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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Simultaneous Perspective
Jim Campbell

Simultaneous Perspective is an interactive computer and video installation that creates a space in which the viewers are made aware of their presence within the context of a larger environment. It is an electronic reduction of a live three-dimensional space to a two-dimensional space.The work incorporates multiple live images into a single image creating a live collage.This image contains elements from many different live images of different scales and different locations. All of the elements within the image connect the viewers to their immediate presence in the space.They see a live image of the building that they are in from the outside. They see the street and sidewalk outside the building.They also see a candle within the image that is a live magnified image of a candle that is just the outside the room containing the image. Lastly the viewers see an image of themselves as a shadow. This dynamic collage is constantly changing due to the movement of the various elements within the image.The candle's fluctuating flame is seen as a flickering light source within the collage causing other elements of the image to appear as though they are partially lit by the candle. For example, the live image of the building flickers as though lit by the candle.

There is a progression that takes place within the background of the image. It consists of a series of still images of textures that represent a walk from outside the building to the gallery containing the work.
There is also a progression that takes place within the image that is in response to a single viewer's movement. If a viewer moves around, this dynamic video collage continues, but if a viewer stands very still, the elements of the collage slowly start to disappear one by one until the image is only the background texture. If they stand still longer, then the image goes completely to black and the viewers are left with themselves and the sound in a dark room. The cycle starts again if the viewer begins to move or if another viewer walks into the space. Another responsive aspect of the work changes the darkness of the shadows of the viewers based on how many viewers are in the room.The more viewers that there are in the space, the more the shadows fade. A single viewer in the space will have thedarkest shadow and many viewers in the space will have none.
The sound within the installation is derived from the flickering of the candle. The movement of the flame is measured and then used to alter an electronically generated wind sound. The activity of the viewers passing through the hallway is amplified via the fluctuations of the flame and is then transformed into a sound.
One of the things that I attempted to do with this work was to create a space that responds to its environment in ways that are sensed by the viewers, but not always consciously understood by the viewers... and if some of the interaction is understood, for example by reading this description, it does not turn the work into a control and choice structure, but instead something is still felt from experiencing the space.