Apparitions: Project Description

Project Description

Artists' Statement

Apparitions is both a physical installation at the UCSD University Art Gallery, and a computer generated virtual environment. It is the result of a collaboration between a group of artists and programmers working under the name Vital Signs. Gallery visitors engage in activities which call into question notions of "real" and "virtual" by interacting with physical objects, exploring ideas on the World Wide Web, and moving through a virtual environment via large-scale video projections.

Technologies of representation from the Daguerreotype to Magnetic Resonance Imaging affect and are affected by the ways others see us and the ways we see ourselves. As a new and much discussed technology of representation, Virtual Reality raises and reiterates a host of questions about ourselves and the world. Apparitions addresses issues that circumscribe our most basic assumptions about identity. Social institutions, as sites of knowledge and authority, draw lines between public and private, deciding for us what parts of our lives and bodies we control. In medicine, imaging technologies are used both to inform these choices, and to legitimate medical authority. In popular culture, emerging information technologies will send unprecedented quantities of entertainment, information and advertising into the consumer's home, targeted with an almost military precision. Our exhibition is designed to examine the revolutionary and restrictive possibilities of these technologies, as well as their interplay with the human body and identity.

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