Liquid Sensations

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"Liquid Sensations: Evoking sensory experiences with interactive video installation art” was the title of my PhD thesis.

The works that where part of thesis are 

  Image of Under Image of Dropping
 Wake Under Dropping


This project has developed methodologies for evoking sensations using interactive video installation art. The research has resulted in three interrelated video installations about the experiences of entering the sea, shallow breath diving and floating under the surface of the water.
The installations have been developed through studio-based methods by a solo artist working on all aspects of the process. The project’s methods have been focused on the imagery and sounds and the placement of these elements in the gallery, the development of a system where interaction is an integral part of the viewer’s engagement with the works.
The physical sensations associated with water were chosen because they are immersive experiences that have a personal resonance for the investigator. Suggesting the sensory experience of submersion in water has many challenges. Interactive video installations can meet some of the these challenges.
Our bodies are more than ninety percent water; we wash in it; we play in it; we need it to survive. While our bodies are mostly water, it is an environment with which we have an uneasy physical relationship as there is always the risk of drowning. Humans find pleasure in this struggle with an alien environment. The contrasting aspects of the experience are what this project seeks to suggest.
This project is part of the tradition of depicting water in the history of visual arts. Other contemporary artists use water as part of their practice. The exegesis examines some of these contemporary artists’ works and related practices with time-based media that have informed the studio-based experiments.

New technology offers unprecedented means of making art. Technological development has been rapid and there exists a gap between the pioneering use of new technology and later detailed exploration. This has created a need for research to be undertaken. The approach this project has taken is to apply the well-tried technologies of interactive video and to explore the application of those technologies and related methods in detail. This has resulted in an exhibition of works that contribute to the area of interactive video installation art as a medium to evoke sensory experiences. The contribution this project has made is to create experiential art that evokes sensory experiences related to being in aquatic environments. It has enhanced the viewer’s engagement with the works by using unobtrusive sensing and temporal sampling techniques and has developed methodologies for producing interactive video installations to evoke sensations.

Download the full exegesis as a pdf