For “Interface Fiction” I wanted to be an explicit object of gazes to experiment the condition itself and to excercise and eventually ehnance the awareness of my own gaze.
I was looking for a device that could put me in a condition of maximum exposure (body, mind, emotions...) that heppens through the eyes.
The intention being to bring the gaze interaction to its extreme consequences.
I decided to put myself behind the window and spend there 2 hours a day.
-how do my whole body feels being looked?
-how do I look at people?
-what do my look communicate?
-does the people’s gaze respond more to my way of looking or to the device I’m in?
The task of the day: to focus on the outside of the window and on the front of my body.
At the beginning I though that the image of a woman, sitting on a pedestal behind a window, would recall inevitably the one of the prostitute, so I assumed this possibility completely and decide to eventually bring the gaze interaction to its extreme consequences also in this case.
I look at the people passing by, I wonder what do you think I am?
I’m not playing sexy, seductive, but my eyes are very active and awake,
I feel the exposure of my whole being, when someone comes closer, the body sensation becomes more and more intense and I feel the power of what I can communicate with my eyes and my expressions.
It’s time to negotiate what’s going to happen next...
... I concentrate all my energy on one thought:
I’m here, looking at you. (nothing more, nothing less).
It seems that some people are desoriented by the set . They pass by with no expectation from this window .... most of them live or work in the area... No one comes too close, but from a distance they look at the contest trying to figure out what’s going on there.
I don’t know what they think I am, but anyhow they pass by while I’m staying there, i belong to the window: I’m an object.
- Day 2-
Task of the day: focus on the inside of the space and on the back of my body.
Behind me it’s a laboratory, an art space, a place of practice...
Each person define a mobile space by his/her presence, energy and sounds.
I recognize a space defined by movement that i could compare to the ones of a fly: this person moves aimless, comes close, stays a little while and goes, I don’t feel or hear him anymore, but then again his presence catch my attention, he’s on the other side now, moves around, he makes me curious to guess his actions.
I can feel a certain aimless consistency in what he’s doing.
She describes a space with movements that I can compare to the ones of a spider that build up it’s net, does something in it, then it build down, moves somewhere else with a clear direction and build another space:
she’s somewhere, she adds stuff around herself, she builds something, she brakes it down.
She move within a world. It seems like as she changes her placement, she brings with her a whole life.
He’s like a dot that appears and then you forget about, he’s not there anymore... ah no, here he is! a dot in another point. By the time you identify his position he disappears, his sounds are not there anymore, his presence become vague. And so on...
task of the day: I’m on the pedestal, focus on my phisical base and play with turning my head and body to look from inside to outside and viceversa.
The outside world become less important, the sense of the space behind is very present.
When I turn to look behind me, I feel part of something and when I turn back to the window I bring this world with me to the front.
The look of the people passing by effect me less than the previous days, in my perception, the outside became the fiction.
11am: setting up.
4am: 1st painting, yellow.
Overestimation of the time needed to paint the whole room.
1.30pm: We placed a bowl in front of the board and broke 12 eggs in it and left the shells. We expected that the eggs would free their smell progressively until the next day but we surestimate the strenght of the molecules to persist in the room and the gallery or even liberate an odour to be perceived. The odour would have been a bitter smell, the choice of this element was to reinforce the colour of the room but to give at the same time a second layer, a new information ,in the relation with the space by smelling a reek.
4 am: 2nd painting, blue.
The practice as religion. The action is framed on time and space and give a structure that we follow without letting us taken by the routine. Even if we are repeating the same procedure the fact that each action is counted in time allow us to practice the score observing the differences from the day before and let us live the present time. The freezing as mirror gives back the past action, the present time and as a minute is long for the brain to keep focused on one thought, it then make us look to the future, to the next action.
The surprise: As Gabriel took the board off the room to start painting he discovered Manne crouched behind the board with crazy eyes,a wig and a knife in his hand. The joke made us briefly laugh but we didn’t let it interfere as we were really focused and sensitive to the incorporation of the score.
