(From the text 'Building Gracefulness
in the World')
CD-ROM as a "portable Installation"
(...) The structure of the cd rom "Person to Person" (1998) is clear, linear, although it also offers non-linear options. The basic structure is that of a journey, with a beginning - the initial movement, a middle - exploring your destination, getting to know the people there, with their language, stories, views, and an ending - the highly personal photo album with which you are usually left after such a trip, the stagnation that results from the movement which started the journey. The interactive user can take photos herself of what he or she encounters en route, and arrange them in her own album, whose contents can be compared with what was not photographed, and with the artists' photo album.
This cd rom is an example of what I vould like to call an "image rom." Some cd roms are about the surprising links you can make between the various screens - I call these "link roms." The links in Stansfield/Hooykaas cd rom are self-evident, non- compulsory. But what images, what magnificent material images! Boulders, for example, traces in matter made by the movement of the tides and the flow of water. Or this: a 360 degree panoramic shot with which you can traverse a landscape, from glacier to sea of ice to grassy plain - the complete natural cycle from ice to melting water to evaporation into clouds to rain to grass and back again, captured in a single full-circle panorama- an unearthly beauty, magnified into miraculous proportions bu the bewilderingly melodious sound of cracking ice masses.
Again, a full rotation, but just as with the images in the installation "Inside a Portrait," with Stansfield and Hooykaas, a rotation is not a revolution, not a hurried turnaround from oppressed to free consciousness, from blindness to insight, rather it is a moment of toal concentration. "Nothing lasts / not even the thoughts inside you / do not waste your time / looking for them / once a thing is gone / it is gone / and that is the end of it / begin anew." Turn around and begin, arrive, here and now, in this unique landscapes. Rathers it is about an ancient Zen Thought: "Tranquility comes to us from nature, and we give it back to nature." (1) Tranquility comes to us from this cd rom, and we give it back to this cd rom. Interactivity is an exchange between artist - this I offer you, this experience - and user - this I do for you, with what I am offered: I develop my attention. Building gracefulness. Literally landing on Earth, "our extra-medial" home.
Annotations: (1) Else Madelon Hooykaas and Bert Schierbeek, Zazen, Uitgeverij N. Kluwer (publishers). Deventer, the Netherlands, 1971.