1 Joan Street
The sensation of having no tangible relationship with your surroundings despite feeling
embodied in the virtual world
Swayze effect presents the works produced as a result of Agorama’s Artistic Residencies &
Exhibitions Programme. Hazel Brill, James Irwin and Tamara Kametani were invited to use
Agorama’s studio at Raven Row from April 2019 to conceive new work informed by
technology. Through collaboration and computer programming, this residency aimed to
provide the artists with access to digital tools for the development of their practices.
Using emerging technologies such as augmented reality, machine learning and digital
mapping, the artists trace, transform and track bodily movements from the physical to the
digital. The term ‘Swayze effect’ is used in virtual reality design to describe the struggle of
affecting virtual or digital environments with embodied feedback and physical presence.
All the works in the exhibition suggest an intervention into an interface – possible ways of
navigating and experiencing the world around us through augmented viewfinders.
Hazel Brill used her residency to experiment with animating characters, applying machine
learning and game engines to generate locomotion processes such as climbing and
crawling. She invites the viewer to step into a rendered plateau inhabited only
by biomorphic organisms that move, interact and grow through reinforcement learning
algorithms. Tamara Kametani has spent the last three months attempting to hunt down a
Google Street View car, inspired by a previous accidental encounter with it in 2017. In an
effort to assert some form of control over her virtual depiction, the artist used her body as
a disruptive tool, devising an on-going game of deception with Google in order to ‘hack’ its
global scope in the most analogue way possible – physical human interference. James
Irwin makes use of augmented reality to delineate the space between bodies in physical
spaces and their digital facsimiles, questioning the fragmentation of identity in the virtual
realm. Throughout his residency, Irwin used video to document his reflection and
manipulated those recordings through various filter degradation effects, simulating an
augmented reality environment to encapsulate digital loss. By inviting the viewer to
experience his robotic mirror sculpture, Irwin aims to trap one’s gaze in this reflective mise
en abyme – a corroded landscape.
1 Joan St, South Bank, London SE1 8BS
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