The power of a photograph has been diluted due to its ubiquity, resulting in audiences with shorter attention spans. Photographer Javier Lovera and installation artist Simon Rojas combine photography and video in a single image with two purposes: reveal and extend the viewers’ diminished attention span.
Our CONTACT exhibit was an amazing project to work on. As one of CONTACT’s featured exhibits we had a great opportunity to develop and deliver something unique and interesting!
With Simón (@derooted) we worked on a photography + video installation. Our work was based on our thesis, that the ubiquity of photography has resulted in shorter attention spans from the viewer. In order to expand the viewers attention span, we mixed photographs with video events that were triggered by viewer’s interaction with the piece. (For some background references you can read Marshall McLuhan’s hot media essays, and Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction). Our pieces were dependent on the viewer for them to exist as art, hence “there is no art without the spectator.”
We developed two pieces. The first one was a portrait in which the subject was wearing a pair of optician frame measuring glasses. The eyes of the viewer (which were being read by a web cam installed within a completely modular and recyclable box) were projected in real time within the glasses’ negative space, making the spectator part of our piece. To do so, we used Modul8, an iCam, and a Mac Mini to run the software.
In our second installation the pieces presented to the audience and the message of each of the pieces were left to the spectators chance. Two dice were used by the spectator to select the projected images. One dice controlled a subject’s expression, while the second dice controlled a video that was being projected as the reflection of the subject’s eyes. Often political subjects were being shown, alluding to our thought that you can you choose how you view a random situation that life presents you.