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Hole In Space – Bridging People In The Third Space

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Hole In Space was an installation piece presented to the public in 1980. It was based on satellite video technology and life size projection of images screened at Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts in New York City, and The Broadway department store in Los Angeles.

See the installation below:

The work was both technologically and conceptually ahead of its time. The seamless projection of a real time video feed on the walls of the two buildings was done before the advent of webcam and Internet technologies we enjoy today. The fact that the public participants experienced a suspension of disbelief, fully immersed in the interactive experience, hardly feeling that they were speaking to a screen, speaks volumes about the technical refinement of the project.

Conceptually, the project ties in with the idea of the Third Space. Beyond just merely watching the video feed, participants who stood before the projection were remotely interacting and having conversations with complete strangers on the other side of the country. They were essentially entering a Third Space, in essence a non-material and  psychological realm where they have conjoined together; interacting and communicating with one another.

In ways, the project can be seen as a precursor to what we have today in terms of webcam and real time video technologies like Skype or Apple’s FaceTime. These technologies symbolically allow us to break down constrains of time and geography, expanding our abilities to distribute and broadcast our ideas, speech, identities etc. across a potentially widespread audience.

Where these technologies were only previously available to large broadcast companies like cable networks and television stations, resulting in a more “one to many” channel of communication,¬†the ease and accessibility of such technology today has resulted in a “many to many” type of communication.

Overall, Hole In Space represents an interesting point in the history of the interactive installation art for breaking new ground and presenting a new and emotive mode of interpersonal communications that had never been experienced before.