visualisation-reflectroom2cursory – hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough; “a casual (or cursory) inspection failed to reveal the house’s structural flaws”; “a passing glance”; “perfunctory courtesy”

Ma Digital Media Arts | Beyond The Screen 2014 – Statement of Intent

Passages from ‘The Edible Woman’ by Margaret Atwood

‘How do you think we’d get on as …. how do you think we’d be, married?’
A tremendous blue flash, very near, illuminated the inside of the car. As we stared at each other in that brief light I could see myself, small and oval, mirrored in his eyes.
My mind was at first empty as though someone had scooped out the inside of my skull like a cantaloupe and left me only the rind to think with
We scanned each other warily. If there was going to be a retraction from either side, this was the moment for it; the whole thing could be blamed on organic chemistry. But neither of us backed down.
Once I was outside I felt considerably better. I had broken out; from what, or into what, I didn’t know. Though I wasn’t at all certain why I’d been acting this way, I had at least acted. Some kind of decision had been made, something had been finished.
I was seeing him in a new light: he was changing form in the kitchen, turned from a reckless young bachelor into a rescuer from chaos, a provider of stability.
We were awkward with each other. We no longer had the assumptions, the tracks and paths of our former relationship to guide us. Until we’d established the new assumptions we wouldn’t know quite what to do or say.


The installation

A room with a corner. Another corner sticks out enough to prevent clear visibility from one side to the other. Video feed is projected onto corner from top front so as to extend into each side. People can come in from either side. Attached to the floor are two bendy tripods holding mobile phones which allow users to interact with projection using their fingers on touch surface. Wifi is required.


Two people can interact with the work at any one time. Each person can only really see their own side of the new corner– they are however aware of the presence of the other. In front of each person is a trackpad. One is high up and the other low down needing people to stand or kneel down. They use the trackpad to control the cursor. They become aware after a very short time that they are fighting for control of the same cursor. There is something to be done but they don’t know what that is. If they find a way to share control then something could happen. Something happens anyway when they are busy fighting. The question is what? Balls drop from the small emitter at the top of the corner. Each falls to one side of the other periodically but quite randomly. They have the ability to affect what happens to the balls. What will they do?

Technical setup

The work is built in Unity 3D authored on Ubuntu and run in a standalone executable for Linux on my laptop or on a Raspberry pi with remote desktop control enabled. Two mobile phones will each have a remote desktop trackpad application using a WIFI connection to the laptop which acts as a remote desktop. Visitors will use their fingers as they would a normal touchscreen.


Cursory Glances – Beyond The Screen

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