The installation Breathless has all the characteristic features of Dementieva's style such as programmatic interactivity, the aspiration to make the viewer both the protagonist and the creator of a work, who is indispensable to its existence, and at the same time the absence of pressure on the viewer, who is always given the choice whether to actively interact with a work or to pass by.
The installation consists of three interactive objects which can be made to radiate light. Two of them are directly connected to an RSS news feed, which keeps track of around 50 newspapers and magazines, the content from which is passed to the objects through a computer. Its program is set up to search words and notions related to the concepts of fear and desire. The first object represents fear and the second desire. If the machine finds one word associated with fear an arc of light flashes from the first object. If it finds several on different news portals the lighted arcs multiply making the light spiral upwards. The more words, the brighter the object. The words themselves appear at the top of the object. In parallel and in a similar manner the notion of desire is visualized. The third object functions following the same principle. It is wirelessly connected to the street and the number of its diode lines illuminated depends on the levels of both noise and air pollution. Additionally, inside each of these three objects an anemometer, a device used for measuring the speed of wind, is installed. The viewer who has ventured into the cabin can blow on the device transforming the work with his or her breath, influencing the lighting and mutating the words into meaningless marks. A simple act of breathing becomes important, symbolically affecting the surrounding environment.
All in all, we are presented with a peculiar diagram displayed on the three interactive objects. The heights of its columns, which represent statistical indicators, indicate the levels of fear and desire against a background of environmental pollution. All these indicators can be glibly discarded by simple human breathing.
breathless from alexandra dementieva on Vimeo.