Authorship: Interactive design: Andy Cameron, David McDougall, Joel Gethin Lewis, Oriol Ferrer Mesià, Hansi Raber
Camera, projector, computer, software.
An interactive installation where the audience is the protagonist. Visitors are confronted by, and interact with, a diptych of two real time images of themselves. One image slows down and blurs time as if it were a photo being developed; the other image fragments time into a sequence of frozen moments, like a strip of cinematic celluloid which appears to move across the wall. On one wall the spectator is encouraged to remain still in order to see his or her image reflected clearly, while on the other one he or she is encouraged to move in order to animate the sequence.
The piece portrays two means of being represented in time – the photographic still and the film sequence. Yet in “We are the time. We are the famous”, the still image is in reality a moving image, representing a length of time in motion, while the motion sequence is formed by a series of static moments in time. In this way time is experienced directly and simultaneously by the spectator as a flow and as a series of points. Time can be seen in two contradictory ways at the same moment. The title of the installation is taken from a poem by J.L. Borges: “We are the time. We are the famous”.
'We are the time. We are the famous' was first exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of Fabrica's group show 'Les Yeux Ouverts' from October 6 to November 13 2006, curated by Marie-Laure Jousset.
Andy Cameron writes: "One of the frames of the 'We are the time. We are the famous' diptych references and restages a famous daguerrotype made by Louis Jacques-Mande Daguerre in 1838 in the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. This picture has been acknowledged since 1839 as the first known photographic image of the human figure. The exposure time needed to record an image by daguerrotype was typically more than 10 minutes, so people and traffic in this busy boulevard would have been moving too fast to register on the plate. In this daguerrotype however, we see a man who has stopped to have his shoes shined as a clear dark figure in the foreground. The boot-black is also visible in the image, though the figure is blurred, presumably due to the movements he made while polishing his customer's boots. 'We are the time. We are the famous' is further indebted to Myron Krueger's VideoPlace, a seminal artwork from the mid 1970s which was the first to use a camera, computer and projector to throw an image of the body onto a wall and engage the spectator in an interactive relationship with his or her own portrait. This basic mise en scene has proved a fertile ground for a new generation of interactive artists like Scott Snibbe, Golan Levin, Zach Liebermann, Ross Phillips and many others. The work also builds on David Rokeby's 'Seen' from the Venice Biennale in 2002 which used a similar visual effect to blur a recorded video sequence taken high above Piazza San Marco. Finally 'We are the time. We are the famous' is inspired by Peter Wollen's short essay 'Fire and Ice' which explores the relationship between the temporal aspects of cinema and photography and can be found in 'Other than Itself', edited by Olivier Richon and John X Berger and published in 1989.'
To download an article by Andy Cameron on the legacy of Myron Krueger
Click here (file PDF - 6,06 Mb)
Dinner with Myron Or: Rereading Artificial Reality 2: Reflections on Interface and Art". In aRt&D: Research and Development in Art, ed. Joke Brouwer et al. V2_NAi Publishers, 2005. ISBN: 90-5662-423-7.
We are the time. We are the famous.
We are the time. We are the famous
metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.
We are the water, not the hard diamond,
the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.
We are the river and we are that greek
that looks himself into the river. His reflection
changes into the waters of the changing mirror,
into the crystal that changes like the fire.
We are the vain predetermined river,
in his travel to his sea.
The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.
Memory does not stamp his own coin.
However, there is something that stays
however, there is something that bemoans.
Jorge Luis Borges