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Animalia PDF Print E-mail
Transvergence artworks
Feb 11, 2006 at 08:24 AM

Angela Main, Caroline McCaw

Exhibition at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose:

Monday, August 7th - Friday, August 11th; 10:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M.
(Please note that Children's Discovery Museum will NOT be participating in the ZeroOne San Jose 'Opening Night Crawl' event on Tuesday, August 8th, but will stay open that evening until 7:00 P.M.)
Saturday, August 12th; 10:00 A.M. until 10:00 P.M. (extended hours)
Sunday, August 13th; 12:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M.

From Tinguely’s auto-destructive art assemblages to Philip K Dick/Ridley Scott’s (Blade Runner) animal replicants, artists question what is ‘made’. Animals have a place in the history of performance, both tamed and trained, and in their role as placeholders of what it is to be ‘natural’. Donna Haraway positions our cyborg selves as creatures simultaneously animal and machine, who populate worlds ambiguously natural and crafted. It is in this pantheon of human, animal and machine that animalia positions us.

Animalia proposes a masquerade as a means to augment social interaction. Drawing references from Western and Vedic zoomorphic mythologies, part game, part installation the work layers themes of the digital chimera, convergent evolution and Haraway’s cyborg, beginning with a simple collection of personal details. Designed for four people, full size, full body projections ‘play’ within a ‘hotwired’ and immersive space. Movement, gesture, collaboration and interaction are proposed between groups of people who do not necessarily know each other.

Convergence and evolution are processes we engage in. Darwinian evolution forms the Western model, and refers to life as responsive to environments, both formative and threatening. An Eastern model of evolution in contrast, sees the gross physical elements devolve through unlayering the sheaths of life, a shedding of life back into its natural state. The artists sourced a combination of readymade and environmental data to construct body parts, sounds and images, and with a team of digital magicians, remixed and relocated them in local, oversized video contexts for us to try on, literally as well as figuratively. In Animalia players evolve through a progression of environments, each requiring teamwork and timing. These contemporary creatures are infinitely more adaptable than their creators. Digital mutation is instant and painless: cut & paste.

Animalia proposes an experiment in collaboration that is both engaging and compelling: a combination of ‘art’ and Augmented Reality generates a responsive real-time environment where we encounter an unexpected reflection of ourselves, provoking a sense of play and curiosity.

Animalia the plural form of the Latin word animal, is derived ultimately from anima, meaning vital breath or soul.

Artists: Angela Main and Caroline McCaw
Programmers: Joerg Hauber, Julian Looser, Eric Woods (HITLabNZ)
Sound: Marc Chesterman
Touchscreen: Martin Kean and Eric Woods
Last Updated ( Aug 05, 2006 at 12:07 AM )
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