Ejected Body Doubles: beyond the grasp of digital control

Affiliation: Director/founder of Para-sight (www.para-sight.org)

Member of collective: ThisThingCalledTheory (www.thisthingcalledtheory.com)

Abstract: This paper aims to consider how open source software is utilized within a media installation, the diplorasis, which is located in Nicosia. The installation takes the form of a mirrored corridor, whereby the participant who enters the space encounters his/her infinite mirrored reflections. On the reverse side of the corridor an analog-digital assemblage of hardware/software technologies records the participant behind two-way mirrors, i.e. behind one’s back. At the end of the corridor the participant will then unexpectedly view an image of him/herself in three-dimensions, through a stereoscopic re-presentation of their simulated image. This image was captured from the immediate past moments. Open source software - OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library), gPhoto, Arduino IDE - used within this installation space have been adapted and implemented to remotely capture images of the participant (triggered via ultrasonic sensors) with DSLR cameras. The images are then processed and sent to LCD screens. The project attempts to probe the image of the body after the digitization of the subject in an age when regimes of control – governments, corporations, and institutions- are increasingly appropriating data networks for their own ends. According to Bruce Sterling ‘digital commerce and governance is moving, as fast and as hard as it possibly can, into a full-spectrum dominance over whatever used to be analogue’ (2014, 8). Through the use of digital control methods in the diplorasis(surveillance, simulation), the very instrumentality of these means of control is subverted, reproducing a paradoxical ‘event’ (Stiegler, 1997) between self and self- image.

Bio: George Themistokleous (www.para-sight.org) is a media artist, architect and lecturer in architectural design, history and theory. He has studied architectural design, theory and art history. His doctoral research/practice focuses on the changing relationship between visuality and space-time through emerging media that probe conventional limits between self and self- image, interior and exterior. The intertwined theoretical and design work is based on custom- made interactive multi-media installations. His visual and written work has been presented, exhibited and published internationally in various platforms.