Agora Phobia (digitalis) by Karen Lancel
September 10 - 14, 2003
540 W. 21st St.
Eyebeam presented the U.S. premiere of Agora Phobia (digitalis), a physical and online art project that questions mental images of being (un)safe and isolated. The physical component was installed on the street in front of Eyebeam's Chelsea facility located at 540 W. 21st Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues.
Created by Dutch artist Karen Lancel, Agoraphobia Digitalis invites the audience into a semi-transparent, inflatable Isolation Pillar which contains an online computer. Only large enough for one person to enter at a time, participants can feel the crowd outside but can only vaguely see shapes and figures around them. Inside one feels very safe within an intimate space, and at the same time, lacking contact with the outside. Viewers inside the pillar may participate in an internet-dialogue with people living in isolation elsewhere: a prisoner, a nun, a digipersona, a prisoner of war (POW), someone suffering from agoraphobia. The resulting dialogue is published on www.agora-phobia-digitalis.org and will be part of an archive of chatsheets, performances, and installations. Agoraphobia Digitalis examines fluctuating notions of security in private and public spaces both physical and virtual.
People: Karen Lancel