Video installation. Custom software, pir sensor, video projector, sound.
Autogenerative video installation showing variable latitute and longitude positions in the worldwide map. The interface blocks each position when the spectator is in front of the video projection, changing the color from white to a random red, green and blue referencing the colors of the x,y,z axis.
Critical text by Paul Waelder:
Absence and silence
Understood as a set of data, space becomes a medium, according to the theorist Lev Manovich. This is in reference to the creation of a three-dimensional space that is at the same time a narrative space in video games Doom (id Software, 1993) and Myst (Cyan, 1993). Manovich emphasizes that in these games the narrative itself depends on the player moving through the virtual space and interacting with the elements that he finds. The game scenario acquires a leading role, but also reveals itself as an environment in which map and territory are confused: the computer creates the space as it is navigated, being susceptible to all kinds of modifications, most notably in the case of Doom, one of the first games that allowed players to edit the levels and thus rewrite the map and the territory. This malleability of the virtual space is what leads Manovich to consider it a medium:
«For the first time, space becomes a type of medium. Like the other types of media – audio, video, still images and text – it can now be transmitted instantly, stored and retrieved; it can be compressed, reformatted, converted into a continuous stream, filtered, computed and programmed, and you can interact with it. In other words, all the operations that are possible with media as a result of their conversion to computer data can now also be applied to the representations of a three-dimensional space. »
The conversion of physical space into coordinates, and therefore numbers, is what allows the computer to perform all kinds of transformations in a 3D simulation that is displayed on a screen. The screen here becomes a substitute for painting in its function as a window open to the world and inherits from it the frontal perspective. As Manovich reminds us, this frontal perspective defines the relationship between the screen and the body of the spectator, since it requires the latter to remain still: from the first perspective machines, the camera obscura and pinhole camera photography to cinema , the immobility of the spectator is a constant.ix The same thing happens in front of the computer screen, even though it is possible to navigate through a virtual space and even insert an avatar of our body into it. Only in Virtual Reality environments can there be a certain movement of the body, although this occurs at the price of tying the viewer to the machine and further controlling their movements.
In d00m, Solimán López explores the possibilities of virtual space and its relationship with the body of the spectator. A computer generated simulation evokes a constantly changing three-dimensional space. The perspective that generates the illusion of depth does not depend in this case on the position of the spectator who observes the projection but on the decisions of a program that chooses at each moment the configuration of the space, creating a vortex from coordinates of latitude and random length. The piece is totally autonomous, although the presence of the public activates changes in the generation of space, composed of a point cloud, which changes the coordinates and continues its self-generated process. The viewer is thus faced with a virtual environment that (unlike video games) does not revolve around him, but responds to a logic of its own. Oblivious to the observer, the program explores by itself the space that it has created and supplants the user, whose intervention becomes unnecessary. The autonomy of the system is reinforced by the use of an Artificial Intelligence program, a technology that inspires in humans the fear of being overtaken by machines in all their capacities and thus become superfluous or obsolete. The piece highlights this possible change of paradigm through a virtual space whose perspective no longer obeys the gaze of the viewer. Once the computer has mapped the real world and translated it into data that it can manipulate to create its own world, it may no longer need humans.
d00m is located at a time when the computer no longer needs the user, which constitutes a substantial change in the parameters in which the human-machine relationship has been laid out. The axis that articulates this binomial moves, the coordinates fail and the lines of the map become blurred. The tools with which the human being describes and orders the world imprison her and limit her vision of it, as did the camera obscura when defining what the artist locked inside herself could represent.
Keywords real time, data transfer, geolocation, artificial intelligence, interaction, video mapping, video projection.
Graphic programming: José Luis Hidalgo.
Electronic programming: Toni Vaca.
Coordination: Beatriz Ingelmo.