Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Last Question

The Last Question, digital projection, 2012

In the foyer our digital projection piece was made in collaboration with Internet whizz kid and all round web-genius Lizzie Malcolm who took our idea and made it real.

This projection focuses on a micro view of Time, trying to capture the fleeting experience of thought, the momentary pulse of choices/ action being decided. The work constantly lifts questions from websites around the world in 'real time' and posts them as abstract ideas on a ever alternating yellow and black backdrop. It is very hypnotic and often humorous piece which resonates with an audience. Some of the questions being asked feel like the opening line to a joke and yet some are filled with obvious pain and sadness. It is also interesting to see how we as a species turn to the Internet for guidance in all areas of life. Some of the Questions treat the Internet as an all knowing, almost omni-present being which can solve everything; from engineering problem and history homework to health matters and emotional trauma.

The viewer finds himself trying to imagine not only who the person asking the question might be, but also pondering the story that lies behind their question. They find themselves wanting to know the answers to the questions or attempt to answer the questions themselves which creates a tension in the viewer and makes the experience start to feel pretty intense.

The title of the work is taken from a short story by Isaac Asimov in 1956.

The below animation is a small sample record of actual questions being asked to demonstrate how the screen works. The actual piece looks quite different and we will link to an on line version of that piece, once a digital home is ready for it.

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