Mice in the House


So on Wednesday night, I was part of an incredibly interesting event, Arriving Without Leaving (Guaranteed Happy Ending), organised by Lucy Pawlak (artist in residence with Fogo Island Arts) and The Institute of Immaterialism at Art Metropole,Toronto,

Researching critical distance in augmented reality, a live videoconference event. 

The evening was divided up into three sections:

1. Intro to idea of interactivity and the screening of this short film where the audience get to have a romantic encounter with an artist. Audiences had goody bags with items to use and enjoy during the film.

This augmented telepresent zone, shot entirely from your Point Of View (P.OV.), uses the format of a Choose Your Own Adventure story to explore sensations of remoteness and presence. Featuring an “interactive” romantic encounter with an Artist-in-Residence (AiR) on a far-flung island, the work deploys multi-modal five-sense stimulation, facilitating full immersion in a unified and coherent experience designed by Lucy Pawlak.




2. A visit to the Third Space. Where we delved deeper into the attempt to achieve true interactivity. We find two avatars, Fogo Mouse and Toronto Mouse, each acting and voicing on behalf of the groups in Toronto and Fogo Island.


This is the live footage from the Mouse Room aka the Third Space. The instruction to the audience prior to the footage starting is, callibrate your mouse by making small talk for five minutes. Talk about the weather, or compliment the mouse. Ask questions, or flirt gently.

The second stage was for Fogo Mouse to explain brandscapes and get us talking about how spaces and communities are created in real life and also virtually, how this might be done better, and how commercially constructed spaces do not have to be diametrically opposed to civic spaces.

The third section saw the two mice discuss these questions.

You will notice all sorts of difficulties and chaos, and unexpected delights.

3. The mice escaped and we had a group discussion with Toronto after the short break during which beers were brought out. We aimed to talk about what real interactivity means, the difficulties of remote communication esp. if done via an avatar, or having one channel of information relay.

All photos by Mark Bennett



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