x  by Tena Kelemen
This project exists offline.

Thinking about out engagement with new media today, I started to question our real identity. We do not feel like a one person anymore, our physicality is far more distant from our mental state. We only show our online through a personality which practically does not exist, our body looks perfect and we say perfect things. These days, we produce ourselves ideologically. In the our era we are, modern robots - the only thing is we made ourselves this way. Because we are now producing enormous amounts of content online, we are a big part of a synergy between our mind and technology. My question is; how can we show ourselves as in who we "really" are? In my project I want people to be unite their physical and mental selves through technology instead of having the technology create a divide.

Reading “Marshall McLuhan; The Medium is the Massage-An inventory of effects”, I came across an interesting quote how, “All media are extensions of some human faculty— psychic or physical.” Today a mobile phone is an extension of our arm, the internet is an extension of our brain/mind. But why do we have to remove ourselves from our physicality? Why do our mental and physical states need to be two different things? There is where I want to combine a synergy of mind and body that would combine to create a greater whole as opposed to a divided and smaller selves. Additionally, McLuhan says “Speak that I may see you”, which shows how we do not see each other through the internet, we imagine each other in a way that we want to. Not in a way a real person is, or if it is a person at all.

An artist that influenced me in the development of my concept was Jeremy Bailey. Jeremy is a new media performance artist who often performs in front of the camera engaging (software) in which he can track his body. He is showing the body as a synergy with the program. But he is also questioning the body vs. the technology, giving performance of the camera - the whole world is our stage. Jeremy Bailey shows himself in his videos, he shows his own body. In my concept, I will not show a human body, I will let people manipulate the forms synergy I have created with their bodies. But on the other side I want a camera to film the people how they react to the Kinect Interactive Body Tracking. Additionally, recording peoples reactions is also a part of the piece. By recording peoples movement we can see the two worlds and how we are in between. When participants are engaging in the piece they are most looking ion the visuals that appear from the technology, not caring how they look like. People would engage with the new media how they will se what can it do, no matter what do they need to do.

People may think that while they engage with the piece they are manipulating the system. In reality, the system is manipulating them, making them behave in a way they would not to. Which is the way the internet works, especially in the social media. In my project I am using the XBOX 360 Kinect Camera which I connected to my computer through the program called Synapse. With Synapse, I made a body tracking plug-in made in another program called Max. In combination of these two programs, I could track my body via Kinect.

In combination with these programs and also motion tracking, I used the Rutt Etra plugin which was developed in the 1970 by Steve Rutt and Bill Etra. Additionally, Bill Etra states; “ The dream was to create a compositional tool that would allow you to prepare visuals like a composer composes music. I called it then and I call it now “the visual piano”, because with the piano the composer can compose an entire symphony and be sure of what it will sound like.” Rutt Etra was originally made 30 years ago as analog visual synthesizer. Although, there exists a contemporary plug-in for all of the new programs. I decided to use the Rutt Etra plugin because it was made in the past and now I am combining it with a new program. It is the same as how we engage our bodies with the Internet (which is a relatively new system for us, although it will not be for the people in the future). Also, the Rutt Etra effect give a futuristic sense, and the visualities of the plug in are made geometrical and clean, which gives an appealing esthetic component.

In my project I am going to invite the audience to manipulate the content. The visual components are tracked by hands, and they produce circles on a black background. I want to show the people how now, it does not matter how we look anymore, our body do not matter visually, but what we do with our bodies does matter. Additionally, the visuals will be manipulated via sound, if a participant makes a sound then the image will appear. If nobody makes a sound no image will be shown. The body and the technology in this project combine a synergy one will not function without the other. If participants do not make the sound or even if they do not move their body the project does not exist. On the other hand, the participant can not function without this program. In other words, people today can not live without technology and social media. My project makes the person to interact, move their bodies, engage in the project physically which is much more than how people today only sit in front of their computers. We need to embrace the technology that is developing around us, therefore engage with it more.