“Outside/Inside” by Serena Lin

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Artist(s) and People Involved:

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  • Artist Statement:

      Communication with others is largely driven by a need to affirm one’s existence. The explosion of computer-based virtual environments and on-line communication has in many ways reinforced the need to convey thought and intention in ways other than a physical presence. Evolving technologies drastically condense distance and time, reducing correspondences that may have previously taken days or weeks to a matter of minutes, or even seconds. This accelerated interaction brings both a sense of distance, and an equally compelling sense of intimacy. Without a shared physical presence, subtle information is omitted that might enrich the meaning of a given exchange; facial reaction and gestural response are hidden, removing an important unspoken context to the dialogue. A rapid exchange between strangers may become peculiarly intimate, with the absence of clues or physical context to guide its true intentions.


      As electronic communication expands to allow for casual “conversation” with others in a real-time, visual environment (rather than simply text), the appearance and the role of the digital environment itself becomes increasingly important. While the “presence” of the individuals involved in the conversation may remain absent visual patterns we intuitively seek in our daily experiences that may serve as a model for virtual environments. This animation is a study in recreating acutely felt emotional moments which surface fleeting physical reactions such as tension, pressure, or even euphoria. The resulting abstract structures set an understanding for the viewer of a particular place and mood, as the point of view drifts from real spaces to imaginary ones. The forms of each “architecture” recall parts of the human body that are at the centers of these sensory experiences. Surfaces textured with hand-drawn images are constantly in motion, shifting their shapes and boundaries in correspondence with mood.