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Interactive Installations : (Collaboration with Tapio Makela) (2002-) first sauna at the Banff Centre

Two fully functioning saunas are linked via the Internet, equipped with media streaming and interactive video tools.

Though perhaps on different continents, the two saunas position their users in almost identical physical states, in a sense closer to each other than to those just outside the sauna.

Participants see their remote co-bathers on the projection screens that fill one wall of each sauna and can communicate verbally and gesturally. So that users are not simply passive objects of remote voyeurism, visibility in the video stream is an active choice for each user; your image blurs to unrecognisability when you are still and sharpens into focus to highlight gesture and movement. Speech in the sauna is archived and tagged with the current temperature and humidity. The sauna can browse these archives, in effect allowing you to share the sauna across time as well as space. Each archived phrase can only be accessed when the sauna is at the temperature and humidity at which it was recorded.

interior view

frames from a sauna session with motion clarifying the image, and stillness "steamed"


construction of first sauna at the Banff Centre
presentation at Bridges II conference

event and experimentation, Canadian Film Centre, Toronto, Canada
Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada

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Copyright 2002-2010 David Rokeby / very nervous systems / All rights reserved. 11/23/2010