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Agnes Hegedüs :: Handsight [1992]

The work is constituted by a circular projection screen, a hand held interface, which has the form of an eyeball, and a transparent sphere with a hole into which the viewer can insert this interface and move it around inside. Holding the interface outside, the transparent sphere is represented as a virtual eye on the projection screen. When entering the sphere, the viewer enters this virtual eye through its iris and sees an image tableau, which is located within its virtual interior. Moving the interface within the transparent sphere, the viewer is able to explore all the features of this virtual image tableau from every point of view.

This computer-generated imagery also alludes to the 19th century Hungarian folk art tradition of »passion jars,« thin-necked glass bottles that created miniature religious scenes. The material objects immersed in these jars were transformed into brightly colored, spherically distorted shapes »inside« the eye.
Taking up this historical analogy, »Handsight« offers a metaphor for the perception of a virtual realm that is not matched to the physical world, but rather to the »mind's eye« of the viewer or to externalized imagination. At the same time, the work exposes the logic of this construction rather than participate in the illusion.

Type of Work
Interactive installation

Credits
· Concept and realization: Agnes Hegedüs
· Programming: Gideon May, Richard Holloway
· Co-production of the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media and the Ars Electronica Linz [A]

Hardware
Silicon Graphics 320 VGX T
Polhemus 3D tracking system
Video projector
Perspex sphere on plinth
Eye-shaped ball

Software
Softimage
Custom software written in C

ZKM-department
· Institute for Visual Media

Presentations [selected]

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Image: »screenshot« / © Agnes Hegedüs

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