Maya–Veil of Illusion

Tele-immersive Installation, 2003–4

Maya—Veil of Illusion extends the data space and with it the participants’ presence across two remote, networked sites.  Immersed in Maya, participants are networked and mapped to one another, allowing them to apparently ‘step through the looking glass’ and be present on the ‘other side’. Yet Maya’s ‘veil of illusion’ takes on the role of a tactile transformer in-between, interfering with and unveiling a false promise of fidelity.

The work presents a fluidly-dynamic mirror surface; a two-way mirror, whose two sides are split apart to produce an elastic and only apparently transparent looking glass on each remote site. As the participants move towards the screen, Maya‘s virtual veil extends and seems to allow one’s body imprint to reach to the ‘other side’. Yet the more one tries to touch the other, the more the digital body distorts, gets entangled with the other bodies, and eventually becomes other.