Interactive video installation, 2014-2016
Acting: Heike Langsdorf, Maria Decorte, Alexander Baervoets, Reggy Timmermans, Julia Nitsberg, Helena Dietrich, Michael Buckley, Sue McCanley, Gregory Edelein, Bram Baloo, Celine Laloire, Ann Goovaerts, Loes Jacobs, Shelbatra Jashari
Soundtrack composer: Guy de Bievre; Construction: Peter Maschke; Programmimg: Yacine Sebti; first version programming: Bart Vandeput

the Vlaamse Overheid, VGC, Adem vzw, Netwerk, iMAL,
Nadine vzw -, Apass -, Adem vzw

Panorama is a new project in which the spectators can interact with the work in the immersive ambient environment. Exploiting the technology of 360-degree projection developed in the 50s, the artist sets out to utilize aspects of the surrounding environment as a vehicle for impacting on the audience both mentally and physically: the movements of the characters are designed to trigger the movement of the audience. The artist uses modern technology to explore the complexity of common behavioral patterns as well as the public’s “iconophilia”, or constant manic love for images.

Tech description:

3 video projectors fixed on a cyclorama side
8 speakers
Light weight construction
(dark space)

Panorama is presented in a dark room, where a multi-video projection is shown on the inside of a circular screen attached to a large cylindrical stretcher 1.80 meters high and almost 6 meters in diameter suspended in mid-air, 130 cm above the floor. A reflection from the illuminated screen forms a light circle on the floor below, evoking the image of an arena. The installation can best be described as a new type of cyclorama encircling its audience, which enters into it to watch a video that is presented like an extended film episode. Showing its leading female protagonist walking around in her sexy, white, loosely tied bathrobe, accompanied only by the sound of her own steps, the artist references, spoofs and parodies scenes from various nightmarish, disturbing b/w films of confused identities, human vulnerability, sexual victimization and dark histories. Like many thrillers, the video plot seems to be so complex that prolonged viewings are necessary to capture all its subtlety. The sporadic ghostly apparition of the other two film characters moving silently in front or behind the woman arouses in the audience pulsating interest. Although nothing frightening or captivating happens in what are rather monotonous scenes, the horror or suspense is created in the mind of the audience, whose collective subconscious memory has been trained by the mass media.

The linear cinematic narrative spread across the circumference of the screen destroys the limits of cinematic perception and experience, and integrates the spectator into the work. Unlike traditional cinema, in which the interaction of the static spectator is merely a mental event, the interactivity in Panorama allows various types of physical navigation or assembly that go far beyond the purely psychological. Through a coordinated juxtaposition in the montage artist skillfully manipulates his captivated spectators into performing a continuous ‘common movement’, rotating slowly to follow the actor. But the characters’ disappearance provokes disorder in the coagulated audience as the viewers, intrigued and confused, begin to turn around chaotically in search of the diaphanous figures. The idea of a participatory audience is thus stretched further as both the actors and the audience perform.

cyclo netwerk test h264 from alex dementieva on Vimeo.