Barbara Jazbec, Kristina Tica
@Speculum Artium 2021
POWER STRANGERS is an interactive real-time video and audio installation. It consists of a web camera, projector and a water tank filled with reactive slime. It is based on custom-made face detection algorithm. When approaching the installation, the spectator’s face is traced by a live camera feed. The data received from the camera is processed and projected inside the tank, only when the spectator turns away from the installation, and they are therefore never able to see the projection of their face.
These traced images then lurk behind the spectators, disconnected from them, yet dependent on them – becoming their ghosts. Contemporary ghosts live in the digital data and they generate the power of the automated surveillance systems. Extracting the disembodied virtual presence from its real-life experience, introduces the idea of being haunted by your own ghost – your own digital data. In the context of hauntology and retro-futurism, it aims at presenting the current state of commodification in global surveillance capitalism. The name of the project is a reference to a pop-culture phenomenon that has left an imprint on the 90’s generations, whose youth seems to be the last one to grasp the pre-internet or pre-social media times, therefore the aim of this project is to suggest what comes as a phenomenon of the post-internet world. In this world, the ghosts that exist do not come from a haunted house, they come from our own digital traces. We are all strangers whose ghosts roam around in the world of data, and we generate the power of that world. The more we learn about our power to influence this world, the better rangers for the future we are.
Authors: Barbara Jazbec, Kristina Tica
Programming: Žan Rajšek
Sound: Marija Šumarac