Response 2

I attended the lecture of Daniel Landau, media artist, researcher, and current professor of the VR class at DMA this quarter. Landau’s work is cross-discipline, and often event-based, occurring in the now, and dealing with the complex relationship between the human body and technology. Landau studied music, and began as a composer before moving into media art. His improvisational style shows through, as most of his work exists in the now, in a dynamic space, and is collaborational.

I was very interested by One-Dimensional Man and how it transitioned into his other works. Landau explored the connection and disconnect between voice, face, and body, however I felt this piece was more of a comedy piece. He utilized the technology better in his later works with Darfurian refugee’s and focusing on storytelling. I also felt that this piece wasn’t adequately explained in the lecture setting, and would require a longer viewing in order to further connect with the facial expressions of the people listening to the pre-recorded stories.

This talk showed me the importance of relevance in use of technology. The face-head-mask contraption that Landau used was obviously a piece he wanted to incorporate into his work, however his application at times didn’t feel connected to a greater message. It was interesting to see how he familiarized himself with the abilities and constraints of his tools, and later made works that felt more fluid and thought-out.

His dance project and Time Body Experiment felt to me like his most successful works. The cross-platform setup of the physical and digital world was most fluid in these projects. In the dance project, what was most successful was seeing how technology served as a bridge from the mind of a paralyzed man to the bodies of more abled dancers. In the Time Body Experiment, I was most impacted by watching the video seen by the VR participant, and also watching how Daniel incorporated physical touch and sensation to bring it to life.

The physicality of the Time Body Experiment was the most striking feature. I have never seen a VR piece with such a fluid pipeline from the virtual to the physical world. I don’t believe the suspension of disbelief is strong enough that one would forget their own body, but I do believe that the experiment has the capability to create an out of body or emotional experience from the participant