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shower

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
November 2014

A projector illuminates a shower wall, scattering light off of it and onto the body. The body reflects this light back to a camera which feeds its image to a computer. The computer places incoming frames in circular buffers, randomly moving the playback head to different locations in the circular buffers. The computer additionally processes and manipulates the image in various ways and then sends it back out to the projector and shower wall, thus closing the physical-digital feedback loop composed of projector+shower+body+camera+computer.

The bather simultaneously becomes an actor and a voyeur in the construction and experience of his/her/their virtual identity within this smallest of non-trivial networks. The intrusion of the camera into the normally individual space brings the public and private together while dividing and doubling the real into the virtual. The act of observation always modifies the behavior of the observed quantity. The bather attempts to shape their identity for the camera, though they are always ultimately losing control of their image to the digital. The computer constantly chops up, re-orders, delays and manipulates the incoming frames. The bather loses agency over their body as so many past and altered versions of that body stream by in disjointed fashion.