7 October 2005 - 5 November 2005

(Useless Landscape)

"KEEP YOUR DISTANCE" is a powerful immersive interactive video installation featuring a Brazilian lorry careering along a dusty rural road. The idea here, is to make access to the images possible only by NOT keeping distance. By means of a sensor circuit that perceives the visitor approaching, every time they do not keep a distance, the projections are triggered. Distance is a tool of control used in social interaction across a whole spectrum of situations from the street level to the hierarchies of politics and religion..

In contrast, "USELESS LANDSCAPE" (the title is taken from the name of a Tom Jobim song) uses long tracking shots along the properties that line the seafront (Avenida Viera Souto in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro) and other streets, past fence after fence which merge into a single barrier. The film suddenly reverses, backtracks, and by the magic of digital manipulation all these retro-fitted fences are removed. Katia Maciel's metaphor strikes a raw note, particularly at the moment in this country where currently 73% of the population would trade some of their civil liberties for a greater sense of security.

KATIA MACIEL did her doctorate at University of Rio de Janeiro, THINKING BRAZILIAN CINEMA under Jean Baudrillard and Rogerio Luz. She then completed post-doctoral studies at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts UWCN, University of Plymouth. She came to the attention of ROOM with the help of co-curator Maria Donato on a trip to Brazil, when she was showing at Paco das Artes (a not-for-profit space in Sao Paolo).

The exhibition is supported by The Arts Council England and by Paco das Artes, Sao Paolo Brazil. There is an accompanying catalogue and text by Guy Brett.

R O O M is open to the public from 1200-1800 Thursday to Sunday