initiated October 2003
Crying for Attention was an interactive work installed for two weeks in a busy thoroughfare in the School of Art, Media and Design at UWN. Even in a School of Art, Media and Technology, with a reputation of critical analysis of new media, the role that the digitization of human identifies appeared to somewhat unquestioned. Even in a world that had yet to experience the social networking websites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, it is necessary to question the potential disembodiment of the somatic human and the apparent dualism that computational data appears to support. Crying for Attention was not a statement but rather an interactive intervention to initiate conversation on this topic.
The installation was based around a hacked system of wireless infra-red, ultrasonic and pressure sensors. As organisms move around the perceivable world of the technological system, the audiovisual display responds with pre-recorded video. The work continually strives for a level of attention from those who perhaps are least willing to give it any at all; perceptions that are most fleeting and distant are those that generate the least rational response. Those attracted to the piece may become unsettled, projecting a sudden indifference onto the lack of responses from the display. As the installation-time went on, an ad-hoc camera and video booth was organised, and through a process of designer-mediation the conversations and questions the work encouraged were added into the audiovisual presentation.