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Scott Murray

Project / 2010 February


Practice is an interactive video installation that rewards stillness with increasingly complex visual and aural forms. As participants stand patiently in front of a screen, their mirrored image shifts from gray and blurry to become vibrant, colorful, and alive — a metaphor for the internal clarity we discover only when we can be still and reflect.

The images at right illustrate:

  1. Practice functions as a mirror. In the beginning, the view is foggy and gray, reflecting the haze of our everyday awareness.
  2. Participants quickly realize that the key is stillness, not exaggerated motion, as with many other interactive video artworks. Participants are rewarded with colorful visuals and meditative audio loops.
  3. All visual elements are tied to participants’ positions in space, so white snow cascades around their heads, and other forms are attracted to them. It gets harder and harder to not move, yet too much motion causes the system to regress back to the beginning.
  4. Practice’s eight stages grow increasingly complex. This stage animates emotional statements taken just seconds earlier from blogs on the Internet (provided by We Feel Fine). Participants typically either connect with, or distance themselves from, the content.
  5. Lines visualizing the paths taken by participants’ positions in space during a 2-hour installation.
  6. Circles, representing the same, but also showing the size of participants’ faces in relationship to the camera.

12/42 ASCII Matthew Carter Cheeky