Interactive video installation, 2004
‘The Bubble’ is an interactive media installation about the ambivalence of western lifestyle in a world ripped by war.
The installation space itself reminds of a coloured soapy bubble done in light blue shade with a pinkish candy bubble-wand situated on the table. The furniture is oversized, producing the Alice in Wonderland effect when a sip of magic liquid shrinks one down and enlarges the surrounding world. Viewers download violent video footage from the Internet each time they blow a digital soap bubble. The downloaded videos are projected within the video bubbles on the installation walls accompanied with sounds triggered by using Pure Data Sound Sampling and an open sound control protocol.
The Bubble portrays a Western cocoon situation in which its indoors are shielded from savage penetration while the other parts of the world are torn by war and drenched in pain. Although death and war are still present they are confined to the media arena creating that distant feel of a mere observer who can not be affected. But affect can get through tiny gaps, and visual presence of violence in a constructed informational environment is enough basis for it to flourish once the right circumstances occur. The installation produces that necessary noticeable contrast of what can be considered real and virtual in our information age. It underlines human inability to act and assert a natural need for justice in such protective environments that castrate the very freedom of experiencing a full capacity of existence regardless of its positive or negative evaluation.
“Minna Långström’s “The Bubble “ is a re-sensitization installation. The walls of the installation are baby-blue, and an oversized baby-blue chair is parked on the side of a baby blue rug; large enough to make me seem two feet again. A nursery rhyme-like music provides a soothing soundtrack, and a video projector throws pastel coloured light on the rear wall of the installation. Everything is cool and soft as though I am home in the safety of a nursery.
An oversized bubble blowing canister and wand sit on the oversized chair and when a user blows into the bubble wand, a sensor causes bubbles to appear on the video screen. Some of the bubbles carry inside them washed out video of assassinations, explosions and contemporary and stock footage of violent conflicts. As if the projection is from a news channel, text constantly moves left to right on the bottom of the screen giving the name and source of the video, which was always downloaded from the internet. A candy-like, cartoon-ish head hangs from the ceiling in the installation, a rope dangling beneath it. When the rope is pulled, the soundtrack for footage of violence blares from a hidden speaker. The sounds and images of violence, even though much lower resolution than television and the images quite common to us, is incredibly unsettling.
Långström’s work functions to lower our threshold for violence and reverse the desensitization we’ve grown up with.”
Christian Holland, Big RED & Shiny: An Online Arts Journal For Boston
MUU Gallery, as part of the Avanto Festival, 2004. Curator: Tiina Erkintalo
InterAccess Gallery, Toronto, exhibition with Jaakko Niemelä, 2005. Curated by Nina Czegledy.
Concept, 3D modeling and installation: Minna Långström
Music: Emi Maeda
Programming: Juha Vehviläinen
3D model printing and painting: Hirash Razhaghi
Carpentry: Manu Kuoppamäki