A fascinating take at simulation vs. representation, memory vs. concreteness.
Surrogate Being is an interactive virtual environment exploring possibilities of affective relationships between humans and machines and mindful approaches in the computation process for their sustainable coevolution of human and technology. This work negotiates the discrepancy between memories and digital data of a nostalgic place through the process of recreating the artist’s hometown in Korea. The heterogeneity of algorithmic digital images and affective memories are interwoven in the 3D environment.
This virtual space bridges my mind and digital technology and invites participants to explore the mediated landscape with curiosity. As memories remain indistinct and disintegrated until we recollect, the landscape is destructed when no participant is engaged. If a participant is approached to the fragmented image and stand in front of it, it turns into a navigable landscape. As s/he moves her/his head to look at the other side of the landscape, the virtual camera in the scene changes its direction responding to the participants' movement. This interaction suggests a potential depth in the digital landscape we can look into, thus the monitor or the projected image becomes a portal into the mediated memory space.
As the virtual environment is transformed based on input data of participants' movement, the participant's body is affected by reactive virtual images again. In this way, their interaction begins to flow in the feedback loop and ultimately makes the human mind and algorithmic process indistinguishable.
Su Hyun Nam investigates the complex emerging identity and implicit conflict of a foreign being by reconstructing familiar landscapes as uncanny digital images. Living as an immigrant, I experience and observe multiple incongruities in the seemingly coherent public world - generated by competing social norms and clashing cultural perspectives, and my digital images mediate those fragmented heterogeneous experiences of the society. In this process, digital technology inspires my own personal searching in a creative and mindful way, and consequently, the computation process becomes meditative beyond the canonical rule-driven approach.
LINK: Su Hyun Nam