Artist Paper

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Perry Hoberman is an installation, media artist who has worked with a wide range of low to high tech materials and technologies. After viewing a few of Hoberman’s series of work, Faradays garden, Time Table, Systems maintenance, and Your Time is Valuable, the theme of perception and immersion is evident.  Perry Hoberman is an artist who likes to work with new media to create a connection between people and technology.

In Faraday’s Garden (1990), participants walk through a landscape of innumerable household and office appliances, power tools, projectors, radios, phonographs, and various other personal comfort devices (Hoberman). The world of various household appliances, light fixtures, radios, and other electronic devices come alive at the presence of the audience by use of floor sensors. “When stepped upon, the switch matting triggers the various machines and appliances, creating a kind of force field of noise and activity around each viewer.” Hoberman collected all sorts of second hand personal comfort devices choosing mundane machines from everyday life. The devices come alive and causing the participants to become aware of their presence as they walk through the space, the volume of sound increases as more participants fill the space creating feelings of power and anxiety. The installation manages to create a familiar sense of control and nostalgia, reminding the audience of the bizarre sense of control over the tools and the effects they give in return (Hoberman). The title Faraday’s Garden was not explained, but it is likely due to the efforts by physicist and chemist Michael Faraday. Faraday invented electromagnetic rotary devices which formed the foundation of electric motor technology; largely due to his efforts electricity became practical for use in technology (Wikipedia).

In Timetable (1999), an image of a real-time 3D scene is projected from above onto a large circular table. Twelve dials are positioned around the perimeter of the table, each dial having a circular projection that reacts to adjustments. The function of each of these dials controls and influences what is projected onto them at any given moment. Dials can become clocks, speedometers, switches and so on. Timetable seems to be rational and unified, but the longer the piece is used the more complex and multi-dimensional it becomes. The table itself represents a kind of giant immersive clock, but to to it’s playful nature the piece can be described as a no rules game (Hoberman)

“This multi-user installation expresses the uncontrollability of collaborative processes by offering a broad register of time-manipulation devices. Sitting in one of several chairs at a large, round table, a visitor will discover dials that control time. Through the operation of these dials, images projected onto the table pass freely through the past, the present and the future, mutating as theygo; the microcosm of time lies in the hands of the visitor. The twentieth century has transformed our concept of time, and Timetable attempts to reproduce the manipulation of time – its shrinking, its recording and even its elimination – that technology has made possible (V2).”

The piece titled Systems Maintenance consists of three versions of at the same furnished room. Each version has its nine pieces of color coded furniture. In the actual life size version the furniture sits on a circular platform with a camera looking down in an angle set on mount that can rotate around the platform. A virtual room is displayed on a computer monitor on a pedestal with a joystick, while another pedestal holds a doll house scaled version of the same furniture with a camera set over it. Each version is meshed together in a large scale projection on a wall. All perspectives are matched. The audience is free to move the furniture in the virtual room with the joystick, or physically move the life sized furniture on the platform and move small scale version on the pedestal with their hands. As the participants move the furniture the versions can be either matched or mis-matched but in the projection of the three video feeds all appear the same until a hand moves a chair, a table moves by itself or participants show up moving furniture on the platform. Because the participants are simultaneously inside the room, looking down on it, and interfaced with it, the projection becomes a fourth room or dimension where hands, bodies and gadgets mingle in the same space. Systems Maintenance is an attempt to start to accept and deal with the nature of interaction, allowing participants to invade the virtual world while it also invades our own.  The goal is to line up the furniture, but the ultimate aim of the piece is to analyze, comment upon, and bring forth notions of immersion, virtuality and interactivity (WTN).

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Your Time Is Valuable is a piece that begins to evaluate itself as soon as it snares a viewer, comparing its own effectiveness to books, movies and television, based on how much time is required for each experience by the viewer (Hoberman). The piece consists of a monitor showing the viewer the several measures of times comparing its efficiency to the viewers. The aim for this piece highlights the growing need for easy access. Currently we live in a world where not only the internet provides quick gratification but now hand held devices can hold many applications for multiple function use to cut back on the number of devices you need. While this piece does not exhibit the same level of physical interplay as there other works it still immerses the viewer into its commentary of the ever growing chaos to control.

Ultimately the works by Perry Hoberman while working in the back and forth connection between people and technology creates a consciousness about its emotional effects they have on us. With the each installation there is always a balance of control and chaos. Making a statement on how technology can work in the world around us.

Worked sited

Hoberman, Perry. “Home.” Perry Hoberman. Perry Hoberman, 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

V2. “Timetable.” — V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.

Wikipedia.”Michael Faraday.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.

WTN. “Perry Hoberman.” The World Technology Network. The World Technology Network, 2005. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.

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