Aurora Picture Show installation opening reception: Signals by Nick Bontrager
Texas artist and new media art professor Nick Bontrager returns to Aurora Picture Show with Signals, a new media project in which the audience participates in creating the work by interacting with the artist on screen. Toying with the interaction of a virtual self and the idea of the Mechanical Turk, Signals is an interactive video installation utilizing artificial intelligence, allowing the viewer to visually communicate directly with a projected entity while bridging the gap of science-fiction and near-future technology.
By sending a cellular text message, visitors will create morse code messages that are flashed to a virtual representation of the artist on screen via a military signaling lamp. The artist will then respond from an unseen location, signaling back to the participant through video in morse code with a similar lamp. Visitors are invited to decode the video response, thus customizing the content and crafting a unique exchange. Taking place in different biomes and locations reminiscent of film history (forests, deserts, an iconic bridge from the 1986 film Stand By Me, etc), Signals creates the illusion that the character in the film is communicating directly with visitors in real time.
An opening reception will take place on Feb. 6, 6-9 p.m., with an artist talk at 7 p.m. The installation will remain on view through Feb. 13.