Are you there?
Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
Can you understand me?
This is our daily refrain as we log on to meet disembodied face to disembodied face.
Now that it is harder for me to understand you, do I pay closer attention?
Now that you have been reduced to a portrait of yourself on screen, I find myself looking at your face with unrestrained attentiveness. I stare without your awareness censoring my gaze. I look for invisible signs of something, I don’t know what.
Strangely, this feels more intimate than a physical embrace.
More than a response to the coronavirus pandemic, Can you see me? is a multi-layered meditation on the illusion of communicating online.
How does it work?
Can you see me? is the first in a series of interactive performance installations. It was released over 5 days in the first week of May, 2020 by The Movement Lab at Barnard College. Each day, viewers are invited to mirror a new segment of a pre-recorded video, guiding them through a choreography of the face that explores all that we are (in)capable of communicating through the screen.
Day 1: Hello | Try it.
Day 2: Yes | Try it.
Day 3: I’m not sure. | Try it.
Day 4: Lalala | Try it.
Day 5: The cup runneth over. | Try it.
Watch the full video.