IL Y A is a particular series of membranes -- double-sided projections based on video-feeds from both sides of the installation -- inserted into a physical place to explore the emergence of social interaction in a common space shared by two or more people. Your movement distends what you see of the other side like smoke or some living material. The effect is symmetrical -- any movement by the other reshapes your image as well. When one side of the membrane has no present body, IL Y A substitutes historical footage of people from the past.
IL Y A symmetrically entangles the past and the present: as you relax, figures of the past will inhabit the present. In fact, their movements and gestures will drag and perturb your image as well. The affect of this work is not morbid or nostalgic, but elegiac, with a composed event structure accented by accidents.
IL Y A will be exhibited in San Francisco in September 2010.
Sha Xin Wei (concept, experiential design), Harry Smoak (experiential design, project lead), Scott Minneman (physical design, fabrication), Jean-Sebastien Rousseau (realtime video), Navid Navab (realtime sound), Michael Fortin (computer graphics), Lina Dib (archival video, aesthetic design), Morgan Sutherland (state engine)
(A related Membrane : Van Nelle Fabriek was exhibited in Rotterdam, DEAF 2004.)