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Empathy Loading

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Web Cam Theatre

29/08/2003
Furtherfield

Featured image: Two web cam installations by Ivan Pope – Lost Magic Kingdoms and Tabletop

Web Cam Theatre – two web cam installations, Lost Magic Kingdoms and Tabletop by Ivan Pope

Objects are cast in a performative context displaying motion and time using Internet technology. By using very basic equipment, cheap web cams, cheap software, cheap objects Ivan has created a twilight world. We witness a psychogeographically influenced environment that engages a fluent mix of conceptual and poetic crossovers with performance/live action. The installation is minimal, with light settings, the quality of the image and time based changes largely uncontrollable.

When you click onto the page of ‘Lost Magic Kingdoms’, images slowly cascade before your eyes down the browser page. You discover its history, with different times and moments of the day recored by two cameras on either side of a small table, enclosed by a screen. The cameras take it in turn to transmit the scene. Inspired by an installation made in 1987 by Eduardo Paolozzi, called Lost Magic Kingdoms and Six Paper Moons, revealing how art could be constructed by rearranging existing objects. With ‘Tabletop’, a single camera is mounted on a tripod. The lights go on and off. The camera pans the tabletop, looking for action and a new world is created.

These two web cam installations will be live until September 20 2003. The format will remain the same, but the objects and arrangement will vary. The rate of image change will also vary.

Both works show the relational nature of objects, a kind of magical realism falls into place like an Angela Carter’s ‘Nights at the Circus (1984), half human and half mythical; between actuality, the physical and the virtual, reality and non-reality. Changing every six minutes, you know that something is going to happen but the timeline is relative to your own modem, your own situation, and your own desires.