program 2001: science + fiction Media art exhibition Hidden Parameters Films by Miklós Erdély update 2.0 Contemporary German media art exhibition Science and Fiction in Media Art, International symposium Exhibition in the Barcsay Hall of the Hungarian Academy of
Fine Arts

A Repetition of the Future
Interactive Installation, 2001

The installation is a trip into a future of endless validity-- into Dante's Inferno-- which turns into time travel through the distortion of the gravitational lens, space, and time.

The work is created by two projections. The picture made by one is a virtually established space, which has as a visual starting point of Dante's Inferno and the spiral structure of the astrophysical black hole. In this virtual space Dante's world and the newest scientific ideas about the universe bring about a new, unified world: this is the space the viewer moves in. The spiral fields of the time-bars arrange themselves around a funnel-like form, along which the observer moves. Inside these can be found a myriad of bodies in different kinds of distorted geometry; these have a gravitational pull: when the viewer gets near them, she is drawn towards it. This is when the gravitational lens effect is set into motion (the time and space distortions of the Einstein lens): the picture of the projection distorts. If the gravitational pull of the approached object is small, we can separate ourselves from it more easily. In the opposite case, the only way to move on is by making a greater change in position. As we move through the rings the space becomes tighter, the number of objects increases; therefore the gravitation becomes more dense and our movements become more difficult. The picture distorts more strongly and frequently. In this virtual space there are several spirals in which are embedded structural visualizations based on depictions of the Inferno from the 13th century to today. Moving around in these spirals, the events written by Dante can also be discovered. The viewer experiences the events and the manner of a pre-made spiral field, but the order of the episodes is chosen by each person, so everyone has their own special path.
The other projection shows the structure of the funnel from above. Here the participants have a chance to observe their own path, since the diagram continually indicates which circle they are in. As we go deeper into the spiral structure, the circular form begins to distort relative to the movements of the person inside. In addition to the picture, the sound also distorts in relation to the viewer's movement. At the beginning of the path through the Inferno, the dialogue-- an every-day conversation about Dante's Inferno-- can be understood clearly, but while moving towards the inside it gradually becomes noise.