STILLNESS: A RESPONSIVE VIDEO INSTALLATION 2003

Overview
Stillness explores how our perceptions are effected by different emotional states.Stillness is a responsive video installation that reacts to
the audience's involuntary gestures. At times the audience appear centre stage in the video, while at others they fade into invisibility. As they become physically still, the installation discards their surroundings and shows them a world that becomes richer and more dreamlike. But this dreamworld remains fragile, and any movement destroys the moment.


The installation takes place in a well lit private gallery room. A camera monitors the audience and a projector displays the generated video on one wall of the gallery.

Concept
Stillness explores three key concepts woven into a single experience: the changing relations between audience and author; the tension between self-awareness and awareness of the wider world; and how everyday bustle can choke our inner harmonies.


Stillness requires that all members of the audience be completely still. While they continue to move, they see mostly a strong reflection of themselves placed into a cold background. The more they move, the faster and more frantic the video plays. As they become still, and the longer they remain still for, the more the reflection of their own presence fade away. Initially the cold background is replaced with simple but rich scenes that remind the audience of moments of peace. As they retain their stillness, these simple scenes give way to more abstract vistas, with more absorbing colours, textures and narrative. If the audience retains their stillness even longer, the vistas fade away into a dreamlike narrative and they journey through a myriad of images, stories and experiences. But at any moment, any movement by any audience member can shatter the illusion and bring reality and
self-reflection rushing back into focus.


Stillnessuses multiple levels of imagery, and monitors the dynamics of the audience on multiple levels. By interactively blending their reflection into a changing background,Stillness tempts the audience to interact and play, and yet only properly rewards them when the entire group gives up their playfulness and gives in to stillness. It creates a complex relationship between the audience and the authors, and creates sharing and tension between different audience members. To really experience the full depth of the installation, the audience must abandon their desire to play, quieten their fidgeting and bring themselves,
as a group, into an almost meditative state. By doing so, theyare rewarded with a richer external world and a deeper internal experience.

download pdf of "Stillness"