Intimate Transactions, opened simultaneously at the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide & Wagga Wagga Art Gallery on Thursday 28 August 2008, is an interactive exhibition in which visitors can communicate through virtual space with a person in another city, or another state, or another country.
The person you want to interact with is in another location. You can only communicate using your body. You and your partner have the same new technology at your disposal ‘smart furniture’ (called the Bodyshelf) that is embedded with an array of sensors that detect your movements and reflect them as two moving shapes on large screens. Everything you do influences an evolving ‘world’ created from digital imagery, multi-channel sound and tactile feedback. You are both part of a new and beautiful virtual space; a delicate digital ecology.
This is not a scene from a sci-fi film. This is Intimate Transactions, a new form of networked multimedia installation that allows two people in geographically separate spaces to interact simultaneously using only their bodies.
The exhibition evolved from experiments by Dr Keith Armstrong, Lisa O’Neill and Guy Webster, an interdisciplinary team of artists and researchers who form the ‘Transmute Collective’ based in Brisbane.
Intimate Transactions has been awarded a Visions of Australia Touring grant (2008-09) and was is presented in Beijing China during the 2008 Olympics as part of ‘China International New Media Arts 2008‘ at the National Art Museum of China.