CAVE installation, Internet and Virtual Reality
ICC Biennale, Tokyo, october 15 – december 15, 1999
This era of telecommunication networks confuses our perception of proximity.
The weaving of human interaction is born out of the necessity for sheer survival. Distance creates an opening whereas proximity ties us down to convention. It is also true that in extreme circumstances direct relationships to people sharing our vital space becomes heightened.
The distant speaker becomes a spectator of a weakened transcription of actual events. When survival is at stake, communication which is not influenced by the media becomes a marked necessity.
Crossing Talks is a space of non-communication. Every room made up of walls/images, people talking to other people like speaking to themselves. Only one wall at a time connect us to people far away or via the Internet. Like on a life raft, the distribution of people on the CAVE floor determines the balance of the group as a whole. When the balance is disturbed, the tilt of the floor forces the group to slide from one room to another. To stabilise the world, the visitors have to be in accordance with each other and thus become obliged to communicate with each other in real physical space. It is only at these moments that the contact with the people on the screens is made easier.
To experience the limits of balance in this world means to expose oneself to events that equate peril. The group’s rapid reaction imposes itself. In this way, Crossing Talks confronts us with our relationship to others, near or far, in a saturated space of communication simulacrum.
(Paris, September 1999)