The SKIN-PÔ project seeks to bring the creative process into the public forum and allow citizens to reclaim their community spaces through technological works of art that spur spontaneous creation. The artist offers an interactive environment within an urban space, such as a public square. Passers-by are able to interact with the work’s audio and visual components via wireless interfaces that control video projections on surrounding buildings and create and distribute sound in the venue. SKIN-PÔ challenges urban structures, disputes their composition and reconstructs them where they stand. We are impelled to scrutinize and confront the urban reality imposed upon us, the conventions that rule it, and the acceptance of these conventions by the key stakeholders of our urban spaces, the passers-by.
Jacques Perron © 2006 FDL
With SKIN-PÔ, Fournel reaches out to passers-by and strives to change how they look at their surroundings. He destabilizes them and in doing so forces them to call into question what they have previously accepted as fact. The project seeks to create distance – both critical and playful – between us and our role as urban players. In this vacuum between reality and fiction, the artist creates a type of “escape,” which he sees as essential if we are to truly explore our rapport with the urban space around us. This void fascinates him, as it represents a respite that allows us to relax, take a deep breath, and reconnect with our imagination.
The project incorporates the implementation and use of a highly accurate, quick response, spatial positioning system and a number of video and audio control software applications and modules. SKIN-PÔ promotes an open source philosophy, with all of the modules, tools and software developed for the project made available to the community.
SKIN-PÔ is the second phase of the Transduction project, a body of research and production work begun in 2000 that explores and confronts the various methods we use to take ownership of our architectural space and the integration of these methods into the construction of “artistically sensitive ecosystems.” SKIN-PÔ evolved directly from the Tontauben installation, the first phase of the Transduction project.