Alexandre Castonguay

Générique, 2001

Alexandre Castonguay
Dimensions and medium
Computers and software, projector, amplifier and speakers, video surveillance camera, 1/2, Variable dimensions
Artwork description
Générique is a collaboration by artist Alexandre Castonguay and programmer Mathieu Bouchard. The interactive video installation invites the viewer to enter a passageway where a surveillance camera installed on the floor captures their image and movements in real time. Concealed in a control room, a computer analyses the information, retaining only the viewer’s silhouette. A computer code then transforms the likeness into a blurry double figure, inverts it to generate a mirror effect, then superimposes it onto a sequence of images projected on the wall of a darkened room. The work responds to the viewer’s actions, in turn causing the projected silhouette to move, copy and transform itself against an ever-changing backdrop of images resembling leaves, water or fire. Switching from green to blue to red, the images flow in response to the intensity of the viewer’s movement. Similarly, the work’s soundtrack varies the volume and frequency of its samples in subtle ways. A fully immersive piece, Générique uses an open experience to cast a critical eye on the nature and limits of interactivity as it existed at the end of the 20th century.

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