Kelley et al. (1983) proposed a 3D model for closeness: interactions should be frequent, include diverse activities, and a level of influence. Since the COVID lockdown commenced, questions arose around how we maintain meaningful connections during times of isolation. We observed how virtual encounters' limitations brought us opportunities that became a source of inspiration for this project.
"The encounter" as a subject matter became relevant. In a call to relational art, we want to share our intimate virtual space with the public. However, unlike relational art, this project began solely for the participating artists to maintain and develop our closeness when in-person contact is unavailable.
The project consists of two parts: our weekly audio messages that focus on simple, somewhat bland routines that become highlights of our days in lockdown, and the videos or animations sent back as interpretative responses to these previous audio messages.
Once the audio is sent, its ownership is shared between the two artists. Our visual responses derive from the received recordings, and the receiver's personal experiences read into the tapes. Born as an attempt to maintain that balance between structure and free-flowing creativity, the production structure of recording, listening, interpreting, and responding turns into their routines.
The piece lives on a web page where the viewer can navigate freely from one moment to another, as a voyeuristic exercise, consuming the encounters we leave behind.
Reference: Kelley, Harold H. Close Relationships. W.H. Freeman, 1983.