humans were water (2008)

by 1046220

"humans were water" is an interactive audio video and water installation that invites its audience to cruise between a water simulation (hyperreal water) and proper water (real water).

It is a journey in time in wich cognitive and sensitive approaches meet, mix and redefine themselves. Thus, the project suggests the continual mutation of our relationship to the environment, as well as it questions it.

Full Description

"humans were water" is an interactive water installation.

Aerial videos of water locations are projected onto a 1.55 x 1.55m basin filled with a water matrix placed 1m above the floor.

They can be pixilated, interferences effects may occur and they are colorized on the basis of google earth colour codes. This comes with a wikipedia water descritption read by a robotic voice.

The installation is equipped with sensors that detect water vibrations produced by visitors.

If vibrations are generated slowly, the concerned areas of the basin are progressively covered with white stains, that actually reveal fully the water. On the contrary, if they are generated with fast movements, black stains are produced, it gets dark and it seems the whole is turning off. As vibrations are triggered, sound diminishes and eventually vanishes.

White and black stains can develop simultaneously and compete... When no one interacts for a period of time, it all progressively comes back to the initial planet aerial views.

The various elements that compose "humans were water "converge to question our relation to the environment in time. This, by allowing a journey between a representation of it and the real.

Title: "human were water", asserts the impermanent state of things. Indeed we come from the water, cells produced in the water, then warms, fishes, tetrapods, a long lines of bipeds until humans as we know them today. But what kind of humans are we becoming in these high tech times?

Since some time already animism beliefs, characterized by strong connection to the environment, have vanished of the planet as were vanishing "primitive societies".
Since some time already, more and more of us live in mineral cities, where we trade manufactured food and water against numbers, losing direct connection to the environment.
And since more recently, more and more of us communicate using all kinds of high tech interfaces seeing the world via them, or even, seeing them as the world, if one refers to Baudrillard's hyper reality: the simulacre becomes the real. And these developments could just the beginning of something much bigger in the wake of what futurologists like Ian Pearson predict...

Is this process breaking our ties to the environment? Or should the question be: what is our current environment, what defines it? What will it be? This is what aims to question this work.

Installation Setting : In its relation to the installation, the audience is excluded from the water element (it actually dominates it just like modern man has tried to dominate nature)... at the same time, the audience can truly penetrates it by simply putting the hands in the water.

The installation acts like a magic well where we mirror ourselves. It is a gate we go through to experience, re-experience past and present relation type we share with our environment...

Videos, Animations and Narrative : The projected videos of the planet are pixilated and interferences effects occur. They are also colorized with on google earth color code basis. This comes with a sound track in which a robotic voice reads the wikipedia water page.

This illustrates the hyper real relation type we are establishing with the environment, which we extensively live through the web, TV documentaries, google earth or the length of our camera.

By moving your hands in the water you trigger vibrations that generate the animations. Slow vibrations generate white stains while fast vibrations generate black stains.

In both cases, the layer of water representation or simulation (hypperreal water) is erased and the proper water (real water) is fully revealed. Indeed, not only you are seeing it, but you are touching it, and as the wikipedia sound is lowering, you are also hearing the sound of it.

You have been translated.

Medium : ("The medium is the massage")

Water is the medium.

("If you do not know where you are going, go back where you come from"). By unfolding the element we originated from in different ways, "humans were water", invites its audience to reconsider its relation to the environment and question what it is now and why...
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Artist Statement

Nowadays we are peceiving our environment through the prism of cognitive layers. This, to a certain extend, keeps us away from its real nature.

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