Goodbye Horses + Star Mall
Goodbye Horses and Star Mall are interactive augmented reality artworks that draw inspiration from the Voyager Golden Record. The inner reality of the work is exposed when participants interface with the pieces, revealing that the seemingly conventional photographs are triggers for complex audio transmissions. This interaction is facilitated by the use of the augmented reality app Program Synthesis, which allows users to interact with the pieces via the app’s AR camera.
Set in the same storyline, Goodbye Horses and Star Mall share some key similarities and themes: both originate from the mind of a newly sentient AI, and are her attempts to use content from within the Media Matrix to communicate with the viewer. In Goodbye Horses she takes the viewer to the desert, playing Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson as she guides the viewer on a walk, digitally approximating horses and tumbleweeds. The walk is cut short by a call from a mysterious phone booth that suddenly appears, perhaps as a glitch, or the work of a hacker within the Media Matrix. In Star Mall, she meets the viewer on board a large spacecraft, leading them past air-locked doors into a massive shopping center, where soft jazz is playing through her approximation of an early ‘90s shopping mall sound system. As she guides the viewer into the mall, Greetings in 55 Languages are overheard in the form of conversations between people that the viewer passes. Again, the walk is interrupted by a mysterious ringing phone booth, and the transmission is cut short.