2nd Asian Art Biennial
Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung
by James Pinker and Tim
. TSAI Chao-yi
channel interactive video installation
with the grateful assistance of Creative New Zealand
in October and runs thru till late Feb 2010.
Physical and psychological immersions have always been a strong character
within my practice.
We live our lives surrounded by exteroceptive input of every nature.
To navigate this sensorium we narrow down our attention. Consciously
but more often unconsciously we position ourselves deftly within the
narrowest slipstream of information, rarely stopping to think how
our physical and cultural positions in the world imbue the very reality
we construct as our day to day existence. This sets up a feedback
loop between what we perceive and how we are able to perceive it.
My interests lie not in the singular focus but in the mediated experience.
One defined by me the artist, but which sets out to set up an experiential
dialogue between the work and it’s audience.
We are massively screen cultured at this time in history. But most
screen culture has been produced within a singularly narrow focus
that denies the very nature of how humans perceive our world. Placing
an audience into a screen space that fully occupies one’s peripheral
vision along with primary vision, creates a far more powerful relationship
between the content and the viewer, than what previously existed betwixt
My second ongoing interest is synaesthesia. Placing an audience in
an immersive interactive environment creates a heightened possibility
for slippage across the senses. A phenomenon that is happening to
us constantly but which we try to avoid in our rationalist explanations
of how our reality works.
Clesthyra’s Undoing is a fully immersive, interactive installation
of sound and vision.
Clesthyra is a fictional mythological character from Neil Stephenson’s
Anathem, who can see in all directions at once. This works breaks
down and subverts that possibility. It subtly draws the audience’s
attention within the 360º screen space, playing with the shifting
boundaries between disambiguity and ambiguity. The work moves its
At the same time it monitors the audience within the space and how
they move proximate to the screen, deriving complex control information,
which in turn is fed back to control the screen and sound spatial
behaviours and content juxtapositions.
The sound design is intended to work in two ways, firstly in bringing
and reinforcing a sense of meaning and enhanced emotional resonance
to the different phases of the content; and secondly as a strong spatial
indicator of the two-way relationship between viewer and screen.
The content traverses three domains from which I seek to explore how
we bring meaning to what we see. Nature and landscape can portray
our idealised view our home earth. The urban environment is now the
context and reality of life for most people on the planet. Cultural
space is possibly what we experience most differently throughout the
world. What we see, the value we give it, and what meaning we derive
from it, vary dramatically, being entirely dependent on our point