Philosopher Julia Kristeva described this reality as a social environment in which the other is absent, replaced by projections. These projections represent both fear and desire for the other – they haunt the mind like a ‘stalker’.
StalkShow invites the audience to ‘infiltrate’ our smart city public spaces, like train stations, museums, squares, airports; and provide the alleged threat with a personal face and space.
A performer carries a backpack, containing a laptop with a touch screen. It is a wearable billboard, on which a webcam is attached. The webcam records the face of the user of the touch screen. Individual audience members are invited to touch the screen and navigate through an archive of statements about the threat of insecurity and isolation.
By webcam and wireless connection, the live video prtrait appears behind the statements on a large projection screen in the same public space.
The user sees himself ‘watching’ through a text-window. He ‘watches’ through a visual, technically created, social-psychological frame of mind which seems to have a life of its own. The statements of other people are linked to his personally rendered image: statements about insecurity and isolation that do not seem controllable. An ‘observing’ face gazes down on the observing audience.
STATEMENTS – The StalkShow’s statements derive from agora-phobia-digitalis.org where Lancel and Maat invite people living isolated, like a prisoner, a nun, an asylum seeker, a digipersona. Approached by the artists as ‘specialists on insecurity and social isolation’, they make these statements about ‘personal strategies to deal with social spaces’. The statements are connected within a hypertext related structure.
By touching the StalkShow screen a menu appears, through which the participant of theStalkShow can identify with the prisoner, the digipersona, or other. By navigating through their statements, the user shows a personal montage of social strategies; making these visible on the large projection screen.
CAN I TOUCH YOU NOW?
TOUCH & INTERACTION
When touching the screen the user starts a tangible relation with the back of a stranger carrying the billboard. He enters the intimacy of the vulnerable body of the stranger. Generating alertness, attraction or repulsion, the intimacy of the body plays a compelling role in the interface. The unexpected encounter with the mobile billboard and the navigation through the texts offer a confronting relation with the surrounding audience. The resulting interactivity is location- and context- specific.
MEDIA & PUBLIC SPACE
The StalkShow shows statements referring to slogans used in media-communication. They expose experiences and feelings of insecurity which are dominant in mainstream media, like on television and in newspapers. Through theStalkshow Lancel and Maat aim to amplify these feelings to an extreme to be re-experienced and re-interpreted in the urban public space.