Speed of Reality

The pace of cuts in reality TV has been steadily increasing, and now often obfuscates the content it presents. In fact, this increase is common throughout temporal media and has been accelerating for years. I’m interested in the potential effects of this change. Does it affect how we create meaning from what we watch? Does it change how we form memories in response to rapid changes in our visual field? Is it making it harder for us to watch anything slower?

Speed of Reality
installation for computer, cameras, custom software, composed audio track, HD television, furnishings, pretzels, soda can

The above video demonstrates an installation titled Speed of Reality that explores these questions. It presents the viewer with a living room environment where they can sit and watch themselves on the HD television. They see themselves in the style of reality TV, with constantly changing camera angles that zoom and pan on the subject. The music shifts rapidly, changing the mood. Is “reality” media altering non-mediated reality?

This next video illustrates how it works in a live exhibition environment at SpaceCamp MicroGallery in Indianapolis. Watching themselves on screen, many viewers feel compelled to perform for the cameras, with some even acting out their own versions of reality TV tropes. This installation also included a remote monitor at the gallery entrance so others could watch the feed live without being in the middle of the work.

Speed of Reality installed at SpaceCamp MicroGallery, Indianapolis, 2012

Speed of Reality installed at Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, 2011

Speed of Reality installed at Figure One, Champaign IL, 2012

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