Interactive video installation
In “Steven and Jared”, viewers are presented with two speakers hanging from a ceiling in front of a large video projection of what could at first look like a swarm of bees meandering around the screen. Under closer inspection, these meandering elements turn out to be letters of the alphabet. If a person chooses to listen to one of the speakers, the patterns of movement starts to change, with the letters slowly settling and forming into words, sentences and eventually paragraphs. If the viewer then moves away from the speaker, the letters once again disband and take flight. Each time viewers come close to a speaker, eventually being able to hear what sounds like confessional, diaristic stories narrated by a young girl, the words would once again congregate but into new paragraphs and stories.
The finite number of alphabetical letters on the screen together with the fluid transition between these changing paragraphs results in texts full of typos and inventive approximations, as new words attempt to form based only on the available letters. This technical and material shortfall of the paragraphs and letters is itself refracted through the content of the text itself, which features personal memories centering on moments of misunderstanding and mistake between cultural and social cues. The interactive mechanism of the installation, which necessitates an intimate proximity between the viewer and the speakers for the voice to be audible, and for this proximity in turn to then prompt the projected letters to start forming readable text, helps complicate questions of the privacy, and the cultural expectations and protocols of public space. In 2010, I expanded the paragraphs from two to ten as well as designed and created a pair of new sensor headsets using 3d printer.
In 2015, I further expanded the work to a two channel video installation using 20 paragraphs.