"Where I can see my house from here so we are"
by >... an experiment in discovering the metaphors
of long-distance impersonation in a new kind of public space
become increasingly interested in the status of the Internet as a "liminal"
space - one in which there is a suspension of "reality", and a delimited
territory for ritualized and symbolic behaviors, as well as a suspension of
identity in as much as it eludes focus on gender, age, or personal appearance.
Three small robot-puppets, each with a video camera-eye and microphone ears,
are together in a mirrored room which has been built in an exhibition space. The
walls of the space are high enough so that they cannot see over it, but low
enough so that viewers in the exhibition space may watch them, and speak with
them / though they are unseen by the robots). Each robot-puppet is connected,
via the Internet, to another space, in which their sight and hearing is seen by
another viewer-ventriloquist as projected video and amplified sound. In each
remote space, there is a control device, consisting visibly of a joystick and
microphone. The viewer-ventriloquist there may drive around the robot-puppet to
which they are connected in the mirrored space, and when the remote
viewer-ventriloquist speaks, their voice is "projected" through the
robot-puppet, amplified within it, and moving the robot-dollīs mouth. In this
way, three viewer-ventriloquists may meet in the fourth (mirrored) room and
exchange with each other as they please. The space has physical limits for each
robot-puppet, like national borders, which they cannot cross"