Kalim Chan: Self Adjust

  • ©, Kalim Chan, Self Adjust


    Self Adjust

Artist(s) and People Involved:



    Machinery and projected images

Artist Statement:

    Self Adjust is an interactive installation that explores the concept of the ever-changing identity of the self made possible by technological innovations. The machines born of new technologies at first facilitate the tasks for which they were intended, then gradually evolve to generate variations of our very own identities as these machines become reconfigured and improved to suit our needs over time. As a raw technology first emerges, it is endowed with basic functionalities that accomplish specific goals. When the parameters are altered to recontextualize the existence of the system, the user of the technology is placed at the threshold of a different identity. These systems recombine, making improvements in their performances to adapt to new tasks. The issue of our identities is further multiplied and complicated. These technological mechanisms eventually reach new states of automation and become labeled as “self-adjusting”. At the same time we begin to ponder whether it is truly our own selves that are being adjusted.

    To convey this concept to the audience, Self Adjust is designed as an interactive environment where the participant is immersed in a catalog of abstract machine parts. These parts constitute the assemblages encased in a series of pedestals. The display of the physical objects within the installation space allows the participant to first become acquainted with these mechanisms. He or she is invited to metaphorically “scan” his or her identity into the digital space by pressing on surface of each case. This action releases an iconic twin of the physical object on the projection screen. The icon then drifts freely, awaiting to be combined with another machine icon which can be activated by the same or another participant. When they combine, the participant is “adjusted’ to a new self as depicted by a series of photographic images. These images contain different scenes of movement improvisation by two performers as they interpret the conjunction of the iconic objects. When more of these images begin to appear, they collectively form a new identity of the participants through a collage-like manifestation of a cyborg. As more people begin to participate in the installation a new community of selves is formed.


All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: