RE: [-empyre-] critical fusion

>In "World Skin", for example, users wearing goggles traverse a 3-D 
>war zone. They are presented with the option of capturing stills with 
>hand held cameras that subsequently (if I remember correctly) leave a 
>'hole' or 'tear' in the 3-D panorama while transferring the image to 
>a printer outside the installation itself.  So I'm curious to hear 
>more about how you understand your invitation to the viewer/user to 
>interact with this piece.

In World Skin, as I mentioned already, I try to create a Situation. 
The visitors -I prefer that to interactors as a way to say that they are
themselves being, themselves doing what they usually do in crisis
situations- are invited to visit a virtual space. So they are supposed to be
tourist visiting a place they don't know. As such, we give them photo
cameras. When they evolve in an endless space made of photos of the Second
World War and the Bosnia war (the first version was done in 1997) they take
pictures as a good group of tourist does. The photo camera sound (by
Jean-Baptiste Barrière) evolves from a camera trigger sound to a gun sound
according to our frenzy of shooting. What ever the visitor takes, it erased
from the scene, the taken parts of the war landscapes including fragments of
the flat photographs, becomes white and what is taken by the visitors is
printed out and they leave with print out in their hands. 
This work is at the same time about memory and experience. How the context
(war) has an impact on our behaviour, leading us to do what we could imagine
to, and how we erase the memory of facts and events only by creating traces
as a good way of redemption. The silence of a group of people travelling in
World Skin, a Photo Safari in the Land of War is amzing, and I should have
recorded the visitors reactions, not about pathetic elements but about
dramatic experience. The emotional intensity was far away from movies trying
to push us to feel the actors or characters pain, closer to being submitted
to the experience of becoming the one we hate. 
This is a good illustration of what I call Situation Art, that I would like
to bring now to the "real" World even if it is a bit difficult to reach such
emotional intensities.


>Hi Tim
>I would like to reply both remarks/question
>>I'm very interested in your notion of "critical fusion" as something
>>that refers metaphorically referring to the atom (critical mass +
>>atom fusion) as something close to explosion, producing the maximum
>>of energy-.  It might be argued by many that such critical fusion is
>>inherent in art, as something naturally explosive, like the atom,
>>waiting to be unleashed.
>Critical Fusion as a concept belongs mostly to the physical space, the so
>called "real world", the one that is not built initially with symbolic
>purposes. What I call in French "Fusion critique" (not so different...) is
>about entering the social, physical, architectural space with some insider
>symbolic inputs that make it more understandable, that help deciphering it,
>unveiling undercover aspects of our daily life (as far as we can:-). Let
>it is the opposite of framed art, set inside galleries, inside museums,
>boxes: preserved inside boxes, inside boxes close to the confining envelope
>on Chernobyl reactor (tribute to Alice) attempting to limit the impact of
>art confining it in the sphere of exquisite and delicate mental disorders.
>>But my familiarity with your interactive environments suggests that
>>you have something even more active in mind, contingent not simply on
>>natural artistic forces but on the relation of critical thought to
>>artistic experience.   Would you mind saying a bit more about this?
>I'm not sure about which works you are thinking.
>I think this apply to different kind of works (World Skin and Crossing
>on one side and The Mechanics of Emotions on the other for very different
>reasons. Could you please be more specific and I will develop instead of
>listing works?
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Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video Studies
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
285 Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
empyre forum

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