Cosa Mentale, Célia Bétourné & Louis Cortes (2019)

The interactive piece ‘Seen’ addresses the notion of being continuously observed, captured and recorded. The visitors are exposed to how machines capture our information and transform it in ways not accessible to us. The source of all visual elements in this piece are the users themselves and show in a transformed manner how the system perceives them. Once entering the installation, a simple presence will already trigger a basic interaction. Various touch actions on the screens then provides the system with further images and information. Through its minimalist digital aesthetic, ‘Seen’ makes reference to our contemporary culture of surveillance, but also refers back to the early days of movement photography and the study of human actions.

“Around the subject of our self incarnation through the data we wonder how far can we experience the incarnation of oneself in the era of data? This last point brings us to a simple and pragmatic reflection: today, using the technologies already available, what would a representation of our self look like?

On this track we imagined an installation / experience that leads to capture an embodied form of the participants. This “photography”, multisensitive, consistx of data produced in real time by the user. These data in addition to being generated by this one will be the heart of the experiment. Thus the user is immersed in a face to face encounter with himself. This face-to-face is revealed to him along the experience, he then gradually becomes aware of the different data that are taken from him. Our approach carries an organic vision of data contrary to the image that we usually have. We wish that through the work the user becomes one with it, as if he were inside himself.

The goal of the project is to transform the lab immersive installation into a solemn space in which users have the impression to have discovered a presence of themselves. We would like the experience to echo the relationship of intimacy that we have with the data we generate. We also wish to emphasize the intimate relationship of the multiform capture of an individual.

Our intentions for this project are to offer an experience that not only takes advantage of the technical aspect of the immersive lab installation but also the space inside the screens. Thus the experiment begins at the moment that the subject enters in the area.” Cosa Mentale

Interview with Célia Bétourné and Louis Cortes of Cosa Mentale, where they reflect about their piece’s ideas, concepts and makings (in French) – (December 2019).