Thinking about transactional interface for viewing, and how those draw attention to the act of attention, I built a two-chair video installation. When someone sat down in one of the chairs, their screen would turn on to show them a live feed of the other chair. “Distance” was not just created by the physical distance between the chairs or the obstructed view between them, but also by the “wire-distance” that the video had to travel and the digital interfaces it had to pass through. To overcome this distance and see content on their screen, a viewer has to commit to the act of viewership by remaining seated. In doing so, they also open themselves up to counter-surveillance.
“Ambience, Peaceful Synth.wav” by InspectorJ (www.jshaw.co.uk) of Freesound.org