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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

A Body of Water
Paul Sermon, Andrea Zapp

A Body of Water is an installation occupying three locations: firstly a chroma-key room at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, secondly the coal miners'changing room, or Waschkaue, at the disused Ewald/Schlägel und Eisen coalary in Herten, and thirdly the shower room at the Ewald/Schlägel und Eisen Waschkaue in Herten. The audiences in Herten and Duisburg are connected in the following way: a video camera in Duisburg cap tures images of the audience standing in front of a chroma-key blue backdrop—this image is sent to Herten via an ISDN video conferencing link.The image is received in Herten and chroma-keyed together with a camera image of the audience standing in the Waschkaue changing room.The chro ma-key mixed image is then video projected onto a fine wall of water, s prayed from high pressure show er heads in the Waschkaue shower room. A camera situated next to the projector captures an image of the projected image and feeds it to three monitors in the changing room space in the Waschkaue, and back via the ISDN video conferencing link to three video monitors surrounding the chroma-key space in Duisburg.

The water wall, or screen, is located in the centre of the shower room and has two different images pro jected onto it simultaneously from either side. The audience in the shower room is able to walk around the water screen and experience the images chang ing from a telematic link with Duisburg to black & white documentary footage of miners showering in the original Waschkaue. Floating independently on each side of the water wall, the two images are not mixed and appear as completely different scenarios from either side of the water screen. This installation simply wouldn't exist without the water interface. It transports the public interaction and at the same time it reflects the urban area of the Ruhrgebiet as a network of rivers and waterways.The shower room forms the heart of the installation, all the visual and conceptual layers meet here, referring to the present changes of industrial culture in the region.
A Body of Wate r Is an installation that draws an anal ogy between the disappearance of heavy industry and the disappearance of the human body and its telepresent reappearance in the digital network.