Scott Snibbe's Deep Walls
A Close Reading

by Roberto Simanowski

Deep Walls (2003), by Scott Snibbe (see interview), consists of a camera and a rectangular screen which is divided in 16 smaller rectangular screens. The camera records the projected shadow of the viewers who move in front of the screen, and each of the small screens plays one of those recordings over and over until a new recording replaces the oldest recording. The piece is set up in a way that the viewer is not aware that she is recorded; she only realizes that her oversized shadow is projected onto the big rectangle, not knowing that when she leaves her action materializes as a looping silhouette in one of the small screens. Given the inexplicitness of the grammar of interaction, in many cases what is recorded is the attempt to figure out the grammar of interaction. This can be considered a metacommentary on interactivity. However, there is much more symbolic in this installation.

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