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Sample Gallery/Dealer Art Work - Lawrimore Project

Are We There Yet?
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Artist: Sami Ben Larbi
Image Medium: 4 Channel Video Installation
Art work Description:
I staged an event in May 2006 in Seattle with four participants. The participants were chosen on the condition that they not know or meet the other participants prior to the event. They rode in two rented Lincoln Towncar on the highways of Seattle. In each car the participants (driver and passenger) each wore a video camera mounted on their head and a lapel microphone. As they rode the highways I recorded their conversations, conversations about themselves, their interests, events that occurred to them and other subjects. The participants were directed not to mention each other by name and not to look at each other. For the installation Are we there yet? I will construct four rooms, ten feet square, in the dimly lit main gallery room. Each room will present audio and video from the event I staged. In each room the audio and video of each participant will be presented via projectors and speakers. While the looped video will be shown unaltered, the audio has been edited so that only the voice of that participant is heard, resulting in a one sided conversation. When standing in one room the voices coming from the speakers in the other rooms are barely heard, creating a distant rumble, akin to highway noises. I am interested in creating situations in which elements of communication and social interaction are altered. Using anonymity and technology to disinhibit participants, the installations I create require physical participation and a willingness to enter a mediated reality. I have created installations in which participants don an inflated jumpsuit and headgear and interact anonymously, seeing themselves through cameras. Other installations required participants to don headgears with LCD screens and to interact with a remote audience (the participants being an audience as well) and a strange environment, or to interact with another person via an small opening in a cabinet at arm height, the interaction being projected over a rotating perspective of the participant.

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