Case Studies

case study 3

Bill Seaman, Exchange Fields, 2000 (2010)

The current third case study concentrates on the specific disposition of an interactive installation. Originally conceived for the exhibition in the facilities of the former mine Zeche Zollern II/IV (Dortmund 2000), today the work is a part of the collection of the Dortmund Museum Ostwall and has not been subsequently exhibited. In cooperation with the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / University of Applied Sciences and the agency 235 MEDIA GmbH an appropriate restoration and re-staging will be created and realized for Bill Seaman's Exchange Fields.

Description of the work
The interactive installation Exchange Fields consists of three screens on which video clips are projected. In the installation room, thirteen furniture-like sculptures are positioned in front of the screens and function as user interfaces. While the video clips on the side screens are independent of the interactions of the visitors, the central screen is influenced by the movement of their bodies. Each sculpture invites the visitor to enter into a haptic experience with different parts of the body and thus trigger the playback of dancing clips choreographed by the Dutch dancer Regina van Berkel. If a number of visitors simultaneously touch the sculptures, the various pictures of the dance overlap on the central screen. The dancing video clips have an acoustic accompaniment. The audio components consist of poetic texts from Seaman partly spoken or sung, an ambient techno soundtrack and of sounds controlled by the interactive process.

Research process
The important steps of the restoration include the re-programming and content migration of the existing video and computer technology and the replacement of the obsolete playback and presentation techniques by modern devices suitable for continuous use. The objective is a sustainable and robust renovation of the complex technology to enable it to handle the frequent use of visitors. The idea is to ensure an authentic presentation as much as possible under consideration of art historical aspects and conservation. The concluding documentation will include the individual restoration measures and also serve as a guideline for future presentations of this installation.

New presentation
From 19 August until 5 September 2010 the restored installation Exchange Fields has been exhibited at the ISEA2010 RUHR in the Dortmund U building.

Research results
The results of the case study have been presented on the 24 August 2010 at the ISEA-Panel Still Accessible? Rethinking the Preservation of Media Art by Tiziana Caianiello (art historian, research fellow at imai) and Julia Giebeler (restorator, Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / University of Applied Sciences). Julia Giebeler's Diplom thesis Interactive Video Installation. Documentation and re-installation with the example of the work 'Exchange Fields' by Bill Seaman is available for download here (German, pdf, 1,5 MB) >>

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