The interactive installation Training Center presents an image from a soccer match on TV. This image occupies only a small portion of the screen on which it is projected. Starting on pause, it can be activated with a mouse on a stand nearby. The viewer can roll the cursor over the ball and grab it by clicking the mouse. The cursor then appears as a small hand and, at that point, keeping the mouse clicked, the viewer animates the image. Instead of playing normally, however, the image seems to move around the ball and the cursor, gliding on the screen with the movement of the ball taken by the viewer. The viewer trains the image and the soccer players as much as he trains himself with the image in order to understand how it works and how to operate it. When the viewer stops moving the cursor but keeps the ball, the principles of the dynamic at play become more clear: only the image and the soccer players move while the ball stays stationary in any given spot chosen by the viewer. This central spot, in turn, can travel anywhere on the screen.
The object of exchange, i.e., the ball, has been intercepted “by hand” in order to become the center of a negotiation. By partly moving the spatial and temporal center of the media event toward a single spectator, the situation sets up a symbolic power struggle between the course of what has happened and the way in which the match can be replayed, between a collective media event broadcasted to be shared simultaneously and an individual taking the media in hand.
Interactive installation, 2005
Programming: Emmanuel Méhois
PLAY(S) - International Digital and Multimedia Arts Exhibition, Changzhou, China, september-october 2006