Explosive Jacket

show overview
Performance & Installation
Amsterdam Picnic'06
With support from: Fund for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Cross Media Week 06 Amsterdam, Mediamatic (Amsterdam), De Waag, Society for Old and New Media (Amsterdam). Thanks to: Anne Nigten and Stephen Kovats (V2), Rob Kranenburg (Virtueel Platform), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Mediamatic), Marnix Rijnart (HKU), Erwin Slegers (Designer), Mirjam Struppek (Urban Screens), Robert Jan Smit (lab) en Steven Jouwersma (Frank Mohr Institute), Maritska Witte (Frascati /Nes theatres)

Are you safe with me NOW? In Explosive Jacket we research ‘the body as a memory archive’, in a mediated environment. How are mediated experiences(like 9/11) stored in our private bodies? How does this influence our social interaction – crossing boundaries of intimacy? In Explosive Jacket the body is mediating between the audience and ‘explosive’, online memories. The audience is invited in dynamic public spaces to play with these physical, mediated memories and the suspense they create; and show both their horror and their beauty.

Photo's Cross Media Week: PICNIC '06

Performance / installation:

Explosive Jacket is a wearable, interactive performance installation. The actual jacket can be touched or caressed by the visitor through mobile telephone NOKIA 3220 - RFID, activating a 'Touch-Body Extension' in the performance. Through the RFID technology, the Explosive Jacket is wirelessly networked to a public generated net archive of mediated ‘explosions’. Through body touching and immediate appearance on screen and audio tube, Explosive Jacket creates an immersive, explosive environment.

By touching the Jacket, one can activate images of explosions; 9/11, a meteor crash, a suicide bombing, images of test explosions in the dessert appear around the visitors on projection screens. Explosive Jacket shows mediated explosions, which we remember collectively from television replay, surveillance footage, docu-drama, newspaper articles and personal websites. These images are repeated and remade, inadvertently creating a 'more real' mediated 'here and now'. In Explosive Jacket the body becomes an interface for showing every body as potentially ‘explosive’.

Body as an interface

A visitor wearing the Jacket plays with a visitor touching the jacket. When touching the Jacket, the user starts a tactile relation with the intimate, vulnerable body of a stranger. Generating alertness, attraction or repulsion, the intimacy of the body plays a compelling role in the interface. The perversity of a tender physical caressing, which is generating destructive explosions, questions boundaries of intimacy in a public space of suspense. When locating a tag on the body, both mobile phone and Jacket tremble – immediately followed by surrounding explosions; through sound and on screens.

Public generated net archive

Explosive Jacket invites the audience to add movies of explosions to its collection in the online database. In this way, ‘explosive’ images and stories will flow through a body. The body mediates collective, online generated, explosions. To create the online movies, participants find dramaturgical parameters (time, space, tension) online.

Public Space

Explosive Jacket functions as a second skin, which the audience temporary inhabits; relating to an interactive, ambient, virtual environment. Intertwined in a changing interplay of social roles in public space, the user searches for explosions on the body. The unexpected encounter with this physical navigation and the explosive sound and image offer a confronting relation with the surrounding audience.

Photo's Cross Media Week: PICNIC '06

Projection Screens

In Explosive Jacket we use context specific screens, such as projection screens or

public (LED) screens. Indoor Art Space presentations:

2 semi transparent screens of 3x4 meters; standing (mirroring) on floor.