“_Pause” was a work initiated as part of the “Atelier de recherche interactive” (interactive research studio) at Ensad, Paris France. Its initial purpose was to explain an object to an audience that did not have access to the object itself and to use any interactive medium (website, cd-rom, dvd etc) to explain in ways more than simple photographs could do.
It was decided to create a website, a distribution medium that would be accessible to the widest audience possible yet still in complete control of its creators. Instead of creating something visual and interactive which would sit in the browser and function we wanted to create a work which would include the browser and use the browser as part of the work. Simple things, such as seperate windows defining different sections of the object/site, these sections/windows being placed in order, appearing or disappearing when necessary and in general performing certain functions when used, much as the original objects parts do.
The choosen object was a coffee maker. When the user connects to the site their internet connection becomes this virtual coffee makers power, its electricity. Photographic representation of the complete object is not used apart from the last page when interaction with the site is complete, instead the site and browser combine to become the object which the user has to interact with to understand. The process is started by clicking on the three squares on the first page which launch three seperate windows. Each window is entitled ‘read’, ‘act’ and ‘wait’ which indicates how to proceed. The first window leads the user through a series of simple interactions via the style of an instruction manual and familiarises them with the object. Once the process is finished in window one it unloads and loads the second section in window two. Each window has a different series of interactions to perform, window by window, each getting more complex, visually and aurally to help the user build up an impression of what the object is. On completion all windows close and the user is given a non interactive application to download, a metaphorical coffee, a pause from what they are doing which their computer can consume or be consumed by.
While there is a surface simplicity to this work it is an approach towards more complex issues. Questions asked include, how do you take a physical object and represent/reconstruct it in a virtual space? Does such an object in a virtual space become a transcription of the original or a new ‘object’. If for example we envisage inhabiting virtual spaces sometime in the future, how do we expect to do this? How do we transfere the objects we need and use in reality to a virtual space? Will necessity for objects be superseeded? What will be the result on materalism? Will in fact these new ‘spaces’ be used as an escape from both people and object overcrowded spaces?
_pause has previously been shown as part of the Jouable series of exhibitions (http://www.jouable.net/) in Geneva, Kyoto and Paris and online in the Rhizome Artbase.
Please make sure your browser has popups enabled and the shockwave player installed which can be downloaded here – http://sdc.shockwave.com/shockwave/download/