In the Situational City subject in 2010, Lucas gave his lecture on the topic Relational Aesthetics, which I later wrote this essay on. The basic explanation for Relational Aesthetics, is art or design that incorporates its audience into its outcome. One of the artists I used for that essay Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has a current exhibition at the MCA called "Recorders", which is audience-inclusive art in a nutshell. I really liked the exhibition so I thought I'd put up some of my photos and explain some of the artworks.
This particular artwork involves the audience pressing their finger into a slot and waiting while the machine records your heartbeat. The image of your fingerprint then comes up and pulses to the beat of your heart. Each image moves along when a new person submits their fingerprint and the room displays some several thousand fingerprints of the most recent participants. (mine's the one with the purple heart).
Interestingly everyone has a unique fingerprint, yet when lined up next to each other, how similar they all seem.
This work involves a room filled with low level lights allowing visitors to create shadows large and small. Behind the shadows actual pictures of the audience are taken and displayed behind the shadows at random.
This work involves typing a short question onto a keyboard which then gets sent to a number of little screens displaying jumbled up sentences which are odd but sometimes slightly insightful.
This artwork is merely a room filled with self-retracting tape measures mechanised to rise into the air as you walk past. They eventually fall over and are pulled back into the coil, only to start all over again.
This work records your voice at one ends and replays what you recorded, lighting itself up along the way and jumbling your voice with those of previous participants.
This work is a room filled with microphones of various heights. When you speak into a microphone, your message is recorded and played back to you as well as the message of a previous participant. Some of the ones I got were children singing, someone telling me to feel beautiful today, some guy beatboxing and another advertising their website. According to the MCA worker minding this work, there have been a few upset participants who heard something offfensive or rude.
This work was also based on the pulse of the participants. It required you to hold your hands around two bars which measured your heartbeat and then a lightbulb above you began flickering at this rhythm. The room was filled with about a hundred lightbulbs all with their own rhythm.
Finally this work is a conveyor belt requesting the audience to "Empty their Pockets". The objects placed on the belt move through a scanner, and then once picked up the images remain projected among other scanned objects from previous participants.
Overall, I really liked the interactivity of the exhibition - it was almost like something out of the Powerhouse museum, and even a person without specific art appreciation could enjoy the technology.
*All images are mine of the Recorders exhibition at the MCA.