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Ken Feingold :: Séance Box No.1 [1998-99]

The installation connects two space with different scenarios: In one space, the visitors encounter a stage with a robotic tele-puppet [with a video camera and microphones in its head] acting in front of a projection screen. The projected digital backdrop of this stage is inhabited by a floating head, which is a software agent driven by artificial intelligence. In the second space, the visitor can control the movements of the robotic tele-puppet and initiate a dialogue between the audience and the projected software agent. The actions and reactions of the visitors thus determine the performance staged in this networked installation.

»Séance Box No.1« can be understood as a kind of model stage for the future of participatory theater, as well as an experiment exploring the manifold issues of human-machine interaction and the linking of real, surrogate and virtual spaces.


Type of Work
Interactive networked installation


· Concept and realization: Ken Feingold
· Application software: Ken Feingold, Gideon May, Adolf Mathias, Andreas Schiffler, Timo Fleisch, Boriana Koleva
· Application hardware: Ken Feingold, Joachim Hund, H. Carl Ott, Armin Steinke
· Production: Ken Feingold in collaboration with ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

· in the context of the ESPRIT research project → eRENA.


2 Pentium PCs
audio system with infrared transmission
wireless data transmission
wireless video transmission

Room 1:
table with integrated power supply for robot
remote controlled robot puppet with integrated micro-controller
2 speakers
video camera
video projector, projection screen

Room 2:
force feedback joystick
1 set of headphones
video projector, projection screen


custom application software
software for presentation: Performer, Via-Voice


· Institute for Visual Media

Presentations [selected]
»net_condition«, ZKM | Karlrsruhe, 23.09.1999 - 27.02.2000


Image: »Installation view«
Photo: Franz Wamhof / © Ken Feingold

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