Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Being Not Truthful

Ralph Ammer and Stefan Sagmeister have produced an interesting installation, recently premiered at the Austrian Cultural Forum in NYC called "Being Not Truthful."



A custom software program runs the installation, which features a camera and projector. When someone walks within the camera's vision, the spiderweb "sticks" to them and is torn. It quickly regenerates and waits for the next victim. On the installation website is a collection of stunning images, and a very interesting video. Check it out, as it shows some of the guts of the installation, how the software works, the setup, etc. Very cool!

What I like about this installation is the very neat and tidy interface. It is already an aesthetically pleasing visual image, but then to be able to give it fragility really helps contextualize the text. I wish that the image stayed torn a little longer, and that the rebuilding process took a bit longer (a bit more like a real spider is what I'm suggesting). To me, the fragility would be heightened further this way. Also - as with most interactive setups - it is extremely easy to overload the work! Toward the end of the video a bit of the opening is shown, and there is quite a crowd gathered around, trying to make it "go". The system was dutifully responding, but at a frantic pace!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Steve Wanna said...

Very cool! I agree with your comments about the length of time it stays ripped and the length of time it takes it to rebuild, that they both should be longer. I feel this's a manifestation (in video) of the ubiquitous fear-of-silence we see in music; the fear of a perceived 'dead air'. In this case, the interest is in each individual getting the full experience (meaning destroying the thing from scratch) rather than dealing with the residual effects of another attendant. In other words, the level of interactivity is purposely limited to the individual level rather than being allowed to rise to something like a community level.

All that said, the images are indeed very striking and unusual. Good find.

3/23/2006 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Steve Wanna said...

(Posting problems - sorry for multiple postings)

Very cool! I agree with your comments about the length of time it stays ripped and the length of time it takes it to rebuild, that they both should be longer. I feel this's a manifestation (in video) of the ubiquitous fear-of-silence we see in music; the fear of a perceived 'dead air'. In this case, the interest is in each individual getting the full experience (meaning destroying the thing from scratch) rather than dealing with the residual effects of another attendant. In other words, the level of interactivity is purposely limited to the individual level rather than being allowed to rise to something like a community level.

All that said, the images are indeed very striking and unusual. Good find.

3/23/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger Mike Boyd said...

This was a cool exhibit. To follow up on Steve and Kristian's evaluation, it looked as though the software allowed changes to be made to things like speed. It might be interesting if other (envirtonmental, behavioral, or some other facet) controlled some of these "interior" dynamics so that different people experienced the work differently depending on contextual criteria.

3/28/2006 2:23 PM  

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