Adoration (A Two-Part Series)

Nuum Collective

Adoration is an interactive, mixed media, online installation


Are you there?

Can you see me?

Can you hear me?

Sitting in front of my laptop screen, I lose my sense of my own body. I have no sense of your body. And worst of all, I have no sense of you sensing me.

And so I begin to doubt my own existence.

I can see you. Yes.
I can hear you. Sort of.

But I can’t feel you.


Now that you have been reduced to a portrait of yourself on screen, I find myself looking at your face with unrestrained attentiveness. I stare without your awareness censoring my gaze. I look for invisible signs of something, I don’t know what.

Strangely, this feels more intimate than a physical embrace.

In our current state, we are like ground control technicians communicating with astronauts hurtling into space.

There’s the same delay.
There’s the same low resolution picture and sound.
The same glitches. The same dropped frames.

And the flat tone of technical talk even when the house is on fire: Houston we have a problem. You’re muted. You’ve frozen. You’ve gone dark. I’ve lost my connection.

There is something poignant about the heroic efforts required of all of us to be able to communicate through the brutality of data loss.

It takes so much more courage to transmit. And it takes even more generosity to receive.

Adoration is a series of meditations on the quandary of communicating online.

Can you see me?

Part 1 of the series, Can you see me? Is an online installation that plays out over 5 days. A live feed from your computer’s webcam is laid over a pre-recorded choreography of the face that traverses an expansive range of
emotion. Inside of this set-up we invite you to perform a mirroring meditation, 1 a day for 5 days.

By mirroring each other, do we become each other or someone in between? And what will happen to us when we separate?

Each day, a new video is released.

Click the links below to experience the installation.

Can you say something?

Part 2 of Adoration: Can you say something?
Can you say something? was written in JavaScript with p5.js, PoseNet and WebSockets.

The second in the series, Can you say something? magnifies the glitching, dropped frames and delay that delete the subtle nuances of human expression and then asks the audience to come closer in order to understand.

The work is a performance specifically intended to be live-streamed with an expected 20 second delay between when a performer commits an act and when the audience sees it.

Then, we explicitly ask the audience to talk to us, to respond when we call, knowing that they will not see us receive their response for 20 seconds. And so we ask them, will you wait 20 seconds to see me respond?

20 seconds is a long time. It stretches the boundaries of our generosity.

What will you do inside of that gap? Inside of that empty space between cause and effect? Will you leave me? wander off somewhere else? Or will you struggle to stay with me, waiting, guessing, filling up the time with your
own imaginings of how I will respond?

When it’s harder to communicate, will you come closer or step away?

How Does it work?

There are 4 layers.

Layer 1: A performer.

Layer 2: A conductor uses sound input to manipulate the live performer video feed. Using PoseNet, we are able to estimate key points on the performer’s video feed: eyes, ears, nose, and shoulders. With these key points, we crop the video around different parts of her body to varying degrees of zoom and at varying intervals of time as a way to respond to the audience.

Layer 3: A voice invites the audience to join in a call-and-response exchange with the performers.

Layer 4: A microphone invites the viewer to respond.