Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I see, what I see not

The mobile phone has enabled us to easily be in 2 places at once, interacting with two realities in the same physical moment of time (although, arguably, we've always been doing this as exemplified by introspective thought - through introspection one is interacting with oneself and the environment simultaneously). The internet has also facilitated this dual-processing sensation with programs like Google Earth allowing one to visit any street corner or ocean floor of choice within the comfort of one's favorite armchair or wifi-enabled cafe.

Still, sitting in front of the Pompidou among a mix of Parisians and tourists, and taking part in that elegant public group choreography of people mingling, talking, sitting, getting up, moving etc., I wondered what is happening outside the Tate Modern, or the SF MOMA, or the MALBA in Buenos Aires. What are the people outside those similar, but different locations on Earth doing right now? What form of choreography is occurring there?

Which led to this idea: An observation deck type installation with live-streaming of a variety of locations on Earth. With this, one could take part in multiple public dances in real-time - the penultimate global village expression (and maybe long distance lovers would use this installation to blow kisses)!

And then my lovely bourgeois art idea took a fierce ideological turn: This live streaming of multiple places would be even more powerful if one juxtaposed contrasts, e.g., remote vs urban, affluent vs. impoverished. Use it to hit people with a dose of global reality. We all know what is in front of us, but do we know what is not in front of us? And by learning what is elsewhere, what does that say about our current condition? What if beside every check-out register in the developed world, there was a small screen displaying a live streaming of life in any suffering nation...would never happen, but I would think twice about my $200 jeans for sure.

1 comment:

  1. I vaguely recall an idea that involved people in New York and London looking at each other...making faces, writing messages/questions on a big white board...and with the help of "google" I found the is a BBC story about this art installation..