Hello. How Are You? Goodbye.
Karl Erickson 360° digital video, 2020
2:30 minute loop

For this video, a plant was connected to a modular video and sound synthesizer. Electricity generated by the plant was amplified so that it produced changes in the a/v signals through biofeedback. This is a form of conversation between the machine and the plant facilitated, but not controlled, by humankind. I “seeded” the communication with an audio sample of the phrase “Hello. How Are You? Goodbye.” This all too familiar exchange from our online lives provided the raw material to be manipulated and deconstructed by the plant’s electricity. Each of the five screens of abstracted imagery corresponds to one of the five words in “Hello. How Are You? Goodbye.” I recorded the sound and video for each word separately and in a set of real-time performances, as if in conversation between the energy of the plant and the will of the modular synthesizer. I then composited the five video images into a 360° world in 3D animation software. I paired each of the screens with an alien figure, highlighting the vast differences between humankind and other intelligences. Here, I imagine the scenario as one in which the extraterrestrials are pondering a greeting from Earth-based plant life, translated through an agentive assemblage of machines. I put together the sound so that it is also 360°, so that when the viewer faces the corresponding screen, one of the words from the phrase “Hello. How Are You? Goodbye.” may be discernible. In all, the video functions as a set of translations, from human to plant to machine and around again.

This project was supported by a Bridging the Distance grant from the UrbanArt Commision, Memphis.

Hello. How Are You? Goodbye. (New 360 immersive video) | 2020 | News, Video | Tags: , , ,