Chris O’Shea: audience

Just a few quick texts snatched from the Internet about an artist that captured my attention because he makes people play with machines in a particularly poetic way: Chris O’Shea. He did a great number of man/machine interface art, I picked two that grabbed me most, both done in 2009:

audience chris o'shea“Audience, conceived by rAndom International with Chris O’Shea, is an installation consisting of around 64 head-size mirror objects. Each object moves its head in a particular way to give it different characteristics of human behaviour. Some chat amongst themselves, some shy away and others confidently move to grab your attention.

When members of the audience occupy the space, the mirrors inquisitively follow someone that they find interesting. Having chosen their subject, they all synchronise and turn their heads towards them. Suddenly that person can see their reflection in all of the mirrors. They will watch this person until they become disinterested, then either seek out another subject or return to their private chatter. The collective behaviour of the objects is beyond the control of the viewer, as it is left entirely to their discretion to let go of their subject.

The installation aims to reverse the roles of the viewer and the viewed during this in-voluntary interaction. It seeks to establish a different kind of relationship between viewer and technology. Will other members of the audience experience the sensation of being ignored or excluded when they are not the centre of attention? Will the installation create a feeling of un-ease and unsettlement? The work investigates if machines can evoke diverse emotional reactions with the simplest of means.”

hand from above” Hand From Above encourages us to question our normal routine when we often find ourselves rushing from one destination to another. Inspired by Land of the Giants and Goliath, we are reminded of mythical stories by mischievously unleashing a giant hand from the BBC Big Screen. Passers by will be playfully transformed, tickled, stretched, flicked or remove entirely them on the big screen.  What if humans weren’t on top of the food chain?

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