UNDERSTAND/FEEL
2005
interactive multimedia installation
115 × 56 × 120 cm
video ONE POEM, b/w, 1 channel
7 channels sound
metal, Plexiglas, water, sensors, computer, projector, headphones or speakers
“Le Fresnoy”, Studio national des arts contemporains

A stream of text is projected onto a layer of water. The size of the letters and the speed with which they appear before the spectator do not allow her to perceive the text as a whole. In this work, I try initiate the intuitive desire of the spectator to immerse her hand in the water and to touch the text. When this happens, the speed with which the text flows changes as each hand movement affects it. It is possible to find the optimal speed for reading and to make out fragments of the text, but it is impossible to view it in its entirety. The text is “hidden” inside the projection system, which both reproduces it and which serves as the interface for interaction with it. This interaction allows the spectator to feel and understand the text without reading it, to apprehend an image of its content. The distinction between verbal and nonverbal text perception and between understanding and feeling disappears.