Teatro Sociale, Bergamo


Festival della Scienza Bergamo

Designed as N!03, Interaction design
About This Project

Interactive video environment comprised of three video installations created for the Bergamo Science Festival in 2005.
Identity and perception are at the basis of the research involved in Reflèsso: the idea we have of ourselves, our own reflected image and the one built up based on other people’s image of us. How much are we ourselves and how much do others determine our identity?
These considerations were sparked by the novel by Pirandello “One, no one, a hundred thousand” revisited in a contemporary mode. The video installations toy with the logic and expectations of the audience by playing back a number of different images of their respective selves:

The installations takes shape on the external walls of a structure with a triangular base. On the three sides, just as in a mirror, the visitor sees his own image reflected: the closer the visitor gets to the wall, the more the reflection loses its connection with real time, as if it is trapped in a visual echo. The attempt to draw near to oneself paradoxically causes the impossibility of actual reaching ones self, while at the same time the only possible point of view provides us with the opportunity of seeing ourselves as others see us.

“no one”
A white light filters out of the vertical edges of the triangular based structure, inviting the audience to draw close to see what is contained within. In the centre a camera rotates on its own axis while three video projections provide real time feedback of what the camera is filming.
The intrigued gaze of the audience, peeking through the cracks, is captured and reproduced on the inner walls, but a small detail defies expectations: everyone can see the other visitors reproduced on the wall in front, but never him or herself. Our image disappears, or is perhaps just hidden in a place that we are not entitled to know about.

“one hundred thousand”
The third installation is made up of one long horizontal screen on which a multitude of waiting characters is projected.
In front of the screen there are nine walkways along which the audience can get close to the characters.
As one draws near, one of the characters begins to step forward and when it is face to face with the spectator it pronounces a short sentence, a quote from a film and music that have something to do with the concept of identity. The alienating and ironic effect of the video installation is heightened by the fact that the characters do not speak with their own voice, but actually with the soundtrack of the quoted artefact.