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Good Evening Mr. Orwell (or Dance Everywhere) (2010) is an interactive and networked Vjing performance conceived as is a small homage to Nam June Paik. The project has a platform especially developed for the work that allows images of a customised dance floor to be used, video streams to be sent and received over the internet, and “hijacked” photos and videos of social media users to be mixed and screened.

Anyone can watch the streaming of the event and participate in the online performance by accessing the project’s website, but, to do so, it is necessary to first of all log in through a social network. By agreeing to the terms of use, the images of the person’s online account are automatically captured and become part of the artist’s image bank, used in the audiovisual composition created in real time (and subsequently deleted).

Performing consensual surveillance?

      Good Evening Mr. Orwell (print screen)

On the dance floor, the algorithms that are interpreting the images are not looking for suspicious acts but rather a harmonious movement between the bodies influenced by the music and rhythm of the audiovisual composition. The consensual surveillance techniques used in social networks are subverted and used in this project as a way of putting together a collective self-representation, a multi-sensory expedience and a local-global network dialogue.

From Surveillance to self-representation and global dialog

    Good Evening Mr. Orwell (interface and print screen)

Local-global network

Artists from different places around the world, invited to the project ahead of time or who offer to participate on the spur of the moment, can send videos or make broadcasts over video calling networks. At the exhibition site, a mini dance floor is set up with special flooring, a disco glitter ball, lighting and a surveillance camera. Besides being used in the audiovisual mixing, the images of the floor are analysed by tracking and gesture detection algorithms, so that the movement of those dancing interferes directly with the rhythm, colour and visual patterns in the final image.

From this convergence of databases and live streaming arises an audiovisual composition that short-circuits psychedelia and informational aesthetic, making reference to both the colours, effects and rhythms of Paik's videos as well as the geometric graphing of the data visualization.

      Good Evening Mr. Orwell (print screen)