When you first enter the Impossible Room, it doesn’t really feel right. You enter a room which is dark, filled with smoke and distorted sounds, and with a spotlight, that attracts you amidst the unfriendliness of the whole setup - the room isn’t that happy to see you, but welcomes you in to a fight. Upon entering the spotlight, the room changes character. The soundscape thickens and fills with unrecognizable drone-like distortions. On the floor, LEDs start glowing, providing clues and inviting you to enter a world of impossible movements. An object in the room also demands attention, calls to be touched, shaken and displaced, with no particular goal in mind. The walls invite you to interact with them. Although it seems impossible to simultaneously fulfill all the interactional needs of the room, attempting to do so has an effect on the environment. The more agitated you get, the more you work to fulfill the needs of the room, the more active you become - the more soothing and appeased appears the room. The distorted sounds take recognizable form and remind you of nature at peace, the lights change from unclear and dark colors, to appealing, bright ones. Awkwardly, it seems that your activity calms the environment, and changes it from hostile to friendly - while you yourself work to your limits to appease this impossible space. Reaching an equilibrium, the room settles for a while, only to return to its hostile state, if nothing is done to keep it calm. New choreographies are demanded from the visitor or performer to yet again “take control” of the room creating ever-changing interactional parameters to be pursued and played with.
The Impossible Room is open to anyone, who dares enter it; the outcomes of the interaction and the length of the process of appeasement will vary from person to person, and also be based on the number of people in the room. Once a day, the room is thoroughly activated by a skilled performer, playing it like an instrument.
The concept behind the Impossible Room takes as a starting point, that technologies can be visible and change the way we perceive different spaces in a remarkable, and less ambient way. The concept seeks to explore the specific technicities of a range of sensor technologies - floor sensors for extensive, horizontal space, accelerometers for intense movements, IR-tracking for vertical displacements - using the various technologies as well as the designed soundscape and lighting to consciously affect the perception of physical and digital space. Inviting people to take part in forming a mixed and relational aesthetics of the environment, the Impossible Room seeks to experiment with our perceptions of ourselves and the technologies that are becoming a part of our everyday lives by making the experience of the technologies felt in a tangible, disturbing and creative way.
The installation will take place in one of the storage rooms in the Black Box.
Floor sensors - the three nodes we’ve been working with (124, 125, 126) - distributed on the floor in the room (horizontal extensive movement)
R/Ultrasound-sensors - two nodes during the setup - we’ll have to test which nodes will work best and how we (vertical extensive movement)
Accelerometer - one or two attached to objects in the room (intensive movement)
Free LED-agents - providing cues on the floor
Lighting - six lamps on poles distributed in the room, assigned to a node with six slots on the nework
Sound - two speakers on poles in each end of the room
Smoke machine - yes indeed!