Sala Wong & Peter Williams
Interactive digital installation with participatory content
Daily life can often be characterized by a sequence of intents and aims being informed by knowledge and a sense of certainty. On some occasions, however, one finds herself lost. While individuals and cultures have devised ever-more sophisticated means of locating one’s self in relation to physical space, these can sometimes lead to a disconnect between their users and the physical landscape they are trying to find their way through. Furthermore, maps, smartphones and public signage can do very little when faced with a psychological state of being lost. The psychogeographic state described by Guy Debord becomes more complex as our lives increasingly overlap within ever-more intricate urban environments. However, it is through not knowing something that we build fundamental experiences and learn intimately about ourselves.
Special thanks to: AOIAMA Yuca, UTI Taka, TOKURA Sho, SAKANO Mitsunori, KANETA Yoshiko, KIUCHI Atsuko, OTA Emma, Norman Chan, 3331 Arts Chiyoda staff and management, the city of Tokyo and especially all of our wonderful participants. This project is supported in part by a grant from Indiana Arts Commission.
Since 2006, artists Sala Wong and Peter Williams have been creating interactive experimental documentary art projects by visiting unfamiliar cities and relying on their immediate senses and the participation of local individuals. Based on Wong and Williams' experiences, they find what they believe the most suitable artistic medium through which to engage their participants. In the case of Tokyo, with its rich history of visual communication and the contemporary phenomenon of manga, drawing was a natural choice.
examples of participants' drawings
please click to enlarge
Recurrent (2013) is a participatory art project that invites reflection on daily life in the midst of our constantly changing and overlapping urban environments. The piece was completed as a residency project at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. With a single, translated phrase, artists Sala Wong and Peter Williams approached hundreds of Tokyo residents and asked them for their interpretations on the experience of being lost. The responses, in the forms of texts and drawings, are incorporated into a gallery-based interactive digital installation project. While the written Japanese texts remained enigmatic to the artists, many participants were able to convey exquisitely layered and articulate meanings through their drawings.
© 2013 Sala Wong & Peter Williams