Marginalia 1.0 BETA - video image used in the test from Marginalia Project on Vimeo.
On the first test of project Marginalia 1.0 BETA, which took place in Córdoba, Angentina, the spectators illuminated portions of a screen with a torch to reveal a hidden video [available for streaming above]. Despite the simplicity of the image, it was chosen for some reasons, which are going to be presented further on this post, as part of the process of creating the installation.
The main reason for using this video to test the project was the existence of a text in the image, which the authors judged as one of the simplest and most effective ways of guaranteeing the interest of the spectators on exploring the image. As predicted, once the spectators noticed the existence of the text reading it became their main motivation on exploring the installation, turning it into some sort of mission on their experience of the work.
An interesting idea for the concept of the work was provided by the content of the text. The phrase that can be read on the wall, written in spanish and of unknown authorship, states: “There are known and unknown things and in between there are doors”. Opening doors, action for which this graffiti apparently stands for, is analogous to some ideas that nurture our project, asking for the spectator to interact actively with the work to see the images in exhibition. If the spectator does not engage to what is expected of him, the images may not be seen and, therefore, will not be apprehended.
“68/08”, the date that is inscribed in the graffiti, indicates the forty years that have passed since the events of 1968 took place on diverse countries and defines an horizon for interpretation of the text linked to the ideals of that moment [cultural contestation of academic, religious, moral and political values of a generation], orienting the ask for participation to a wider plane of questioning beyond the purposes of the exhibition itself.
The choice of recording a fixed and static plane is due to some reasons as well. It was necessary to guarantee that the spectator could orient himself visually, as the apprehension of the image would be restricted to small visible portions, and that he could organize the exploration of the image seeking what remained unknown to him. A secondary reason for this choice to be made was guaranteeing that the video file remained small in size, facilitating its processing by the software GestureMapping. We have also chosen this format in order to prevent much movement on the image, creating an atmosphere in which the spectator, while reading the text, could be surprised by a person walking in front of the wall, configuring a rupture with his primary idea that the image was completely static.
While testing the installation, however, the image presented some issues that will undergo further studies and analyzes for the making of a new version. The main problem that could be perceived was the high contrast between the wall on the left [light] and the background on the right side of the image [dark], which caused the spectators to think there was no image on the darker side of the video, identifying the limit suggested by the wall as the limit of the video itself. The movement of people walking in front of the wall revealed to be uninteresting due to speed issues, and in most cases was not perceived by the spectators.
Henceforth, it is necessary to explore better ways of dealing with the interest of the spectators for the image and what concepts it should present to the viewer, with particular interest on what we intend to present with this work that goes beyond its interactive, formal and aesthetic proposals. Among the diverse aspects of the project, its conceptualization and physical disposition are still to be explored in details, configuring the main preoccupations of further instances of development of the project.