Curated by Michael Alstad and Camille Turner
InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre in partnership with Subtle Technologies and Year Zero One present Substance, an exhibition of interactive installations. The exhibit focuses on two works that stimulate participation and response in the fluid, dreamy interface between the virtual and physical.
The Mnemonic Body, by Alan Dunning and Paul Woodrow, is a collaborative, immersive, virtual and augmented reality work that examines the idea of the world as a construct sustained through the neurological processes contained within the brain. This bio-technical environment is in constant flux – a living phenomenon that evolves in infinite space and time, responding in real time to a participant's mental activity. In the centre of the room is a life-size, anatomically correct model of a human body. The body is covered in thermochromic paint that reacts to temperature changes by changing colour. When touched, stroked or even approached or breathed upon, particular locations on the body produce corresponding sounds and images that are projected onto the floor and walls.
Richard Brown’s Mimetic Starfish presents an image of a starfish, projected onto a large circular table, a tentacle extending to the viewer's hand. If the viewer moves too quickly, the tentacle suddenly retracts in an alarming manner. Stroking a tentacle causes neural net activity to be displayed by muscular contractions and colour changes of the skin. The Starfish, through illusion and mimicry, fools us into thinking it is aware of our presence. Its movements are organic and convey a sense of aliveness. It is an example of artificial life that encapsulates ideas of magic and technology, art and science, philosophy and cognition.