Future Absentees / Local Interference (2015)

Eight pairs of remote visitors log into a pair of TV-headed monoliths stationed by an Ottoman railway converted into a pedestrian trail near the border between east and west Jerusalem, Palestine and Israel. These “remote visitors” each appear as a face on one ot the TVs, and have the ability to rotate it to see their surroundings. They have long discussions with each other and with passerby about the present and future of Jerusalem, and the Future in general, delving into a wide range of contexts, from transhumanism to political dissent, from exile to social justice, and of course politics and religion. Passerby on the trail simply observe, intervene via the adjacent microphone stand, or are drawn into the conversation when the monitors under the remote visitors control rotate to face them. The remote visitors are all unable to be physically present, due to their residence status, political situation or other reasons. The “local interference” in the piece’s title refers to the absurd situation in which a conversation that could happen in its entirety in the sterile confines of the web, takes place instead through the noisy and unpredictable medium of the physical world, specifically a location as charged as the east/west borderline in Jerusalem. It could also be read in the wider implications of such a term when considering the the Israeli / Palestinian environment.

This intervention piece was originally presented as part of a show dealing with dystopian future Israel/Palestine, called “Voice Over/2048” and curated by Maayan Sheleff. The show was a part of the “Manofim” art festival in Jerusalem, organized and curated by Rinat Edelstein and Lee-Hee Shulov.

The project has since its original presentation evolved to become an ongoing project/archive of conversations about the future, attempting to create an “alternate futurology” by inviting different kinds of “interventionist oracles” to appear at different conflicted sites. The above documentation is preliminary, and contains some synchornization issues – due to these same issues, which were all in the recording, not the actual event, we were sadly unable to create longer documentation video of the piece. However, an unabridged audio archive + full participant list will be uploaded soon!

Some images from the event, shot by Snir Katzir:

Future Absentees
Live telepresence intervention / installation
16 remote visitors in 8 pairs
Future Absentees / Local Interference (2015) | 2015 | Installations, Performances, Projects