Passage Sets/One Pulls Pivots at the Tip of the Tongue
(Wall of Light Version)
with Todd Berreth
Passage Sets is a generative visual poem. It includes an interactive poem generator. The users of the system can position themselves in front of the screen and select words and/or phrases from four lists that become visual as they enter into differing proximities in relation to the screens. Moving forward and/or backward, then stopping in the center of the field, enables the participants to make selections from specific lists authored by Seaman. These words then flow across the screen and become part of an ever-changing line of text at the bottom of the screen.
"Passage" as text, "Passage" as travel, "Passage" as change over time, "Passage" as architecture. "Set" as pair, "Set" as illusionistic architecture, "Set" as device, "Set" as in mathematics... The video material is drawn from architectural images shot in and around Tokyo, Japan, and Karlsruhe, Germany, contrasting the past and the present, focusing on travel, motion and light. An elaborate collage of 150 still images with superimposed text (shot in Sydney, Australia) forms one visual layer in the work. This elaborate panorama zooms in and out in a continuous cycle. The video at times presents images of both a female and male actor generating a series of abstract gestures. This presents a poetic musing on particular interface potentials (gesture recognition). A set of "projections" dealing with notions related to sensuality and identity in cyberspace are also presented. The conceptual displacement or complex "space" engendered by contemporary communication / sensual feedback systems is one field of poetic focus. The notion that a person in one part of the world can interact in a sensual manner with another person existing elsewhere, or with phantom identities engendered by the computer is also a subject of poetic reflection. The navigation of illusionistic spaces ("sets") and historical media is also explored. The conceptual superimposition of this entirety of spaces defines an open work and generates a floating/shifting mind space for viewer/participant association.
The original version of Passage Sets / One Pulls Pivots at The Tip Of The Tongue was premiered in 1995. That version has been shown internationally and is in the permanent collection of the ZKM Museum (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe, Germany.
The exhibit is displayed on the LINK Mediawall, a large tiled-display, composed of 48 computer monitors driven by a Linux computing cluster. Control for the exhibit is provided by an array of cameras mounted on the ceiling in front of the exhibit.