INVERTIGO stages a blurring of boundaries in and between bodies in disparate spaces, between the public space of the gallery and the electronic network of the World Wide Web.
Upon entering the gallery, the viewer encounters the screen space of a video projection which is inhabited by the ethereal presence of individuals on the web. With the presence of each new visitor to the web site, a trace of a new body appears in the projection. Each ‘webpresence’ is also marked by numerical figures, traces of individuals’ IP addresses, scrolling on a suspended monitor on the gallery’s far wall.
In the physical space of the gallery, a solitary swing acts as the main component and driving mechanism of the piece, spanning ‘real’ and virtual space, and acting as a feedback mechanism between the two. Through the physical act of swinging, audience members edit the video images that appear on the video screen. As they move, the images shift between representations that evoke feelings of psychological distance and more intimate ones, flickering between a fast cut and a soft caress. Each swing arc marks time and the rhythm of movement, while conjuring up cinematic fragments and the sensations of bodily feedback. The web ‘screen’ space mimics this editing and generates ‘webpresence’ in the gallery.
Webpresence is marked by a rush of black-and-white bodies across the scrims. A fleeting IP address trace on a monitor opposite the scrims also records this virtual body. The gallery viewer becomes an editor of the imagery, collapsing landscapes. Webpresence interrupts the gallery editing.
Two spy cameras surveyed the state of the gallery installation. A camera mounted spy-style on the ceiling sent an overview to the web. A camera on the swingtop translated the body-motion of each viewer. Their points of view were uploaded and saved every 15 seconds to break-down activity in the gallery frame-by-frame.
Images from moments on several days were archived on the invertigo website Moving the cursor over the frames switched points of view.
During the exhibition, this applet revealed the presence of web viewers and counted the number of swings in the gallery. Webpresence was marked by an IP address that scrolled up and faded away.
The applet was visible to people in the gallery on a monitor suspended opposite the scrims. It was also visible from the website (accessible in a corner of the gallery or remotely).