[-empyre-] Introduction -James
Thank you Renate and Tim for the invitation to participate and thanks to the
fellow participants this month.
I think Renate hit the nail on the head with her first sentence declaring an
"interest in hypothetical boundaries or the space between interior/
exterior, psychic/social, and private/public has created interesting
confusions in working with the immaterial of new media."
Much of this dwelling on the border or the space between states infers a
displacement and a shifting of the dialectical terms and the viewer. Other
ideas that come to mind when I consider our installation/media works are
embodiment/displacement, biological/mechanical, singular/collaborative. The
installation puts the viewer, and ourselves, in another space, narrative,
practice - hopefully a more inquisitive space, often confusing.
This is the approach that I use as well as that of +parasite, although our
materials and metaphors may differ. As architects (nearly all of +parasite's
collaborators are architects or architecturally trained) we look for uses
and histories of places (usually derelict, converted, marginal, or hidden)
to inform our conceptual approach. We also examine physical attributes of a
space to inform how the physical intervention occurs. These qualities
combined with our own interest in technology (especially low-tech), the
body(architectural and biological), and media (activation, represenstation
and documentation) inform our practice(s).
Our interest in the parasite, heavily informed by Michel Serres, cuts across
many of these considerations - how the installations physically attach to
the place, how they occupy and relate to the space, and ultimately how they
activate the space (a methodological approach rather than solely a
biological metaphor, the recent work is more historical and geological.) Our
goal is to disrupt passive use or awareness into one that is active - where
a passerby becomes aware of some aspect of the space previously unnoticed or
unconsidered. Many of our installations have sound or kinetic aspects -
light sensitive metronomes and motion sensor-activated motors - and
performance events with sound and video projections to activate the
installation ans facilitate viewers' engagement with the work and to add an
interactive layer. It's also a way for us to test possibilities that might
occur in future installations.
Also, I think that our collaborative aspect brings a critical approach
because not only are we making an installation but we are engaging each
other along the way from discussing conceptual ideas to developing practical
matters of construction. And collaboration brings diverse interests, skills
and approaches together, plus making something with a group is just plain
My recent interest has been in examining how to display and document
installation/performances and their sites and how to fold this back into the
To help kick off the conversation, how do others engage in the collaborative
practice or the (im)materiality of their media?
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