THE RIVER RUNS BACKWARDS
Enticing the public towards the unknown... An accessible and interactive audio-visual encounter, offering the opportunity for escapism through shared experience.
Working beyond, outside of or parallel to the accepted, represented and perpetuated categories and structures of contemporary society, The River Runs Backwards is an approach to form and structure that aims to sidestep contemporary pillars of categorisation, enticing the public towards the unknown, to explore a level of experience not based in re-presentation. The River Runs Backwards offers strangers the chance to become collaborators, collectively shaping their environment through responsive technology, working together to create a space which adapts to them and recognises their role as change-makers.
ALGORITHMS HAVE CONTROL
Our cultural experiences in contemporary society are determined to a large extent by the use of algorithms. They are ubiquitous in our lives, from weekly online grocery shopping to vacation locations, cars we drive and the culture we consume:
You like 'this', so you will like 'this'.
Easy categorisation defies exploration of the new and unexpected. By definition it boxes in and segregates. In the current national and worldwide condition, in which we are arguably content to gaze inward, The River Runs Backwards offers a moment in which one may embrace the logic of uncertainty and the potential of an open and uncharted plane of possibilities.
The River Runs Backwards draws on the mechanisms of choice we have become so familiar with to facilitate engagement in an experience that draws on popular culture. Yet the world in which it immerses you is not so easily categorised.
RECOGNISING PARTICIPANTS AS CHANGE-MAKERS
The River Runs Backwards utilises the affective nature of immersive experience and combines it with the ability of participants to individually and subtly alter the environment in which they find themselves, handing over control and a sense of ownership through active engagement.
The River Runs Backwards is deliberately non-targeted in terms of demographic, recognising the cultural diversity of visitors to cinemas, nightclubs or festivals, viewers of Netflix, NowTV or YouTube, and listeners of Spotify, BBC Sounds or internet radio, by bridging these cultural venues and platforms through an immersive installation which echoes aspects of each.
SEPELEO is an immersive audio-visual installation designed by artists, Jason & Becky, whose work encompasses a range of approaches including sound, video projection-mapping and live performance. Producing work for galleries and museums as well as socially-engaged community-based projects, they have undertaken residencies and exhibited nationally and internationally, including in Venice, Colorado, China and Japan.
They have previously worked with interactive experienced-based organisations in the UK, Europe and USA and have provided technical support in the installation of various art exhibitions in the UK, including audio-visual installations featuring multi-screen projections and sound, as well as creative solutions for the housing or display of visual and sculptural works.
Their current fine art practice explores new methods of engagement with art in the public realm, following two practice-based PhDs researching the encounter and wellbeing in relation to participant experience.
WHAT DOES SEPELEO LOOK LIKE?
SEPELEO is a new work based in the public realm, which utilises responsive technology to create an immersive space for the viewer, fuelled by an apparent loss of control in the consumption of and participation in contemporary culture.
SEPELEO appropriates four significant works from the movie and games industry and presents four short films derived from their content. 'Viewers' are encouraged to reconsider themselves as ‘Participants’ in these films, and through gestures facilitated by responsive technology, to alter their own audio and visual experience of each film.
SEPELEO offers an immersive space which echoes the cinematic but also adds to it spatially, through presenting each film in a physical 360º format, in a real space with real walls, but with the scope to be developed for VR and AR.