reconFIGURING the CAVE is a structural modification of the original 1997 Tokyo installation conFiguring the CAVE. Instead of projecting onto three walls and the floor, this new version projects on a single wall and the floor, albeit in a much wider aspect ratio than the original work. One rationale for this modification was the need to create a simpler, more efficient touring version of this installation. Corollary to this was the replacement of the original wooden mannequin interface with a virtual representation of that mannequin on a touch screen. This addition created a major benefit in that the open-viewing configuration allowed a much larger public to engage with the work.
reconFIGURING the CAVE shows seven distinct audiovisual worlds, which together constitute an aesthetic and conceptual discourse on the theme of the conjunction of body and space. The work takes as its starting point the historical perception of the harmony between macrocosm and microcosm, and reconstitutes this equivalence in a technologically conditioned form, which reflects the dialectics of our contemporary perception of our location in the world. Algorithmic and representative imagery, supported by an evocative electronic musical score, create an open narrative structure that each viewer can configure interactively and individually interpret.
At the center of the installation is a virtual wooden mannequin on a touch screen that participants can use to control transformations in the audiovisual space. Visitors are invited to play with this puppet, moving body, limbs and head in whichever way they wish, and in so doing they can explore each of the seven virtual words. The visitor can move from one world to the next by moving the puppet’s hands so that they first cover and then uncover the puppet’s ‘eyes’. In each world, the interactive functionality of the puppet differs slightly, and the visitor will discover the different ways the images and the music react to their playing with the puppet.