2007 Interactive installation


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I enter in a dark room with a flashlight; I turn it on. I think that it is possible for me to see something.

I light a wall.

I see words fleeing the light of my lamp. The darkness turns me anxious, but these words are even more frightened than me.

I hunt them hopelessly, although they hide themselves and that finally I cannot see them. I have a light, but however I am still alone in this darkness. I become this light which does not manage to clarify the words.

I can see in the dark, but I can’t look at anything.

I’m picking by bits the words, meanwhile there is no coherence like in a text.

However I amass words within myself, and from this agglomerate of words, a form is gradually created .

By growing, this object developing itself inside my minde with all these words gets more and more accurate.

Because I am in a dark room, I let myself to be carry away in the space which opens inside me.

“Fictions” takes place in a dark room. At the entrance, 2 Maglite torches are placed on a pedestal. The spectator is invited to take one of these lights, to switch it on and to enter in the room.

By lighting the walls, the visitor will see a video projected realtime picture of his light’s halo on one wall. The real light’s halo and the projected one are the same, and they are on the same position in the projection area. When he will move his light to see what is projected in the black picture, he will see words fleeing from the light. For a very short time, these words are brightened, but they go away immediately, like small insects frightened by the light’s halo and taking refuge in the dark areas of the picture.

A text seems to be there, but no one will be able to read it, as this text is de- stroyed by the light moves, when it touches the words, and finally every word stays in the dark.

The spectator himself becomes the light’s halo, as he tries to find a meaning to those fleeing words surrounded by darkness. If the fact that words disappear when they are hit by the light can engender a kind of frustration, the spectator comes quickly to the conclusion that he can use the few words he gets to generate his own fictions. An inner space is then created in the spectator’s mind. The quantity of interpretations of this installation is then as large as the number of potential spectators.

No technical interface is needed for the spectator to interact with this installa- tion. It is not a mouse, nor a gamepad or any other kind of specific and complex sensor prothesis that he has to manipulate or wear. To use a flashlight to brighten the sur- rounded space’s walls is a natural action, that everybody will perform without troubles once one is in a dark room. It is very important for us that an interface has an easy usage. The usual function of the light is questioned here, as the light can lights almost nothing.

The text used is an extract of “The Garden of Forking Paths” from the Jorge Luis Borges book “Fictions”. As Borges is a well known and famous writer, it’s possible for us to use various language versions of the text, and to adapt it to the country where this work is shown.


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Exposition Sombres desseins – Art technologie & conspirations est un événement culturel et académique organisé à  Yverdon-les-Bains  (Suisse) :