The installation "Touchscreen" makes contact, the desire to touch things, its only subject. It plays with the behavior and expectations of the interactive installation user in many different ways.
The visitor can touch the touchscreen through a window cut into a wall at eye level. Every area of the monitor has been assigned different video and/or audio sequences, which are called up in random order. This way, even after many attempts no standard sequence of events can be ascertained. Altogether, more than 400 different events can be called up. The user finds himself in a constantly changing emotional roller-coaster. At one point he is an object of desire, his hand is asked for, the spot he touches is kissed with abandon. Then, he is insulted as an aggressive grabber and sent away. If the screen receives no impulses for a longer period of time, sequences are activated that attract attention to the installation and prompt one to initiate contact. Then, for instance, a blond beauty flattens her nose against the window and holds watch for a new "customer" or a man knocks hard on the glass and calls, "Hallo!". If the monitor is touched in too many spots at once or too often over a short period of time, infuriated reactions (in german and english language) come out from inside the computer. "Nicht alle auf einmal!" (Not everyone at once!) or "Nicht so aufdringlich!" (Not so pushy!), is said and the impatient guest is thrown a scolding glare.
Aside from the very realistic video sequences there are purely audio parts. One navigates through sounds such as hissing, ringing glass, chortles, a clearing of the throat, crackling, pings and pongs. A virtual finger will also follow the user’s real finger as it runs over the screen. Through movement left or right, up or down, the sounds will become louder or softer, higher or lower.
"Touchscreen" was awarded the 1st Marl Video Installation Prize in 1998 and bought by the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl. The work was on view in 1999 at the Wiesbaden Office of Cultural Affairs, the Kunsthalle Bremen and the Edith-Ruß-Haus at the Oldenburg Office of Cultural Affairs. A version of "Touchscreen" has been at the Ars Electronica Center, Linz since 1999.
Actors: Rosa Barba, Christin Bolewski, Michael Hanschmidt, Jürgen Jansen, Christiane Schoenen, Clea T. Waite