Wake Up and Hide

two-screen interactive video projection | 2007

If no sound is made in the gallery where it is showing then figures will emerge from hiding places within the on-screen interior – from under the table or behind a curtain and occupy the room. They might rummage through drawers or play the piano, none of them look as if they belong there. On the other screen, five performers look out and – if no one makes a noise – they slowly collapse, keeping an eye on the audience all the while. A cough or the sound of the door closing will send them scurrying back to their hiding places, or cause them to jump and run off. They slowly emerge again in different orders and occupy themselves in different ways.

The installation was not advertised as interactive, so it came as a shock when someone sneezed and caused a mad scramble on-screen to clear up the room, to remove any trace of their activity and hide behind the furniture. The spectators could either remain still, as if coaxing timid animals out of their hiding place, or shout at the screen and start a stampede. Although the material was entirely prerecorded the idea that the spectator could affected the picture  – that the picture could be disrupted or disturbed – alludes to the tension, fear and excitement that comes with encountering live performance. The image seemed unstable, the performers self-conscious and vulnerable.

First shown at and commissioned by Matt’s Gallery in 2007,

Performed by: Heather Ackroyd, Ian Bourn, Helena Bryant, Frog Morris, Fiona Templeton, Gareth Brierley, Antonia Doggett, Michelle Griffiths, Kate Meynell, Gary Stevens.

Sound: Graeme Miller. Interactive design and technology: Nic Sandiland. Art direction: Georgina Carless. Lighting and camera: David Gopsill.

Previous performances
  • Matt’s Gallery, LONDON, 2007
  • Ikon Eastside and Fierce! Festival, BIRMINGHAM, 2007
  • SOUTHAMPTON City Art Gallery, 2007.
  • Inn Motion Festival, Centre of Contemporary Culture BARCELONA, 2009
  • Now and Again, SOUTHMAPTON City Art Gallery, 2012.

Photos: John Riddy. Production photograph. David Gopsill