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Environment of deception and uncertainty

By Rhizome

0dislo11.jpgDislocation, by Alex Davies, attempts to create a mixed reality environment in which the virtual world inhabits the viewers' physical reality. The exhibition room is empty, apart from four small inset screens. Concealed from the visitors, a camera is embedded in the rear wall, and an array of eight speakers is mounted within the walls around the floor of the room.

Visitors need to approach the monitors closely to see what they are showing. After a moment they realise that what they see is their own back (recorded by the hidden camera), and those of the neighbours peering at the adjacent monitors. After a while, the screen flickers slightly, as if there is a minor disruption in transmission, and people -- pre-recorded and superimposed onto the live image -- enter the gallery, one can even hear their movements within the room. It is easy to mistake to pre-recorded images as people in the room with you at the same time.

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View of live phantom/human image composite via portal and Production Still -- Phantom Chroma Key Shoot

Apparently, a significant proportion of gallery visitors do a "double take" at this moment, looking in the screens, turning around to clarify their reference of reality and then returning their gaze to the portals to verify what they think they perceived.

Other work by Alex Davies: drift, a sightseeing telescope allowing the viewer to elastically manipulate time and space.

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