The Post Reality Show Installation
The Public is my collaborator…
The Post Reality Show is conceived as an immersive “third space” performance environment that unites the artist’s studio in Washington, DC – live and in real-time – to a networked installation situated in a gallery/museum space. The show, like so many “real world” reality tv concepts, is a creation of itself: in which the artistic process is unfiltered, unscripted, and played out live in front of the camera.
The installation site serves as a social gathering for the unfolding experience, a hub for uniting the artist’s studio with a locally and globally connected virtual audience. Netcasted into the space of the installation, are social media feeds, audio-visual performances, spoken text, appropriated popular media, autobiographical storytelling, live cable tv mashups, and artist dialogues – the list goes on – all of which are mixed and remixed at the studio and broadcasted directly to the sensory receptors of the viewer.
Out of this overabundance of information and media saturation, the conditions of the post reality are invoked, a hyper-exaggerated laboratory experiment that provokes the viewer to respond out of awe, horror, disgust or fascination. Viewers may contribute in multiple ways using the mobile devices they are most likely already tethered to: contributing video, sound, image, or commentary to the collective narrative of the show. The installation is thus a wired funhouse, or more academically speaking, an open source studio without boundaries, or perhaps a high-tech social gathering, a public DIY workspace, a cyber-performance, an electronic Happening, or an unflinching, eyes-wide-open snapshot of the post reality. Take your pick.
How The Post Reality Show Actually Works
- The artist is situated in his multimedia studio in Washington, DC, where each day of the exhibition, for a set duration of time, he will work/perform actively and uninhibitedly while interacting with local and remote viewers and with participating artists.
- The artist’s live broadcast is projected into the gallery/museum space, thus collapsing any space that may have formerly existed between the artist’s studio and the venue.
- During the course of the exhibition, the show will be “produced,” literally, in front of the audience and for the cameras.
- The artist will periodically conduct live interviews with media artists, conducting sometimes impenetrable conversations concerned with dissecting the pervasiveness of the post reality. Viewers may or may not choose to insert themselves into the conversation.
- The artist’s social media feeds, including Facebook, will be displayed publicly in real-time, erasing any previously held demarcation between the public and private.
- At any moment in time, a viewer may choose to disrupt, redirect, or challenge the progress of the show by engaging the artist in the process of making it.
- Everything the artist creates, everything the viewer contributes, will be archived and indexed for future retrieval.
- The viewer must accept the fact that in the 3rd space of the installation, they may further lose their sense of the distinction between what is real and what is not. However, the artist is convinced that this temporarily excessive immersion in post real conditions will be useful to the viewer’s future critical awareness of the effects of technology on their psychic condition.
- The viewer is also forewarned that any contribution they make to the show has the potential of becoming a viral entity that may circulate endlessly in the telematic system.
- The artist lays claim that his creation of the show’s content is of no greater value than anything that is submitted by the viewer. Heretofore, in the context of the work, all things are considered equal in the name of art.
- Each and every element and contribution to the show is potential material for its ongoing manipulation and reabsorption into the work: every word, every sound, every idea, every thought is captured, reprocessed, and broadcast back out again.
- During the course of the show, the artist will resist every effort to hide anything of any importance from the viewer.
In the artist’s studio, a system has been designed using Ableton Live and Resolume Avenue for real-time audio-visual mixing of music and appropriated media, which is broadcast directly to the installation via Livestream. Artist interviews are conducted via Skype. As a result, The Post Reality Show requires a broadband connection of minimum 5 megabits down / 1 megabit up. There are two projections at opposite sides of the space: the first in high-definition displays live performance broadcasts via Livestream, Skype, and Adobe Connect emanating from the artist’s studio in Washington, DC; on the other, are aggregated WordPress, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds. Viewers, situated between the crossfire of the two projections are encouraged to absorb the information by using their mobile devices to become an active participant of the experience. All technical instructions for participation in The Post Reality Show are included in the installation user manual, a lengthy, abundantly detailed document, is distributed onsite and via the project Website.
In a time when our political leaders are paralyzed and social progress advances in fits and starts, when our virtual identities eclipse the real ones, when digital natives no longer consider privacy a factor of life, we find a timely role for the artist, inventing methodologies (even mythologies!) and new ways of thinking that might illuminate a better understanding of our mediated world. It is in this spirit of bringing our shadowy virtual presence into the spotlight and under the microscope, that The Post Reality Show is intended as a future-oriented participatory project to engage the flux, mystery, and post-apocalyptic conditions of contemporary digital life.
If you are interested in more information concerning the exhibition of The Post Reality Show, please contact the artist in his underground studio bunker in Washington, DC
rpacker (at) zakros.com