Elisa Berry - Interface History Reflections
Some of my favorite pieces were by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau. As in most of the works described in this article, the narratives that develop in their work are influenced by viewers interacting with the work, and are partly determined randomly through the autonomous activity of the interactive elements. When certain actions are performed by the viewers, certain outcomes happen. While the viewer can always control his or her motions and learn which actions will cause which reactions, the actions themselves are prescribed and fall within a certain range. Thus, in A-Volve, viewers design the characters in the narrative that plays itself out in an interactive environment, and can make them move and interact. The interface is a table covered with water over an interactive screen. Viewers can make their characters move with their hands. At the same time, the characters have some of their own autonomy. So, the narrative of the piece remains unfixed as well as uncontrolled.
I love the pieces by Sommerer and Mignonneau in which the viewer becomes a part of the projection in front of her, changing and interacting with it through her movement.
A few ideas:
A sculpture, of a tree, for example, which moves in imitation of the movements of the viewer. Or it could simply interact with the viewer as if it, too, were an autonomous agent interacting with the world. Many different trees have many different responses to many different people.
The viewer makes the sculpture of the tree move and the video in front of it moves in response.