This is an interview with Hannes Koch, part of the design collective rAndom International (together with Stuart Wood and Flo Ortkrass). At this year’s Design Miami Basel, Carpenters Workshop Gallery presented rAndom International’s Audience. Audience is an installation conceived by rAndom International in collaboration with Chris O’Shea. It consists of around 64 head-size mirror objects.
In this conversation with Raphaele Shirley, Hannes Koch talks about the piece – the concept behind, how it works, how people react to the piece, ideas for variations of the piece – and other topics such as the special nature of media art / design concerning hardware and maintenance, and future projects.
RAndom International’s Audience installation has been awarded an honorable mention in the Interactive Art category of the Prix Ars Electonica 2009.
How does it work: “Each object moves its head in a particular way to give it different characteristics of human behavior. Some chat amongst themselves, some shy away and others confidently move to grab your attention. When members of the audience enter the perimeter of the installation, the mirrors inquisitively follow someone that they find interesting. Having chosen their subject, they all synchronize and turn their heads towards them. Suddenly that person can see their reflection in all of the mirrors. They will watch this person until they become disinterested, then either seek out another subject or return to their private chatter. The collective behavior of the objects is beyond the control of the viewer, as it is left entirely to their discretion to let go of their subject, with the installation aiming to reverse the roles of the viewer and the viewed during this in-voluntary interaction.”
rAndom International: Audience / Carpenters Workshop Gallery / Design Miami Basel 2009. Basel / Switzerland, June 8, 2009.
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