StalkShow

Performance & Installation
2003-2008
Amsterdam/Helsinki/Moscow/HongKong/Shanghai/Seoul/Melbourne
Co-produced by V2_Lab for Unstable Media.

'What is rejected and refused in the symbolic order reappears in reality. Specters, ghosts and phantoms haunt the world.’
(Peter Weibel in ‘CTRL SPACE’, Referring to Jacques Lacan)

AM I SAFE WITH YOU NOW? StalkShow is about privacy, control and the alleged threat of social insecurity in our public spaces. It is a response to surveillance systems as a way to 'eliminate violence', and to deny violence as a societal emotional signal. Philosopher Julia Kristeva described the reality of violence denial as a 'phobic reality'. In this reality the other is absent and replaced by projections. These projections represent both fear and desire; and they haunt the mind like a 'stalker'.
StalkShow invites the audience to ‘infiltrate’ our smart city public spaces - such as train stations, museums, squares, airports - to provide again the alleged threat with a personal face.

Project description A performer carries a backpack, containing a laptop with a touch screen. It is a wearable billboard, on which a webcam is attached. The webcam records the face of the user of the touch screen. Individual audience members are invited to touch the screen and navigate through an archive of statements about the threat of insecurity and social isolation.
By webcam and wireless connection, the live video portrait appears behind the statements on a large projection screen in the same public space. The user sees himself 'watching' through a text-window. He 'watches' through a visual, technically created, social-psychological frame of mind.
As an ‘observing' face he gazes down on the observing audience.

Statements The statements derive from agora-phobia-digitalis.org where the artists invite people living isolated, like a prisoner, a nun, an asylum seeker, a digipersona. Approached by the artists as 'specialists on unsecurity and social isolation', they make these statements about 'personal strategies to deal with social spaces’.
The artists then connected the statements in a hypertext structure.
By touching the StalkShow screen a menu appears, through which the participant of the StalkShow can identify with the prisoner, the digipersona, or other. By navigating through their statements, the user creates a personal montage of social strategies; making this visible on the large projection screen. Statements of other people are linked to his personally rendered public image.

CAN I TOUCH YOU NOW?

Touch & Interaction When touching the screen the user starts a tangible relation with the back of a stranger carrying the billboard. He enters the intimacy of the vulnerable body of the stranger. Generating alertness, attraction or repulsion, the intimacy of the body plays a compelling role in the interface. The unexpected encounter with the mobile billboard and the navigation through the texts offer a confronting relation with the surrounding audience. The resulting interactivity is location- and context- specific.

Media & Public Space The StalkShow shows statements referring to slogans used in media-communication. They expose experiences and feelings of insecurity which are dominant in mainstream media, like on television and in newspapers. Through the Stalkshow Lancel and Maat aim to amplify these feelings to an extreme to be re-experienced and re-interpreted in the urban public space.

STALKSHOW SHOWS

Urbanscreens 08, Melbourne Australia Curator: Mirjam Struppek
Urban Screens 05 Symposium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
- Curators Geert Lovink, Mirjam Struppek, Jeroen Boomgaard
ISEA 04 Helsinki, Finland
Kiasma Museum Helsinki, Finland Curator: Pertu Rastas
ArtCenter Nabi Seoul, Korea P.Art.Y Festival Seoul 2007.
- Curators: Roh Soh-Yeong, Dooeung Choi
Tsinghua University Art Science Exhibition/Symposium 07 Beijing, China 2nd New Media Arts exhibition/symposium, Millenium Museum Beijing
- Curators: Alex Adriaansens, Zhang Ga 2005
Ceac Xiamen China 2008
- Curators: Ineke Gudmunssun, Jos Houweling
Science and Art Expo Shanghai, China 2007
‘Outvideo 06’ ArtInPro Moscow & Yekaterinburg, Russia
- Curator: Arseny Sergeyev
Smart Project Space Amsterdam, Netherlands ‘Tresholding’ 03
- Curator Alice Smiths
Festival ‘Stad als Film/ City As Movie' Schiedam, Netherlands
- Curators: Adriaan de Regt, Martijn Verhoeven
DasArts Amsterdam, Netherlands 2002
Hong Kong Arts Center IVFA Film Festival/ Videotage 06 Hong Kong
- Curators: Connie Lam, Teresa Kwong, Isaac Leung
E culture-Fair 03 Amsterdam
- Curators: Virtual Platform & V2_LAB for Unstable Media

With generous support of
Fund for Visual Art, design and Architecture (NL), Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam Fund for the Art, Fund for Performance Art, Kiasma Museum, [Nes]theaters Amsterdam, Foundation DasArts, SSAS, Dutch Embassies in Helsinki, Hong Kong, Moscow and China.
Thanks to Josephine Bosma, Mart van Bree, Günther Heeg, Steven Kovats, Anne Nigten, Jellichje Reijnders, Alice Smits, Robert Steijn, Alfred Rademakers.

AM I SAFE WITH YOU NOW?