In my PhD thesis I am investigating artists augmented environments where a viewer can encounter screen characters that appear to address them directly. I have been fascinated by the idea of coming face to face with a projected video character since seeing Princess Leia’s hologram message in Star Wars when I was a child.
I use video to create ‘proxies’. Approximate video people to act as ‘stand ins’ for myself and for others in fictional mediated communication situations. I call these interactive video characters a/proxy[mate]s.
‘approximate’ 1.nearly exact, equal or perfect. 2. inaccurate; rough, 3.near; close together. 4.very similar. 5. to come near to; approach closely to. 6.to bring near. 7.to come near in position, character etc.
‘proxy’ the agency of a person allowed to act for another, an agent, a substitute, and a stand in.
‘mate’ a counterpart, a friend, and a partner.
I began creating my own video characters because I wanted to tell someone something without speaking to them and wished I had a video stand-in for myself. This developed into my art practice as I began using video to create ‘proxies’ what I call a/proxy[mate]s – video ‘stand ins’ for myself and for others and placing these a/proxy[mate] characters side by side to what would happen.
Creating these aproxymate characters became a way to explore and represent what I imagined might be going on in the spaces in between people when they tried to communicate.
By spaces in between people I mean
- Physical gaps between bodies when communicating face-to-face and long distance notions of ‘proxemics’.
- Temporal intervals, timing, interruptions, human and technological rhythms.
- Emotional distance - understanding or misunderstanding
These issues all affect our communication with each other and they are all linked because they are all refer to a space that comes about between people as situated bodies in time and in space – or in other words you could say this is an embodied understanding of communication and a phenomenological perception of communication space.
The two augmented cinema works in this thesis attempt to link phenomenological understanding of the spaces between people communicating and an embodied interaction design between screen characters and viewers in augmented space.