From October 17, 2018 until May 5, 2019
From October 2018 to January 2019, INT is in residence at the Musée de l'Elysée to develop a sound narrative device driven by eye movement. Unlike a traditional audioguide, the system aims to provide information about the work and its context based on what the visitor is watching.
This residency is part of a research project conducted by the three museums of PLATEFORME 10 under the initiative of Engagement Migros. After exploring high-definition digitization, the project continues to create tangible links between the visitor and the digitized content. Controllers such as Eye Tracking offer new possibilities for interaction and open the way to new forms of interactive content.
Beyond the purely technical aspect, the residency aims to explore a form of non-linear narrative. The look influences the information and the information influences the look. Who controls who? Can this principle be applied to present an artist's work? How to create a coherent scenario? How do visitors react to the device?
The first prototype presents REEF IDLIB, May 3, 2014, a work by Matthias Bruggmann. This image shows antique dealers cleaning antique parts. It is part of the exhibition Un acte d'une violence indescribable presented in the basement of the museum. By exposing ourselves to the layers of information of a complex war, Matthias Bruggmann reveals stories underlying the conflict that do not appear at first glance.
Using toilet cleaner and a dental probe, middlemen clean ancient coins. Coins and other antiquities are exported throughout the region, mostly to Turkey, but also Lebanon and, in some cases, Jordan, from where silver shekels then make their way to the Jerusalem souvenir industry. The trickiest part is faking provenance so that the antiquities can enter the highly lucrative Western market-dealers in neighboring countries would take a fifty percent cut on the sale for the procurement. The asking price for a Byzantine mosaic measuring around two square meters was between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars and smuggling it out to a neighboring country cost around 4,000 dollars at that point. Many of the deals were carried out over WhatsApp, and Syrians were often double-crossed by unscrupulous foreign dealers. One of the men in this photograph later complained that a North American dealer had cost him a small fortune when he refused to pay up his share." Matthias Bruggmann
The residence allows you to take advantage of being in an exposure situation to develop the system, both from a technical and experiential point of view. The visitor is invited to position himself in front of a screen and look at an image of the photographer Matthias Bruggmann. A sensor follows his gaze and analyses which area of the image he is looking at. Comments (audio) are associated with each area and are broadcast on speakers as the gaze sweeps through the work. In order to avoid repetition (eyes being in perpetual motion), the algorithm will have to detect the viewer's points of interest and provide the information gradually based on the analysis of the path taken.
The system unveiled on 17 October is deliberately sober. The first step of the project is to improve the software and interaction with the Eye Tracking system. From this point on, various development possibilities will be evaluated, such as adding additional media (e. g. triggering videos) or generating a trace of the viewer's path to the work (e. g. in the form of a print). Recorded and anonymized, the data collected can also be used to produce graphical visualizations illustrating travel time, route taken or areas of interest.
Members of the INT studio will be regularly present in the exhibitions to see how the device is perceived by visitors: is it too intrusive or does it increase the work in a relevant way? The exact form of the project at the end of the residency is not yet known, but must meet a need for generalization of the process in order to do without the screen and use it directly on a work of art.
INT is a Lausanne design studio specialising in artistic direction, interactive scenography and creative programming. The studio combines technological innovation with the development of innovative ideas. INT collaborates mainly with cultural partners such as museums and theatres, but also with universities, architectural offices, artists and designers as well as large-scale events.
INT was founded by Laura Perrenoud, David Colombini and Marc Dubois, the three artists and designers of the Fragmentin art studio, a collective whose works question the impact of digital technologies on our daily lives. With more than four years of experience in creating interactive content, the studio has become known for its unexpected way of experimenting with cutting-edge technologies. In 2016, for example, at the EPFL ArtLab, during the exhibition "Noir, c'est noir? "where the studio produced "Black & Lights", an interactive device that accompanies the work of an Outrenoir by painter Pierre Soulages. The experiment illustrated the triangular relationship between light, the observer and the surface of the painting and underlined the importance of this trio in Soulages' work. The observer's movement was detected in real time and influenced the lighting on the work.
This summer, INT has designed a three-screen set design for a play with migrants shown at the Arsenic Theatre in Lausanne. In September 2018, INT produced an interactive sound installation for the new exhibition at the Natural History Museum of Neuchâtel, entitled "Poles, fire the ice".
This project receives the generous support of the Engagement Migros development fund, innovation partner of the Musée de l’Elysée.
LabElysée is the museum’s new space dedicated to digital culture. A living laboratory at the heart of the museum, LabElysée questions the way that a cultural institution dedicated to photography plays with new technologies.