Friday, May 06, 2005

Touch Me

We-make-money-not-art published a post a few days ago about Touchme, an interactive installation by the Dutch group Blendid:

Simply press a part of your body or objects against the frosted glass surface, and you'll leave a kind of imprint for you and others to see, as the results remain a part of the piece and are displayed when no interactions occurs for a given time.
This is...nice. It's nice, it's fun.
Now, thanks to The Man With The Red Glasses (blog in French), I recalled a piece from another world, of a different order, but also playing with afterimages and images hidden behind screens. I mean the work of the brilliant Portuguese artist Helena Almeida, called Tela Habitada, roughly translated as "The Inhabited Canvas" ("tela" also means "web" or "net").

Obviously, any direct comparison between these two works might seem superficial. But I love Paul Valéry's statement that "the skin is what is deepest" (yes, I know it's out of context), so why not confront these two ways of looking at things? at objects, at art? I'm afraid my thoughts here would be very similar to a recent post I wrote, so let me just add this: I do not mean to say that art should remain serious. That if it's not black-and-white and heavy with triple meanings and long, profound silences, it is probably worthless. On the contrary, I am always incredibly happy if I can be moved (shaken, shocked, bewildered, hit, tickled, blown-out-of-this-world: impressed) by some work that beams out of a thousand electronic screens which react to the average rate of blinking of the gallery visitors. Only this sort of effect seems to me as something incredibly difficult to obtain out of a mechanism that is so difficult to control. If it is so hard with a "simple" black-and-white photo, imagine the difficulty with all these wonderful new toys. That's why I still usually prefer Almeida. And that's why I appreciate new media artists: they dare to try the impossible.


Chris Ritke said...

Hi - I was just going through - you really have some great stuff here! I love it, and yes - it's nice and it's fun!

vvoi said...

heheh... nice and fun, eh? all right, good point.


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