Contagion is a large-scale, interactive installation exploring the parallels between biological infection and the spread of information, knowledge, rumour and myth, creating a rich and complex visual system in which visitors’ movements generate and influence the evolving imagery.
This work involved collaboration with a team of eminent scientists in Australia and the UK, drawing upon existing knowledge of the epidemiology of SARS and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (‘Bird Flu’).
Contagion correlates the spread of image and information with the spread of biological infection, drawing parallels between the mapping of biological transmission of infection, the mathematical transmission of data and the spread of ideas and understandings.
The audience participates in the development and spread of ‘infection’ by its movement and actions within the installation space. Large screens hung above head height feature projections of live surveillance footage, trace images of viewers’ movements, ghost images of previous participants, and images illustrating the effect of their ‘infection’ on an individual.
Combining this real-time footage with environmental factors, the work addresses attitudes towards surveillance, bio-security and human interaction, whilst encouraging participants to contemplate their own role within the complex system of cause and effect created in the installation.
Collaborators & Contributors
Produced by Forma
Supported by Wellcome Trust Sci-Art Award