Telematic Vision - November 1993. A live telematic video installation, linking two remote sites, via 3 x 64K ISDN telephone lines. The users sit on two separate sofas to watch a "TV" image of themselves mixed together with the users on the other sofa, and so become the voyeurs of their own "TV" spectacle. This installation was produced in an Artist in residence programme at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, for The ZKM MultiMediale 3 exhibition.
The television and sofa are caught up in an inseparable scenario. In Telematic Vision the sofa is the seat from which the spectacle of television is viewed and the spectacle that is viewed is the audience that sits on the sofa. Two identical blue sofas are located in dispersed remote locations. In front of each sofa stands a video monitor and camera. The video camera in each location sends a live video image (...) to the other location. The two images are mixed together, via a video effects generator, and displayed on the monitors in front of each sofa in both remote locations simultaneously. Two more video monitors, displaying the same image, are added to both locations, and stand one metre from the arms on both sides of each sofa. The theatre of the spectacle is complete. The viewers in both locations assume the function of the installation and sit down on the sofas to watch television. At this point they enter the telematic space, watching a live image of themselves sat on a sofa next to another person. They start to explore the space and understand they are now in complete physical control of a telepresent body that can interact with the other person. The more intimate and sophisticated the interaction becomes, the further the users enter into the telematic space. The division between the remote telepresent body and the actual physical body disappears, leaving only one body that exists in and between both locations. Assisted by the object of the sofa and the scenario of the television consciousness is extended and resides solely within the interaction of the user. Telematic Vision is a vacant space of potentiality, it is nothing without the presence of a viewer and the interactions of a user who create their own television program by becoming the voyeurs of their own spectacle."
The original concept and structure of Telematic Vision is an open framework, where the artwork itself emerges only through the participation of users and through their lived experience at a given moment in space and time. Bluntly put, the experience is the artwork. Therefore, sources representing such phenomenological information, whether textual, oral or visual, become the pivotal points of interest in finding a strategy to document an artwork with this type of structure. The case study has thus been designed as a multi-layered qualitative phenomenological research initiative into the field of aesthetic perception and embodied experience. The focus is on the assessment of the contextualised impact. This installation has since been exhibited at:
Project Web Site: http://www.paulsermon.org/vision
Documentary Collection Research material available for download Practice-based and phenomenological research by Rolf Wolfensberger on the permanent exhibition of Telematic Vision at The Museum for Communication in Bern, Switzerland. Documentary Archive held by the Daniel Langlois Foundation http://www.fondation-langlois.org