Interactive Sound Installation
Experiment 2039475t982 is an interactive sound performance under the title of an experiment. This piece examines the nature of participation in artistic settings utilizing different degrees of fidelity to motivate the participant.
Description of work
Participants are given instruction to wait outside a room with a closed door. A monitor (Monitor 1), placed next to the door speaks instructions to the participants. The participants enter the room one-at-a-time, closing the door behind them. Once in the room, the participant will follow another set of instructions from a different monitor (Monitor 2) placed in the center of the room in front of a black curtain. Monitor 2 invites the participant to engage in an experiment for artistic research, then instructs the participant to, “Take The Item out of the yellow box and place it on the red circle.” Monitor 2 continues to speak to the participant, instructing them to, “Please select the blue hammer and destroy The Item.” If the participant hesitates to destroy The Item, Monitor 2 encourages the participant with 5 different prompts, ending with a 10-second countdown. The experiment ends when the participant either destroys The Item and/or is given the final instruction to leave the room. Once the participant leaves the room, the next participant is called in from the waiting area and the cycle is repeated.
Description of work
The Operator sits behind the curtain installed inside the room. Using pre-recorded messages, The Operator progresses the commands of Monitor 2 and controls the messages from Monitor 1. As Monitor 2 instructs the participant with the different prompts, The Operator notes how many prompts were used to motivate the participant to destroy The Item. These notes will be used as results from the experiment. The Operator, sitting behind the curtain, remains blind to the interaction between the participant and Monitor 2. This calls into question the level of autonomy experienced by the participant when acting without a visual human audience.
The following are questions that arise when conducting Experiment 2039475t982, in no particular order:
• When a disembodied speaker gives you directions, do you listen?
When asked to participate, how willingly do we agree?
Do we feel safe in an artistic environment?
What is the authority of an artist/artistic environment?
At what point do we end our participation?
What responsibilities do we have as witnesses?
What will we do when we think nobody is watching?
What goes on behind the waiting music?
Does hi-fidelity serve or hinder authority?
What authority does low-fidelity have?