18th Entertainment Division Excellence Award
Hedwig HEINSMAN / Niki SMIT / Simon van der LINDEN [Nederland]
An interactive installation giving players a new perspective on reality. 3RD is inspired by the increased use of social media in public space, and the changing way we perceive the world around us. People are invited to put on wearable bird-like sculptures. Through a video screen inside these “helmets” people see themselves from a distance. They become their own digital alter ego. This creates a surreal sensation where reality starts to feel like a digital game environment. Furthermore, the anonymity of using helmets makes people search for physical contact, thereby linking the physical and virtual domain. Within 3RD a new social interaction starts to form.
Reason for Award
In this work participants wear handmade helmets and move around relying on a bird’s-eye view of their surroundings. The shape of the helmet is similar to a beak, evoking both the sharpening of touch, the aggression of animals, and the distance of flight. Along with a blocking out of the subjective perspective and the substitution of an objective one, a frustrating disparity also arises between what you are experiencing and what you can see. The work makes a clear departure from the many virtual reality works that utilize head-mounted displays. What is interesting is the question of how the flesh-and-blood self and others feel about the space through the information they have. It is about the subjective and the objective, shifting perspectives, the disengagement from comprehension and experience. Looking at the artists’ previous works, there is always this interest in the cognizance and experience of space, and the gap and concord there. No clear hypothesis is presented. And yet, the experience surely makes you realize something about space and perception. (HIGASHIIZUMI Ichiro)