Untitled 5

2004

 

Untitled 5 is the fifth interactive installation in the External Measures Series, which Utterback has been developing since 2001. The goal of these works is to create an aesthetic system which responds fluidly and intriguingly to physical movement in the exhibit space. The installations respond to their environment via input from an overhead video camera. Custom video tracking and drawing software outputs a changing wall projection in response to the activities in the space. The existence, positions, and behaviors of various parts of the projected image depend entirely on people’s presence and movement in the exhibit area.

Untitled 5 creates imagery that is painterly, organic, and evocative while still being completely algorithmic. To create this work, Utterback first develops sets of animated marks whose parameters and behaviors are controlled by people’s movements. Then, out of a working ‘palette’ of these animated marks, she composes an overall composition. The composition balances responses whose logic is immediately clear, with responses that feel connected to viewer’s movements, but whose logic remains complex and mysterious.

Integral to the piece are the animated mark’s cumulative interaction with each other over time. As a person moves through the space, a colored line maps his or her trajectory across the projection. When a person leaves the installation, their trajectory line is transformed by an overlay of tiny organic marks. These marks can now be pushed from their location by other people’s movement in the space. Displaced trajectory marks attempt to return to their original location, creating smears and streaks of color as they move. The resulting swaths of color occur at the intersections between current and previous motion in the space, elegantly connecting different moments of time. This is just one of the behavioral elements of the composition.

While the specific rules of the system are never explicitly revealed to participants, the internal structure and composition of the piece can be discovered through a process of kinesthetic exploration. Engaging with this work creates a visceral sense of unfolding or revelation, but also a feeling of immediacy and loss. The experience of this work is the experience of embodied existence itself – a continual flow of unique and fleeting moments. The effect is at once sensual and contemplative.

Exhibition History:
Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA. 2009

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. 2008

The Nelson Gallery, UC Davis, Davis, CA. 2008

Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY. 2008

Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2007

El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX. 2007

Art Interactive, Cambridge, MA. 2007

La Regenta Gallery, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. 2006

Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT. 2006

The San Jose Museum of Art, CA. 2005

Transmediale Media Art Festival, Berlin, Germany. 2005

SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 2005

Manwaring Gallery, New London, CT. 2005

Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA. 2005

Benesse Square, Okayama, Japan. 2005

RX Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 2004

Bank Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 2004

Marlborough Chelsea Gallery, New York, NY. 2004

Awards:
transmediale.05 Award. 2005

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