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Myrvold : Diccan's Feelings

Subjective notes by Pierre Berger

Positive impressions

- Impressive lobal structure impressive, by its size, number of works, complexity of works. Sound and music
- Monumental entrance by the Heptagon.
- Important mounting of cooperations with computer geeks and partners.
- Opportunity given to the partners to show what they did for the work

- Along the whole oeuvre of Myrvold, building of a capital of assets which is reused in new works. For instance the objects used as avatars.

- Free entrance, then positive social aspects.
- Many visitors in spite of the signaletics weakness in Centre Pompidou
- Happy and quite long engagement of children.

Mixed feelings and difficult issues

- The most important issue (from my standpoint) is the scarcity of clues given the users/players to understant what they can do, the effects they will get, the errors to be avoided.

On the work at bottom left of the romm (which I observed mainly), there is a form a menu on the right side. It did not work easily, but that must be comparatively easy to fix. More serious, the (superb) carpet is not informative, and even delusive, on the kinds ot moves the users can do (in particular, the avatar explodes if you back too far from the screen, and that is not materialized on the carpet).

- In spite of the Heptagon gate, the show is more centered on interaction than properly immersion. No cave nor googles...

- A gap between the global discourse of Myrvold and the reality (merging real and virtual). That is a difficult issue. I have seen more impressive "mergings" in the Pixel dance + images spectacle of Merzouki (presently à MAC, Créteil). The most impressive I ever seen were at Laval Virtual with McCormick spectacle (see

Then as in quite all the interactive installaions I have looked at, it works only with kids around 10. Younger ones don't understand the game. Older are shy or less easily engaged. I think that this would be strongly better if the works provided more clues. That is a key element of Apple's products success.

- High cost and fragility of the components, taking to security and safety issues. Then a heavy load of surveillance by the staff (including the curator himself). That was a major problem here sinche the entrance is free for all, tramps included.
- From a collector's problèm, that entails perenniality issues.

Notes from Boris Tissot (translated and edited)

Studio 13/16 is a connection point between a public of teenagers (and their family) and contemporary artists.
The Avatar show, by Eric Wenger, is playful as well as intuitive. The core idea is to let the public experience immersion through the creation of their avatars, using a collection of 3D objects proposed by Py Myrvold. By the way, they discovers the artists wofks and the studio itself, which is at the same time a real place and a virtual place.

 The public is invited to discover by itself the proposed program and the riches of its assets. It cannot be seen as a consumer of a ready-to-use product, but as a pioneer discovering progressively new possible worlds.

That works not only with 10 years old kids, but with more elderly teenagers. For them, the application and its interactivity is perhaps too simplisic. But they discover the depth of the show as a global space, for instance when they discover that the avatar they have created in one of the works appears on another one. We have seen a group of teenagers, from 13 to 15, spending some 20 minutes playing. And one spectator often becomes the linkman for other ones.

The immersion word is here more an "image" expressing the global surrounding by Myrvold's works, calling to create one's own avatar in this global world. u public.