Above: A walk through the installation: documentation of WWFHR
For the past one and a half year I have been working towards an immersive installation called Without Waiting for her Reply (or shortened to WWFHR). The installation consisted of a webcam that was live streaming the landscape from the north east of Thailand, weight sensors that were remote controlling the webcam( and therefore they were also determining the framing of the landscape), and a synced video loop that was a recollection of daily life activities and Maw Lams which are typical folk songs from that specific part of Thailand. For this project I collaborated with an architect to built the structures to house the videos and the stream, an IT developer to initiate and organize the building of the first internet tower in the village and an hardware electronics developer to built the weight sensors and the Arduino connection. A theater studies scholar was invited to come and write about the piece.
Many unexpected epiphanies had arisen: The idea of authorship is in constant renegotiation when you have ‘collaborators’. Some of those will be mainly responsible for technical stability, others might be or become co-authors or shareholders of the piece. Another key realization is that the time and the circumstances of how one ‘sees the work’ determines the built relationship between audience and work. For example during this exhibition people came in the middle of the night, they had to walk outside of the city center before they reached the immersive space of the installation. Looking became more diffused and tiredness of the night made the viewers more open and engaged to the slowness of the piece.
As always I am investigating ways to engage people, to affect bodies, to built temporary homes and to activate different timescapes. I am searching for practical parameters of how to be more in control, in my alternating roles, that of the storyteller and that of the host. A sub-theme here is, how do I tell stories? What is the main differences between being a storyteller or a host? Practically I am exploring live streaming, painting installations and text or narration in space. I am interested in ways of collecting time, and to activate landscapes or timescapes at a distance.
Questions that determined the outcome of the installation were : How do I make presence a landscape and timescape that is remote. How do I share the history of the space I want to transfer in the most direct manner? How do I cultivate ‘slow time’ ? When is time slow enough to make people dwell and wander, and to make them fold back upon their own presence in a mediated space ?
I had many great collaborators for different parts of the piece. Cristian Stefanescu helped me with developing and building the construction part of the installation. Sindre Sørensen helped me with thinking up the whole live stream set up, the webcams connections and the installment of this, in Thailand as well as in Norway. Roar Sletteland, developed the weight sensors and the arduino that is remote controlling the webcam in Thailand and Esther Tuypens wrote a beautiful and fitting text that accompanied the exhibition. Beside this I got major support from BEK, especially from Lars Ove Toft for general mentorship, Trond Lossios with the sound adjustments in space and Stian Remvik with the syncing of the video piece. Eirik Solheim Aakhus and Markus Moestue helped with the construction part of the piece. For all the people not mentioned but that were there for moral support and other, you know who you are, thank you! There was much love and care involved with the project and I am happy to see it finally up and running, almost without any technical difficulties which is a miracle in and by itself. If you want to read more about the content and framework of the piece, please go the ‘text section’ of this webpage.
A first attempt to document this installation. The infrared light and white light from the projector is hard to capture as it is in the exhibition space… but it will give an idea on the set up. Just imagine that the lighting is more subtle then how it looks like on the imagery.
For process pictures click here.
To read Esther Tuypens text for the exhibition, click here.
BEK, Bergen Kommune and the Arts Council Norway generously supported this exhibition. Thanks to USF-visningsrommet.