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Doppelgänger Interactive videoinstallation Stefano D'Alessio | Martina Menegon 2011 The work present itself as a large vertical screen that act … Read More
Doppelgänger Interactive videoinstallation Stefano D'Alessio | Martina Menegon 2011 The work present itself as a large vertical screen that act like a kind of mirror, allowing the audience to interact with its digital double. By default just a black image it's visible, it's a foggy layer that hides a reflection of what is in front of the monitor. This layer shades the whole image except for what is moving, so the only way for the audience to see thru it is to perform a physical action, like walking, running or moving any part of the body, just what's moving can be seen. In this way the audience can see his walking reflection, his Doppelgänger (double-goer). This reflection isn't mirrored by a flat and static object but by a virtual liquid, a narcissus water mirror, which waves, responding to the audience movements. Doppelgänger It's a loanword from german which literally means "double-goer". It is a paranormal entity which is the double of a living person and it's traditionally considered a sinister omen. This figure can be found in diverse cultural contexts: psychology, literature, different types of ancient mythologies etc. The concept of Doppelgänger was applied in psychology referring to different kind of illnesses that can affect the left tempoparietal junction of the brain. This part of the brain evokes the perception of the self in the space and when it's ill the "self" is substituted by the perception of a foreign entity with identical position and posture. The theme of Doppelgänger is been investigated by psychologists and psychoanalysts in relation to the freudian concept of the Uncanny (das Unheimliche) and/or to narcissistic personality disorders. The concept of Uncanny was introduced in psychology by Ernst Jentsch, defined as the doubt whether an animated object is really alive or not, a sensation referred to objects like wax statues, automatons, animated puppet etc. Sigmund Freud used the Uncanny as conceptual term that refers to an aesthetic attitude of the fear that comes to life when something or someone is perceived as familiar and strange in the same time. Uncanny is something that was removed and that is coming to the surface because of a particular experience, the reoccurrence of what Freud called primary narcissism is an example of it. Primary narcissism is a childhood phase in which the child focuses his libido only to himself (ego libido), in this phase the ego creates a double himself as an assurance of immortality, this double becomes then unconscious because of the superego. The work Doppelgänger applies these themes to the contemporary digital era. Nowadays nearly everybody has one or more digital double, alter egos which are people copies or manifestations of how somebody would like to be. Counting the fact that in the 21st century people are used to live virtual realities in which they are easily able to create virtual representations of themselves, it's less likely that one of these digital double would be able to create an uncanny sensation in the user. The user is aware of what new technologies are and what they can do. Having said that it is possible to believe that a transposition into digital of the Uncanny valley hypothesis, made by Masahiro Mori in 1970, would still be a valid argument. The Uncanny valley it's a zone of a function graph, the function explains the relation between the emotional response of a person against an anthropomorphous object. With the increasing of the anthropomorphism also the familiarity grows, until a certain point in which too anthropomorphism creates an abrupt drop in the familiarity, generating an uncanny sensation. In digital terms the Uncanny could be created realizing a digital avatar which manifest itself in a way that it's perceived by the viewer as part of the real context, differentiating itself from common avatars that people see and use everyday, and that follows the object characteristics of Miro's Uncanny valley. Contemporary common avatars are obviously not considered a death presage like in ancient mythologies but they can be connected to the freudian double of primary narcissism, their are a potentially immortal representations of ourselves. Social networks and virtual realities are digital worlds that contains virtual versions of the population, how a person behave, which is his belief, what he did, what he is doing, how he looks like etc… all these informations, which are characteristics that define a human being and his personality, are contained as digital codes in these virtual worlds, these digital codes are contemporary Doppelgängers. Read Less
Published:
Doppelgänger
 
Interactive videoinstallation
Stefano D'Alessio | Martina Menegon
2011

The work present itself as a large vertical monitor showing a black image, it's a foggy layer that hides a reflection of what is in front of the monitor. This layer shades the whole image except for what is moving, so the only way for the audience to see thru it is to perform a physical action, just what is moving can be seen.
This reflection isn't mirrored by a flat and static object but by a virtual liquid, a narcissus water mirror, which waves, responding to the audience movements.
Doppelgänger It's a loanword from german which literally means "double-goer".
It is a paranormal entity which is the double of a living person and it's traditionally considered a sinister omen.
The theme of Doppelgänger was investigated by psychologists and psychoanalysts in relation to the freudian concept of the Uncanny and/or to narcissistic personality disorders.
The concept of Uncanny was introduced in psychology by Ernst Jentsch, defined as the doubt whether an animated object is really alive or not, Sigmund Freud used the Uncanny as conceptual term that refers to an aesthetic attitude of the fear that comes to life when something or someone is perceived as familiar and strange in the same time.
Uncanny is something that was removed and that is coming to the surface because of a particular experience, the reoccurrence of what Freud called primary narcissism is an example of it. Primary narcissism is a childhood phase in which the ego creates a double himself as an assurance of immortality, this double becomes then unconscious because of the superego.
Nowadays nearly everybody has one or more digital double, alter egos which are people copies or manifestations of how somebody would like to be.
Contemporary common avatars are obviously not considered a death presage like in ancient mythologies but they can be connected to the freudian double of primary narcissism, their are a potentially immortal representations of ourselves.
Social networks and virtual realities are digital worlds that contains virtual versions of the population, how a person behave, which is his belief, what he did, what he is doing, how he looks like etc… all these informations, which are characteristics that define a human being and his personality, are contained as digital codes in these virtual worlds, these digital codes are contemporary Doppelgängers.