The Telematic Séance


The technology involved in "The Telematic Séance" is much the same as "Telematic Dreaming", however the situation is somewhat different. During the production of "Telematic Dreaming" I discovered many aspects of user interaction that I have brought attention to in this new proposal for "The Telematic Séance". From the following technical description and diagrams these aspects will become evident. I will be situated at the Helsinki Telegalleria, sat at a round séance table, covered with a chroma key blue table cloth. A video camera will be situated directly above me, looking down at the table below. This video camera will have a remote zoom control installed on it, and will be controlled by a hand set that I will be holding. A similar system is used on the existing Rollabout units. The video image of me, sat at a chroma key blue séance table, will be sent to a chroma key video mixer, and combined with images from a prerecorded VHS videotape. The chroma key system will replace the blue area with the prerecorded video image. The combined image is then sent through an ISDN2 line to the OTSO Gallery in Espoo. The video image is received at OTSO, and is fed to a video projector positioned in the ceiling. The video projector projects the live video image down onto another séance table. This séance table is covered with a white table cloth and is surrounded by six chairs. A white cape and mask will be left on the table for a voluntary medium, from the OTSO Gallery audience. A video camera will be situated next to the video projector, receiving a birds-eye image of the table below. The video camera image is sent back through the the ISDN2 line to me at Telegalleria. The video camera image from OTSO is fed to four monitors that surround the séance table in the Telegalleria. This allows me to see myself combined with the medium and the other guests at the OTSO Gallery, from all angles. The OTSO Gallery visitors will be able to sit down at the table and take part in 'The Telematic Séance'.

During the realisation of "Telematic Dreaming" I became aware of the disappearance of the technology, through and appearance of communication. Just as the technology of language became invisible, so does the technology of the telematic performance. The séance has always been an interface through language, it allows us to go beyond the realms of our present reality. I understand language as a technology used to understand the universe. ISDN lines, video cameras and video projectors are no different - they are one in the same - language. The OTSO Gallery and Telegalleria may not be considered the most ideal Séance settings, but all the same, they are séance interfaces, and the virtual space that is entered will be much the same.