As part of the Portlamd Museum of Art's 2013 Biennial, I was invited to produce an Artists Intervention, an activity that was situated in one of the galleries among the art and the patrons. Being deeply involved in the production of eStranged at the time, i wanted to explore points of friction between physical and virtual presence.
With the help of graduate students from the University of Maine at Orono's Intermedia MFA program, we set up a station among the late 19th century landscape paintings, replete with gallery text including names, cell phone, skype, facebook and twitter contact information, and set about to "being on-line." Patrons were invited to communicate, but only via electronic means. The interventionists ignored any attempts at interaction in the physical space while reaching out to both local (museum attendees) and world-wide friends and acquaintances.
This experiment provided us an opportunity to observe the varieties of behaviors engendered by publically locating this very common interpersonal stance of being with people who are simultaneously engaged with unseen others, a melding of physical and virtual presence.