How can an artist make you feel part of their artwork?
Anybody can feel part of an artwork from the singular moment of contemplation, feeling our selves immersed in what it proposes and resignifying it from our own subjectivities. This tacit feedback could be more evident when the artist intends to receive the audience / spectators / viewer / witness reactions making them participate in some way. In this sense, I have been participating, as a “viewer”, in some interesting artworks. The last one was part of the Fine Art Degree Show of the University of Leeds, were I particularly enjoyed the Ella Sergeant’s work. Unlike other works it was not about only about contemplation but participation. She designed three diferent spaces, one dealt with the outside: you could see, through the window, and listen, with headphones, the people passing by the street. Every time someone walked on the street a piano sound ran through a software and a camera that caught it. The second space (interior) caught the displacement of people in the room triggering a rising sound with the same software system. The third space was another room with the speakers that reproduce the sound of the second space people. In this third space (interior) you could have a global view of the three spaces, as a kind of voyeur, seeing and listening people from the second space and just seeing people seeing other people walking on the street, of the first space.
Each space posed different proposals to the participant: see and listen people passing by (while being seen by others of the third space), create sound as passing by the second space, while other people in the same room and the third space are watching you, seeing all the scene from a (maybe) broader perspective, from the third space, and other possibilities in between, related to each experience. I felt myself as a voyeur that was observed by others and a noisy participant that could make sounds happen, all at the same time 😉 Was funny find the gaze of others watching me and observing other people generating sound while improvising movements, and see people walking, musically, down the street. Exchanging glances, generating movements, sounds and reactions, be observer and feeling observed, in all, feel of being part of the artwork while doing things, more than contemplating things, that was my experience.
Here the art expression involves a digital / analogue relation between the bodies moving in the different spaces and the computer interfaces capturing inside and outside spaces and integrating them in a broader scene. This installation implies the artist, the participants and the outside people in a multispaced artwork.
Perhaps another screen showing to the street what happens inside the rooms could make people from the outside feel part of the inside action, closing the circle,.Perhaps it is not the idea to close a circle.
This proposal of a visual and sounded interfaced multispaced constitutes a constitutes a complete interactive experience and great and creative artwork. In many ways from her work, Ella can make you feel part of her art, and, at the same time that you are doing so.