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Engaging Space Interactive Video Works by Camille Utterback

  • Education

  • February 8 – August 19, 2002
  • Kidspace

Engaging Space featured four video works by Camille Utterback, a pioneering artist and programmer in the field of interactive video art. Utterback is a graduate of Williams College and the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship, and she lives and works in New York City. In her installations, video images are projected on screens or walls. Simply by moving or gesturing in the space in front of these images, participants can change them, altering their colors, patterns, shapes, and — in one work — even fragmenting time by activating a stored video clip.

This link between viewer and image is realized not by touch, but by a video camera, which transmits signals of the viewer’s movement to a computer. From these signals, software programs written by Utterback extract information about the direction and frequency of the participant’s motions and use this information to modify the video imagery. In Utterback’s installations, technical equipment is largely kept out of view (as opposed to some artists who use the equipment like sculptural elements within the installation). Engagement with Utterback’s work is directly with the image, rather than with the apparatus that make the images appear. The nature of our interaction with Utterback’s works is, thus, fluid, intuitive, and seemingly unmediated, encouraging our exploration of the rich colors, fluctuating compositions, and intriguing subject matter of the images themselves.

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