23 Jan Interactivity, by Kayla Gilbert
We are still discovering the possibilities that “new media” art can contribute to our art culture. With new media, which is distinguished from other art by its dependence on, or integration with technology, one attribute that has completely consumed me is the interactivity of some new media art. In my “New Media Theory and Practice” course at Dartmouth College, we observed different works where interactivity was the main component of the piece. For example, one artist projects video footage into people’s shadows who are walking around in a town square. Camille Utterback and Romy Achituv ‘s 1999 work text rain incorporates participation: people stand in front of a screen with falling letters that, once caught on part of one’s shadow, begin to form words.
The interactive component of both installations, to me, is what makes them so interesting! Inspired by the installations’ dependence on human interaction, I decided to venture onto Google in hopes of finding more new media work that relied on interactivity. I stumbled across a body of work by Daniel Rozin that blew my mind! He has a series of works called “Mechanical Mirrors” in which each piece is a mirror made of a different media such as the shiny balls mirror and the peg mirror. I didn’t actually believe the mirrors worked until I viewed the peg mirror video footage and was shocked at what I was seeing.