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A Theatrical Turing Test

A Theatrical Turing Test

Sahar Sajadieh / USA
Media Arts and Technology Department at University of California, Santa Barbara
[email protected]

In our daily interactions with technology, we have accepted digital reproductions of others’ voice and image as alternatives to the real ones. “Hello, My Dear” is a participatory durational performance piece, which explores the new dynamics of human interaction in telecommunication and the significance of the copresence of another human on the other side. It examines human perception and sensitivity towards detecting the immediacy of interaction during encounters mediated by video communication.

“Hello, My Dear” is a theatrical Turing Test, which interrogates the notion of liveness in telepresent interactions by challenging the boundaries between recorded and live, presence and absence, and private and public. In this performance piece, participants enter separate rooms simultaneously, then sit behind the computer stations and follow the main instruction: “sit silently and maintain eye contact with the person on the screen in front of you.” They go through various modes of liveness, in interaction with each other and the artist. The interactions are solely non-verbal, since there is no audio in the video-mediated communications. This interactive artwork seeks to simulate digitally-mediated liveness in video communication and examine the spectator’s perception towards the presence of the other body on the other side of the digital medium.