Does the revelation go beyond the technology?

Is there any revelation, in this clever installation, other than “this is what you can do with technology”?

Maybe there is, but it doesn’t seem to come across in the video.

I wonder what revelation could be appropriated. Something about movement and sound… with a bit of ‘compass’ thrown in. Maybe if it was an outdoor installation then the position of the individual, relative to the record player, could be projected over a sundial. Too complicated.

Hmmm … the faster the rotary movement of the individual, the closer the sound will be to its intended origins. What metaphors are there for rotary movement of people around something.

Might work better at the horse races. Put the record player next to the track, and as horses run past they can turn the record. At a busy train station? That could work if the record was a voice saying “please hurry” … or some such thing.

Anyway, this is a case of: given the technology, find possible meaning.

As opposed to: given an observation on the world, find how to communicate it.

Unless the observation is that one can do lots and lots of things with technology. One can effectively explore patterns, orders, relationships across different mediums. But we know that already!

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3 Responses to Does the revelation go beyond the technology?

  1. Hi!

    Thanks for your insight on our installation.
    Unfortunately the whole lingustic / metaphoric layer is quite inaccesible if you’re not a native Polish speaker. There is a play on words in the title that’s hard to translate…
    Appart from that do you think that it’s obligatory to base on very deep observation and analisis of patterns and relationships ? Don’t you think that giving an audience a joy of experiencing something unexpected and unique isn’t just enough ? Note that we’re not exploring any new technology here ( in contrary to flood of “wow see what I can do with Kinect” thing ), rather we’re exploring some new means of interaction and emotions it evokes 🙂 so it’s more human-centered than technology-centered. Even if there is an hacked gramophone with Arduino in the middle 🙂


    • Hi Jakub,

      thank you for taking the time to respond! I think you have highlighted, in your comments, something I didn’t pick up …

      Perhaps the revelation is the discovery that the turntable is connected to the publics’s position in the room. The viewer would enter the room not knowing the point of the work, then have a moment of joy as they realise that the rotational position of the record has been transferred to them. Its a kind of hidden intelligence, perhaps threatening at first, but then amusing. And so they are immediately engaged with the work … and become a part of it.

      This is consistent with a theory I have which is that digital media works are most successful when a human order is overlayed onto a computational order.

      So I must thankyou for your comment.

      I do feel that there is an opportunity for a second revelation which would be all the stronger given that the viewers are now tightly engaged with the work. Almost as though one first discovers that there is an intelligence there, then one would want to know what the intelligence’s motivation or purpose is. “Why is the record following me?”.

      • The turntable makes the viewer want to walk around in a circle, or maybe even run in a circle. Why would anyone want to make someone run in a circle?

        Maybe a wall hanging of a carpet that has been warn out in a circular pattern. The viewer would not understand what that is, or why it is there… until they have the first revelation. Then viewer would then realise that the system is just there to incite them to run around in a circle. So now the system has a purpose, but the purpose is undefined and therefore almost a little scary. A machine has been used to exploit human curiosity to some unknown end.

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