Iraqi born Wafaa Bilal has become known for provocative interactive video installations. Many of Bilal’s projects over the past few years have addressed the dichotomy of the virtual vs. the real. He attempts to keep in mind the relationship of the viewer to the artwork, one of his main objectives being to transform the normally passive experience of viewing art into an active participation. In this, his latest effort, Domestic Tension, viewers can log onto the internet to contact or “shoot” Bilal with paintball guns. Bilal’s objective is to raise awareness of virtual war and privacy, or lack thereof, in the digital age. During the course of the exhibition, Bilal will confine himself to the gallery space. Over the duration, people will have 24-hour virtual access to the space via the Internet. They will have the ability to watch Bilal and interact with him through a live web-cam and chat room. Should they choose to do so, viewers will also have the option to shoot Bilal with a paintball gun, transforming the virtual experience into a very physical one. Bilal’s self imposed confinement is designed to raise awareness about the life of the Iraqi people and the home confinement they face due to the both the violent and the virtual war they face on a daily basis. This sensational approach to the war is meant to engage people who may not be willing to engage in political dialogue through conventional means. Domestic Tension will depict the suffering of war not through human displays of dramatic emotion, but rather through engaging people in the sort of playful interactive video game with which they are familiar.
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Building Sound is a project instigated by Ella Finer and Fabrizio Manco, PhD candidates at Roehampton University, London.
Building Sound is an on-going research experiment in ways to describe and articulate experiences of sound making and reception within theatre, theory and practice.
As both doctoral studies are concerned with an interrogation of sound within theatrical space, the aim of building sound is to provide thinkers and practitioners an opportunity to offer their own ideas from their respective practices about sound within an actual and a virtual space.
These sites in which voices will interweave with their own particular social and cultural definitions of aurality will it is hoped create an open forum in which ideas can complement, collide and construct.
As well as hosting information about the project and storing archival sound from the symposium, the form of this website itself is the result of an attempt to question how to build a website beyond text.
Both the symposium and website are investigations into interdisciplinary dialogues about working with sound.
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