A decisive moment?

Exercise: The work of Robbie Cooper http://www.robbiecooper.org/small.html

From the Hereford Festival article, I chose to look at the work of Robbie Cooper. Immersion attracted me because of his use of video to record the facial expressions of teenagers immersed in virtual reality games on screen. The work is presented in a single frame from which you can select still images or a video compilation and in most cases the name of the individual and the game they are playing. I played the slideshow of still images first and while the expressions in these stills showed a range of emotions, concentration, surprise, elation, concern, laughter, the video sequence was for more revealing. Some of the players were almost expressionless and hardly moved while other were really animated, talking to the characters on screen. One child remained almost motionless as a tear rolled down their cheek and another unselfconsciously performed a little victory dance when he won the battle.

I found this work strangely compelling and somewhat disturbing. It introduced me to something of which I was aware but have not experienced. It raised many questions about the possible effects on the development of the social skills and attitudes of young adults. In particular to conflict and reality. I also looked at this series, Alter Ego in which he displays photographs of game players and their avatars and interviews them about their on-line personas.


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