1.30pm: As the first element didn’t smell and was, because of this lack of odour, just decorative we react in opposition by substituting the eggs by a scented non visible element, a perfume that we could characterized as a perverse smell. We choose “Serge Noire” from Serge Lutens and did the profile of this perfume. Strong notes of camphre, pepper, incense, it leaves a smoked impression. The image of someone that wears suits, smoke cigars and have a certain financial position, or try to appear as. This perfume was making a contrepoint to the reconforting feeling that the colour was giving to the eyes, by suggesting a “script” through the smell.
4am: 3rd painting, green.
Challenging ourselves by detailing the action more precisely, trying to stick to the score and being more attentive to the frame of the camera that capture and document the practice. By wondering of being exactly in time we were somehow confronted… The movements start to be integrated in mind and body but, still, not yet timewise. As we depend on the strenght of the color that cover the layer that has been done the day before we can not let oursleves flow by only “listening” to our “natural” rythm. The rolls are loosing their quality as we are using it everyday. The tools used for the painting disturb the continuity of the action. The tireness doesn’t help too although the timeframe that we define, 90minutes, give us us the strenght to carry on in a good dynamic as we know and feel that the action has a precise lenght. We go then over exhaustion and do the action meticulously, influenced by the fact that the score push us to live in the present time the action.
The surprise: Manne prepared a breakfast table for us. That create a really nice and relaxed atmosphere.
1.30pm: The element of the previous day has been noticed in the following hours after we put it. But it didn’t last in the manner we expected it. Molecules are volatile and need to be reactivated by breath of air to be able to smell them. As i was cleaning the floor after the morning practice i could smell the perfume and awaked it by scrubbing. The material lightness of the perfume influence its life span by depositing its scent after being blown. Rather than suggesting a script through the perfume, forcing the inhabitants of the gallery or the passers by to embodied a certain posture to awake their sagacity, we decided to project out the room its content by placing a small fan under the board facing the entrance of the room.
4am: 4th painting, brown.
Timewise to score is totally incorporated. We didn’t need to stick to the clock after each action although the tireness can be perceived in the in and out the frame of the camera. We could observe tensions toward each other and with people out of our score time. It’s getting harder to be able to follow our daytime tasks. The choice of activating a space inside the gallery in hours that are not expected push us away from the regulated social time. We had until now defined specific actions for each of us: at 4.14am Gabriel tiny jump, at 4.17am David start painting the sidewall after Gabriel started painting the ceiling, and some more general tasks: finishing the corners+2nd layer. The score at some point seems to be done for one personn, that allow us to change from one day to the other (Gabriel did the finishing one day and the 2nd layer the next one) but not for one personn as 1 individual but as a symbiotic relation between the two. We realized that the score is expending by itself, setting up our way back and our entrance. It is ponctuating us before and after the score.
The surprise: Manne hid a recording of his voice wishing us a good practice and played 2 Lady Gaga’s songs. That influenced our painting, hard to admit, but it seems that we enjoyed it and it gave us a lot of energy, we had to slow the rythm as we were going to finish 10 minutes before we were supposed to.
1.30pm: The brightness of the green was calling the eyes but nobody was going inside the room, we had practically no visitors since we all started.Therefore we wanted to create a path that would appeal to the people to come inside the gallery. As the fan was projecting the room by spreading its particules out of it we inverted the force . We used chocolate candy that we spread from outside the main door of the gallery to the inside of the room.
4am: 5th painting, white.
The surpise: we were totally unestablished and lost timewise the tasks during the painting. We first get affected by the fact that Elke was missing in her bed, then after switching on the light we discovered that Manne painted the room and the board in white with two layers but left the finishing for us to do. We got lost in time and were10 minutes in late, but, weirdly, we managed to freeze on time and finished the practice as defined in the score.
1.30pm: We placed 2 protection masks (the kind that workers use to protect from dust) in the holes of the board in the manner that it would force people to fit there face inside. In the masks we applied our sweat that we collected through the practice. In that way we could display our labor through the week.
Here the video documentation: