6 T.V. monitors on folding
tables, draped with black cloth
6 VHS tapes looped to two hours
Installation size - variable
This project addresses the
seductive nature of contemporary technology as evidenced by the intense
relationship that many today have developed with video games. This is
not an abstract discussion of the nature of cyberspace. Rather Techno-Trance
gives a literal face to the interaction between humans and machines.
Each of the monitors in this installation contains the close-up face of
a youth as he/she plays a video game. To film each sequence, a small video
camera has been placed in front of the screen of the original television.
As an audience to each of these videos, one is placed in the position
of the original technology, and experiences the kind of gaze that is directed
at this machine.
Each video consists of a continuous loop of one person playing a video
game. In each, the head is tightly framed so that extraneous details are
eliminated. During the filming of each sequence, the video camera is left
stationary in front of the television for up to one hour so that the extended
nature of the link between each player and his/her game is apparent.
During this hour, what becomes evident is the kind of communication that
occurs. Rather than more traditional forms of communication, these videos
demonstrate that meditative stares and occasional tensing of parts of
the face predominate. Each video contains the staccato that has been programmed
into each game to accompany the movement on the screen. The active nature
of these sounds contrasts with the unwavering position of the human figure
shown in the video.
Techno-Trance considers the extent to which this relationship with the
machine has replaced other activities previously valued in communities.
Rather than negate this experience, one must consider what this relationship
offers to all of these participants. The project also raises questions
about the connection between this kind of encounter and other situations
of fervor, such as an intense religious experience. The nature of the
installation makes reference to the original structure of monks' chambers
of contemplation. The intensity of the gaze replicates the facial expression
evidenced during prayer or meditation. The audio accompaniment with its
repetitious nature contains references to Gregorian chants. Subdued
lighting and an absence of other visual stimuli extend this association.