Slovenia / Spain / US 2011
Base 8 explores the negative spaces and movements between fingers and hands. A reflection through glass creates the illusion of a world floating in air. As visitors reach into the space, moving structures and abstract geometric forms begin to appear in between their fingers or grow out from their hands.
The title of the work was inspired by the several rare languages that developed a different counting base because the culture counted using the spaces in between fingers (four on each hand resulting in an octal system) rather than the fingers themselves (as in the much more common decimal system). The reactive organic environment in the work emerges in the negative space sometimes as figures that delicately hover in the crevices of open fingers creating an awareness and attention to these subtle spaces. The work uses a 19th century theater trick (Pepper’s ghost) that was originally employed to create the illusion of phantoms or spirits on the stage with live actors. In this modern adaptation of the technique, the illusion is used to create a direct interaction with the forms rather than viewing it in an augmented video where an additional layer of mediation is required. The floating world in Base 8, happens directly around the visitors body and they are looking at their own bodies as they view and interact with the work.
Chris Sugrue is an artist and programmer developing interactive installations, audio-visual performances and experimental interfaces. Her works experiment with technology in playful and curious ways and investigate topics such as artificial life, eye-tracking and optical illusions. She has exhibited internationally in such festivals and galleries as Ars Electronica, Sónar Festival, Pixel Gallery, Medialab-Prado, Matadero Madrid, and La Noche En Blanco Madrid.
Sugrue’s interactive installation, Delicate Boundaries received an honorary mention from Vida Art and Artificial Life Awards and first prize from Share Festival. In 2009, she collaborated to help develop theEyeWriter, a low-cost eye controlled drawing tool for ALS patients. The EyeWriter was honored with Design of the Year award for interactive category, the Future Everything Award, and a Golden Nica from Ars Electronica.
Sugrue holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. She has worked as a creative engineer at the Ars Electronica Futurelab where she was the lead interaction developer for a stereoscopic interactive dance performance with artist and choreographer Klaus Obermaier. Sugrue was the recipient of a year-long fellowship at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York, and has held artist residencies with Hangar in Barcelona, La Casa De Velázquez in Madrid and Harvestworks in New York. She has taught courses in the Design and Technology department at Parsons School of Design, the Interface Culture program at the KunstUniversität in Linz, Austria, and numerous workshops on visual and creative programming.
Base 8 at FACT: www.fact.co.uk/projects/robots-and-avatars/chris-sugrue-base-8/