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"LAST CHANCE! Luc Courchesne: Landscape One, Interactive video panarama"
1999-05-27 until 1999-07-18
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
Helsinki, , FI Finland

commissioned by NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo, 1997 The canadian media artist creates a summery park, consisting of a large landscape projected onto four walls, in the Kontti gallery. In this virtual scenery, a family is on a picnic together with the viewer. The artwork leads the viewer into its space and into its own world, according to the nature of the relationship which is created between the people in the virtual and the real world.

Four walls of a space are painted, with video projectors, into a single photo realistic 360 landscape representing a public garden. The space, set in Montreal's Mont-Royal Parc, is being visited by real and virtual characters. If the virtual characters appear free to come and go in the garden, real visitors will need help to walk in and explore. For this they have to make contact with one of the virtual character by selecting, using voice or touch, questions or comments from imposed sets. Questions on, for example, where they are, what is around, where one can go from here will engage a conversation leading to some form of relationship. The exchange may be cut short with everyone going back to their business or it may reach a point where visitors will convince a character to lead them somewhere. In such case, visitors are being pulled through the landscape after their virtual guide and the whole room appears to be moving in this direction. The dialogue between the guide and the visitor or group goes on and defines the progression through space. Because real visitors are using virtual characters to steer their way through space, the nature of visitor's relationship to the character will define the space - physical or metaphorical - that can be accessed. There are several possible destinations or outcome. Visitors could simply be abandoned somewhere on the way if the connection to the character is broken, or they could be reaching a destination: a lookout or a forbidden boundary. This journey through space is also a journey through words, meanings, language, subjectivity. It highlights not only the physical world in which this is happening but also its diverse meanings and functions to different people. The experience is about communication/discommunication between people with movements through space as manifestation of its nature; successful forms of communication will offer visitors more varied inroads into more remote places. Luc Courchesne Landscape One is a multi-user interactive panoramic video installation using 5 networked computers with touch pads, micro-phones and motion detectors, 4 laserdisc players and 4 video projectors. Created by Luc Courchesne in Montreal in 1997 with support from the ICC - InterCommunication Center, Tokyo. The function of fine arts has always been to build bridges between our psychophysical, personal interface and technology-based environment i. e. culture. Canadian Luc Courchesne is a media artist who is concentrating on this relationship turning it into an interaction between men, not between man and machine. The background of his work is based on sophisticated and complicated computer environment and yet Courchesne has been able to create a world where we look eye to eye at people in front of the machine, not behind it. Portrait One (1990) is a magical work that fuses talking head from television, portrait painting and interactive work of art into personal communication space. Based on this concept Courchesne has made a wide range of works like Family Portrait (1993) and Hall of Shadows (1996) in which he creates a social field of interactivity. The spectator takes part in the conversation and becomes a member of the group inside. Perttu Rastas


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