Tag Archives: telematic

Telematic dreaming

Telematic dreaming  presents an unique experience where audience can interact with the artist despite his physical absence. By implementing a live video conference with a projection onto a bed,  a third space is produced in the installation that connects people in 2 different locations together. In this case, 2 people lying on different beds are connected by the projection.  Judging from the fact that a third space connects people from different places together, a phone call and the video conferencing Skype is also a third space. But if this is the case, then how different is the third space in this installation?

Telematic Dreaming, Paul Sernon, 1992. Artist monitoring the audience’s response and reacting accordingly.

In the installation, the artist monitors the audience’s movement on the bed and interacts according to the audience’s responses. This is different from a video call or phone call where movements are less relevant to one another: The projection provides meaning by providing interactivity and superimposing, or simulating physical contact despite the absence of a physical body. I think this makes the audience become more aware of their actions  and examine what their actions can create while they are connected in the third space. It becomes thrilling for them to realize that they can affect people even though they are not together, as if they are really present on the same bed together. I think Voyeurism for both the artist and audience may also be a spur to making this installation highly interactive: It may have made people pay attention to details and subtle movements they otherwise will not notice when they are in the same space.

Telematic Dreaming, Paul Sernon, 1992.

What I find most interesting is the fact that the interaction involved in the installation allows the audience to experience and become a part of the third space. They themselves become the performers along with the artist and as such, the work can only be complete when there is another person lying on the bed along with the artist. Without any audience’s involvement, the work loses a portion of its meaning. Also, audience do not feel the other person through their sense of touch even though they are interacting with the artist. However, can they or do they actually feel emotions and excitement despite the physical absence? This is rather intriguing to me.

Therefore, I think that the third space in this installation not only try to connect people physically, but it also replicates the emotions and excitement that is still possible without the physical presence of one party. The audience cannot feel anything when there is suggestion of touch, yet it is the act and interaction that gave rise to emotions.

After seeing examining Telematic dreaming, I remember John Clang’s series “Being Together” that I’ve seen in National Museum last year. He reunited families who stay in different countries by connecting the two families together through a projection in Skype.

John Clang, “Being Together” 2013

I am intrigued by this work, and examination of Telematic dreaming have made me understand a little why I had like the work so much. By projecting people from 2 different places into one space, a third space created gains a touching sentiment as 2 families interact and try to take a family portrait. It also offers imagination and emotions for the people involved in both spaces.