider perspective, agency, and the distinction between authentic and imagined as They Watch.

They Watch has been produced by Workspace Unlimited and created by Thomas Soetens and Kora Van den Bulcke in collaboration with Matt McChesney, Patrick Bergeron, Rene Morel, Marie-Eve Provencal, Marije Baalman, Hans Samuelson. They Watch is realized with the support of EMPAC, the Flemish Minister of Culture, the department of Audiovisual Arts of the Flemish Community, the Flemish minister of Innovation, the IWT, Institute for Broadband Technology (IBBT).

Special thanks to Kathleen Forde, EMPAC team and RPI, Wayne Ashley, Steve Van Anden, Innobec Technologies, SkuadStudios, 20Q.net, Stoffel Debuysere, Sandeep Bhagwati, Chris Salter, Kathleen Ruiz.


Oct 23, 12:53
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