And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
– T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Do you dare?
That’s the question behind the newest exhibit opening Thursday at the American Museum of the Moving image in Astoria.
“Dare,” a new interactive installation designed specifically for AMMI by Fabrica, the Benetton Group’s communication research center in Northern Italy, will run through Oct. 26 in the museum’s Warner Room.
An innovative approach to the digital art form, “Dare” consists of four computer-based works formed by the images, gestures, and drawings contributed by visitors during the course of the installation. “Dare,” the title of which refers to the Italian verb “to give” and the English verb meaning “to be bold,” invites visitors to be participants, not voyeurs. By daring them to play along, they will create both the exhibition and the story of the exhibition.
When “Dare” opens it will be essentially a blank canvas waiting to be filled. The four pieces that make up the exhibition, Draw, Face, Grid, and Model, will take shape as museum visitors provide input, which will then be recorded, becoming part of a sequence that can be played back or sampled. In Draw, each of the individual drawings becomes an extension of a single line that remains unbroken throughout the duration of the installation. In Face, an ever-growing sequence of visitors’ images becomes a stop-frame animated movie. In Model, the visitor can draw a 3D wire-frame model. Grid invites the visitor to create a video sequence featuring themselves that is then placed in a sequence of other previously recorded segments.
The artworks created during this collaborative process will be published in a CD-ROM later this year by Fabrica, in cooperation with AMMI.
According to Andy Cameron, creative director of new media at Fabrica and formerly founder of the influential British design collaborative Anti-ROM, “‘Dare’ is concerned with time and authorship, and the way these define the difference between two forms of representation-narrative storytelling and game-playing. ‘Dare’ connects the ‘now’ of play with the ‘then’ of narrative, and in doing so, blurs the line between author and audience.”
“Our interactions with computers in public places are usually self-contained,” said Carl Goodman, curator of digital media and director of new media projects at the American Museum of the Moving Image. “Traces of the previous user are erased by the next one. ‘Dare’ is unique not because it is interactive, but because it is accumulative, allowing the totality of visitor interactions, whatever they may look like, to be greater than the sum of its parts.”
“Dare” was organized by Carl Goodman, curator of digital media and director of new media projects, and Brooke Singer, assistant curator of digital media, at AMMI.
“Dare” is the latest addition to <ALT>DigitalMedia in the William Fox Gallery, the museum’s rotating exhibition for the digital moving image and software-based art. Running concurrently with “Dare,” AMMI will present “Jeremy Blake: Moving Images,” featuring screenings of Blake’s hypnotic time-based paintings in the William Fox Gallery June 19 through Sept. 30. Blake recently collaborated with film director Paul Thomas Anderson to produce the beautiful, abstract interstitial imagery in “Punch Drunk Love.”
The American Museum of the Moving Image is the only museum in the United States devoted to exploring the creative process behind movies, television, and digital media, and to examining their impact on culture and society. The museum offers exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and education programs, and maintains the nation’s largest permanent collection of moving image artifacts. It is located at 35th Avenue and 36th Street in Astoria. For further information go to www.movingimage.us or call 718-784-0077.