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Sunday, Dec. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


An interactive experience

'1000 Kisses' a multimedia paradise; Andrea Stanislav presents a 'virtual playground'

Rainbow Brite. 1998 in Canada. Popples. The taste of salt water. My little brother in a blue sled on Christmas. These are some of my memories. Elements from the mind such as memories, passion and discovery form to make the new SoFA Gallery exhibit come to life in front of the visitor's eyes. \n"1000 Kisses," an installation by Andrea Stanislav, seeks to break all barriers between art and its observer through various methods of interactive and symbolic multimedia. \nUpon entering the gallery, my first impressions were of a bare, uncompleted space. I even thought I entered the wrong building. But as I started to look around, I noticed this wasn't your ordinary watercolor, stare-and-admire, be-polite-and-don't-say-anything art exhibit. I had stepped into a virtual playground. \nThree walls of mirrors, each sporting words, most of them random and not seeming to make any sense at all, dominated the first room of the exhibit. Two computers, used to view the exhibit's Web site, shared the space. After looking around for a few minutes, reading the mirrors and remaining completely confused, I peered into the next room. Sound echoed from it. \nStanding in the doorway, I faced a surreal image: a cluster of 9-foot-tall mirrored towers in front of a wall of color photographs, surrounded by two walls lined with tubes of lipstick. I began to wander and discovered that the lipstick was a complimentary gift and could be used to make kiss marks on the mirrored towers. Making my way through the small city of obelisks, I arrived at the back wall. Here sat what I expected: 1000 photographs of kisses. And yet I felt that something somewhere still begged to be recognized. So I stood, and circled, and thought, and it hit me: sound. Sound lightly hit me from all areas of the room and from behind the wall with the photographs. \nSo, expecting to find a janitor's closet or an "Exit" sign, I peered around the photograph wall, and to my surprise found a small viewing room where a film clip played. So I sat down in one of the wood chairs and took it in. Like much of the exhibit, it took a while to register, but I soon began to see an ice skater and various images of people kissing a mirror. \nAfter touring the complete installation, pondering what it all meant, reflecting on all my experiences, it all came together for me: experiences. I had taken part in every aspect of the exhibit. The worded mirrors stared back at me, I controlled the computers, I put on lipstick and kissed the mirrored towers, I was IN the art. \nThis highly interactive exhibit even has two notebooks, located in the first room, where visitors can share their favorite memories by writing them down. \n"My experimental, multimedia installations begin with the desire to capture the 'proof' of seemingly intangible energies," Stanislav said.\n"The exhibit has to be experienced live," he said. "And it is experienced by the way the person moves through the space. It can only exist in the way they experience it. Not in a book or in a slide.\n"The installation was conceived through the process of collecting photographs of landscapes in the act of motion, and of people in the passionate act of kissing. Then the collection of audio and text recording of their favorite memories began."\nMany Bloomington voices can be heard in these recordings and many Bloomington faces can be seen in the wall of photographs in the installation.\nThe installation experience provided a new and exciting way of looking at the world of art. The human psyche in itself is a work of art, and the exhibit uses that very element to produce an intellectual and interactive masterpiece.

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