Where Surfaces Meet

Nell Tenhaaf

I am looking at social interactions between human and artificial agents within an art installation context. In my most recent installation UCBM (You could be me), 1999, the constructed, electronically-driven environment functions as a non-human entity in interaction with human viewers. I am interested in the issue of what kind of "personality" this environment needs so as to elicit the audience’s empathy, understanding and participation. My aim, if there is one that stands out among several, is to shape the environment so as to engage the agency of the viewer. Paradoxically, supercharging the chain of events and overloading viewers with perceptual input and even possible interpretations can, I think, make them more aware of themselves and their individualized roles in the work.

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