Audience, Random International

by filipe pais

audience-webAudience on Vimeo

Audience is an installation conceived by rAndom International in collaboration with Chris O’Shea and consists of around 64 head-size mirror objects. Each object moves its head in a particular way to give it different characteristics of human behaviour. Some chat amongst themselves, some shy away and others confidently move to grab your attention.

When members of the audience enter the perimeter of the installation, the mirrors inquisitively follow someone that they find interesting. Having chosen their subject, they all synchronise and turn their heads towards them. Suddenly that person can see their reflection in all of the mirrors. They will watch this person until they become disinterested, then either seek out another subject or return to their private chatter. The collective behaviour of the objects is beyond the control of the viewer, as it is left entirely to their discretion to let go of their subject, with the installation aiming to reverse the roles of the viewer and the viewed during this in-voluntary interaction. Will other members of the audience experience the sensation of being ignored or excluded when they are not the centre of attention? Would the installation create a feeling of un-ease and unsettlement? The intention was to start taking interaction with an installation further away from the screen or media wall and introduce it into a more physical, three-dimensional space, and to begin to investigate if machines can evoke diverse emotional reactions with the simplest of means. Audience was shown from September 12-14 at the Royal Opera House in London. The project will be presented in detail in London on November 15, 2008 at the BFI Southbank during the onedotzero festival and part of an edition of This Happened.

by Random International and Chris O’shea, 2008