Jill Scott: Paradise Tossed – New Frontiers or Utopia

  • ©, Jill Scott, Paradise Tossed - New Frontiers or Utopia


    Paradise Tossed - New Frontiers or Utopia

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    Paradise Tossed or Paradise Lost?
    “Paradise Tossed” is a computer animated survey of technological terrain, idealism and design from four women’s points of view. It uses MacroMindDirector’s lingo to access segments of a 12 Minute Animation on a SonyLaser Disc Player. The Menus are presented like pages from a photo Album, and by touching the screen the participant can not only choose animated segments to be played on another screen, but can also construct timeless associations.

    I started out to explore the notion of “timelessness desire” and the “redundancy of technological utopia” which led me to a series of archetypical assumptions in “Paradise Tossed”. For some time I have been researching and comparing eras. After talking to my grandmother, my mother, and my sister about their attitudes toward technology I concentrated on four time zones. 1900, 1930, 1960 and 1990. Even though these eras exist a generation apart, together they encapsulate the tremendous extent of environmental and domestic change we have witnessed since the beginning of this century. It occured to me that interactivity could provide people with archetypal scenarios that they would be curious to visit and in doing so may question the reason for their choices and why so many people’s ideals were so similiar.

    In “Paradise Tossed” participants can enter Dreamhomes from the history of design. When selection occurs, four animations with architectual styles; Art Noveaux, Art Deco, Op Art and Space Age unfold accordingly. The choices are redundant enough to affirm utopian cliches, but through the interactive design they all can transpose time and stand together as current valid options of desire, even today. The viewer is helped to travel through time via signifiers like colors, catch phrases and hand gestures to help them locate themselves.

    This timelessness of desire is emphasized by the title itself “Paradise tossed”, which indicates the “mixing of desire”, from which part of the proverbial “salad of idealism” will the participant choose to “eat” next.

    Another section provides a set of choices within the technological terrain. Here domestic technology is used as a metaphor for the history of the machine-human interface and so the changing nature of women’s workplaces become apparent, as domestic appliances seductively present themselves over landscapes, which flow with the curves of the female body. A very typical advertisement slogan is used to reaffirm this, the viewer is asked “Just step into into the technology of tomorrow”.

    At another point the viewer can “Flip through these eye-catching headlines”, which gives them authentic pages, displaying magazine headlines from the eras of 1900, 1930, 1960 and 1990.

    Another menu displays the caption “Travel with us into another world” and this allows the viewer to witness transport on a boat, a train, a car, a plane respective of the shift in mobility development that took place in this century.

    The heraldic statements are intentionally seductive and reminiscent of the selling methods used to convince the average buyer. It was hoped in “Paradise Tossed” that the participant would see through the seduction. A key to this criticism is obvious in the attract loop of the interactive, where a set of women’s hands hold the revolving globe of our blue world- “Where do we go from here,” says the caption.

    “Paradise Tossed” is a section of a larger interactive work which will encompass questing stories from 8 women’s lives (two from each era) and four sets of archival photographs the participant can brouse through.