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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Life on a Slice
Beverly Reiser, Hans Reiser

How many multimedia 'poems' have you experienced in which each frame seemed to be handed to you by a monkey who had just ripped it out at random from Shakespeare? The coherence of a poem, a novel, or an interactive multimedia experience, is derived from structure. Computer technology allows structures that no artist has ever explored. Unfortunately, most computer-based artists seem to be on a quest for disjointed incoherence.

'Life On A Slice'presents three computer-based works. The first two are based on binary trees, structures that are familiar to the point of banality to computer scientists, but which have not been substantially exploited in the arts. 'Life On A Slice' is an interactive video/ computer installation that explores choice making. It provides an environmental metaphor for decision-making based on information slices.
When the participant signals a choice, a change occurs. The effect of the choice remains and the participant is again offered more choices that stem from and augment the previous choice. The sequence of choices continues until the poem or story is completed. In this way, a story or poem will have one beginning but many possible endings.
The moment of choice is accentuated by digitized sound effects.
The participant sees his or her live image merged with the computer image on the screen throughout the interactive session.
'Risk My Shadow Kissing Yours' is a balanced binary tree with 16 bottom nodes. It is also a lyrical poem that, with each line, gives the viewer an icon-word choice of two possible next lines. The user's image, acquired by a video camera, interacts on-screen with an image from another world.
'The Geisha Snail and the Phosphorescent Samurai' is a fable-like narrative in which the protagonist journeys to one of many possible ends, irrevocably transformed at each step by the choices made. (Beverly Reiser/ Hans Reiser)