>>In Conversation



When live and located, In Conversation provided the means for individuals in the street and on the Internet to engage in a live dialogue with each other. This work by british artist Susan Collins aimed to examine the boundaries and social customs of distinctly different kinds of public spaces - the street and the Internet/chatroom - each with its own established rules of engagement.

Passers-by encountered an animated mouth projected onto the pavement and, through loudspeakers, could hear voices triggered by internet users trying to strike up a conversation.
When the pedestrians responded, a concealed microphone and surveillance camera transmitted the responses to the website via a live video stream (webcast).
Through the website, online visitors could view the surveillance video and hear the people on the street. They could type messages and send them 'live' to the installation where they were converted into speech and broadcast to the street through loudspeakers.

In Conversation introduced two different kinds of public space to each other, the etiquette that governs them and the people that frequent them. The project becoming an experimental exploration into how different environments and means of interaction affect not only our willingness to communicate, but the way and manner in which we do so.

In Conversation was originally commissioned by BN1 and Lighthouse in association with Fabrica in Brighton as part of Inhabiting Metropolis a series of Channel Commissions.

surveillance still from Amsterdam

screengrab from website

photo opf projection at Chapter Arts