[ISEA95] Artist Statement: Peter Sweenen — Imagine the Skylines of the World

Artist Statement

This work is the result of a live, on-stage art performance by Robin Noorda and Peter Sweenen, held on May 17 1994 in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht, the Netherlands. The event was staged at the occasion of the Jaarbeurs’ first Imagination trade show, on digital imaging. The aim of the project was to cross space and time by means of a desktop video conferencing system, catching the Now Moment on a virtual canvas. Working simultanously with artists in Boston, Sydney and Tokyo, we all had access to remote control cameras (pan, tilt, zoom & focus) on rooftops positioned at different locations all over the world. Each artist was able to grab images, manipulate them and include them in the collage in real time, while seeing the complete work in progress. The image was also projected in front of a live audience of some 500 people in Utrecht. The end result, the canvas, was then printed full colour in a limited edition on a gigantic plotter, in a size of several square meters and in a smaller (poster) size for all of the members of the audience to take home.

Participating artists were Diana Roman (Boston), Sui Moritu (Tokyo), Josephine Grieve (Sydney), Peter Sweenen & Robin Noorda (Utrecht). Producer of the event was Wim van der Plas, The Netherlands.

  • Peter Sweenen (Netherlands) is a visual artist, independent and commissioned filmmaker and television producer. He is an A-level tutor at the Rotterdam Academy for Art & Design, of the Utrecht School of Arts and visiting professor at Scan (Groningen), the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), the American University (Washington DC), and the Animation Workshop (Viborg, Danemark). He has created logos and animated intros, notably for SISEA and for the Foundation for Contemporary Improvised Music, both in 1990, and created many films, among which Crucifix (’78), Bite (’80), Almost Clutched his Hand (’82), Animation has no Borders (’86) and Snert (’91).

The project was supported by KPN Telecommunication, demonstrating, through the project, their desktop video conferencing system.