Experiment 5 – proposal

by Nadine Valcin


Project description
Much of my work deals with memory and forgotten histories. I am constantly searching for new ways to portray the invisible past that haunts the present. (Un)seen is a video installation about presence/absence that uses proxemics to trigger video and sound. It recreates a ghostly presence appearing on a screen whose voice constantly beckons the viewer to get closer, but whose image recedes into the frame as the viewer tries to engage with it. Ultimately, the viewer is invited to touch the cloth it is projected on, but if they do, the ghost completely disappears from view, leaving an empty black screen.

With permission, I will be using unused footage from a previous project comprised of closeups of a Black woman on a black background and will be recording and mixing a new soudtrack.

Parts / materials / technology list
MacBook Pro
Arduino Nano
Distance sensors (2 or 3) HC-SR04 or KS102 1cm-8M Ultrasonic Sensors
King size bedsheet, hanging from rod
2 speakers (or 4?)

Work plan
22.11.19-24.11.19     Edit 3 video loops
24.11.19-25.11.19     Write ghost dialogue and research sound
26.11.19-27.11.19    Record and edit sound
22.11.19-27.11.19     Program distance sensors and interaction
27.11.19                       Mount bedsheet on rod
28.11.19-02.12.19    Testing and de-bugging
03.12.19-04.12.19    Presentation

Physical installation details
The ideal space for the installation would be Room 118 on the ground floor.
With permission, I will be using footage shot for another project comprised of closeups of a Black women on a Black background. The ideal would be for the image to be projected from the rear onto the sheet. This would require a dark space and enough space behind and in front of the sheet. The mount for the sheet will be kept deliberately light. Metal wire can be used to hang the rod holding the sheet from the ceiling, but would potentially require discrete hooks screwed or attached to the ceiling.

Set-up Option A


Set-up Option B

unseen-setup-option-b1Resource list
Hand drill and other tools TBA
2 (or 4?) speakers
2 pedestals for the sensors (?)
Cables for the speakers
Power bar and electrical extension cords

– Can I have 4 speakers and have the play different sounds in pairs? I.e. the speakers behind the screen wouldn’t play the same sound as the speakers in front of the screen
– Do I actually need 3 distance sensors – 1 behind the screen for the functions triggered by people touching the screen and two mounted (possibly on pedestals) slightly in front of the screen at each side?
– Is it possible to hang things from the ceiling?
– Would a motion sensor also be useful to activate the installation when someone comes into the room?

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