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"Monsters Of The Id" Explores Expectations And Disorientation In A Virtual World (PHOTOS)


First Posted: 02/24/2012 2:48 pm Updated: 02/24/2012 2:48 pm

David Cotterrell works with video, audio, artificial intelligence and interactive media to test the expectations that humans establish as observers, civilians and cinematic viewers.

His exhibition "Monsters Of The Id" draws off Cotterrell's journeys through the militarized environments of Afghanistan. According to the gallery, "the exhibition captures the disorientation of a civilian observer within a militarised environment."


The exhibition gains its title from a 1956 Leslie Nielson sci-fi thriller, "Forbidden Planet." It uses hybrid technologies to create environments that exist somewhere between the physical and the virtual. One work, "Observer Effect", features a self-absorbed virtual population projected onto a wall. As time passes, the virtual population grows larger and larger, while becoming more distracted by the presence of the physical population.

Another piece, "Searchlight 2," appears to be a desert landscape from the perspective of an aerial drone. Yet in fact the projection is all illusory, a computer-generated mirror of the actions of "Observer Effect." The exhibition is experimental and self-referential, including the observers into the fabric of the interactive works. The disconcerting anxiety the exhibition elicits mimics the feelings between eruptions of violence in times of war.

"Monsters of the Id" will show at John Hansard Gallery until March 31.

See the slideshow below and let us know what you think in the comments section. Have you ever been a part of the "Observer Effect?"

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David Cotterrell, Apparent Horizon, 6 channel-HD collimated display, 2012. Courtesy the artist.
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