Eric Rieper - Selected Works Portfolio
Functional Embrace is a reflection on technology's ability and intentions to facilitate intimate social exchanges. The exhibition features three collections of work that employ the interactions and surrounding language of contemporary Internet services and digital devices to produce both moving and conceptually critical experiences.
The following brief overview was presented on the exhibition statement available to viewers at the gallery:
Wake Up With the World is a collaborative experience. An iOS app used as an alarm clock, when you wake your GPS coordinates are translated into musical notes and joined with those of every other person waking up at the same moment as you. All these notes are combined and the song you wake to is composed of the presence of everyone else doing the same.
Each participant becomes a unique instrument in the composition, taking one of four roles: lead, bass, chords, or percussion. As more people join the length of the composition increases, as does the tempo of the music and the root note that the song is based off of.
The Functional Embrace installation of Wake Up With the World chronicles and displays the activity of participants across the duration of the exhibition, condensing one week into one ever expanding composition.
The Embrace Objects (12”x12”x12”, Acrylic, Spandex, Custom electronics) reveal their relationship with the participant as they choose to engage with and approach the sculpture. Embrace Object 1 (Arousal) contorts and reaches out to meet with the viewer. Embrace Object 2 (Fantasy) displays its beauty from far away, glowing a vivid pink, but as the participant grows closer that desired quality extinguishes. itconnects.us directly connects anonymous participants— represented by the movements of their mouse cursors and expanding mesh connecting them, allowing for new forms of communication and exchange.
h-o-ld.me connects participants with one partner and gives them the ability to reach out to one another. The act facilitates people consensually engaging in the same physical gesture— holding hands with one another via internet mechanisms.
2014 Thesis Paper