Looking at each other
Collaboration with Fiona Könz
It is not possible to make direct eye contact through a video call. For most devices, the camera is located above the screen and since people usually look at their screen in a call, they appear to be looking slightly down. In the performance series looking at each other, the artists investigate set-ups in a video call that come close to the feeling of direct eye contact.
Looking at each other for five minutes is a public performance and was part of the ACT Festival 2020. Participants were sent a zoom link and instructed to look straight into the camera of their device for five minutes. As everyone is looking at their camera, no-one is able to see the other participants. However, on the recorded video call all participants seem to look at each other directly.
Looking at each other for an hour was performed by the two artists without the public. It consists of four parts, each with a specific setup investigating different possibilities (illustrated below).
If A and B both look at the camera, they can’t see each other, but on the screen, they seem to have direct eye contact.
If A looks at the camera and B at the screen, A does not see B, however, B gets the feeling of having eye contact with A.
If B looks at the camera and A at the screen, B does not see A, however, A gets the feeling of having eye contact with B.
If A and B both look at the screen, they see each other looking slightly down.
Documentation: Both participants look at the camera, 2020
Documentation: Both participants look at the screen, 2020
Documentation: Fiona looks at the camera, Gregor looks at the screen, 2020
Documentation: Fiona looks at the screen, Gregor looks at the camera, 2020