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The Motion After Effect

The Motion After Effect - (2004) is an interactive video installation. The work explores the illusionary physiological experience of the motion after effect. The motion after effect occurs when a subject moves in one direction continuously and then stops suddenly and stares at a fixed point in space. The background appears to move in the opposite direction that the viewer has travelled.

The installation presents a simulation of the motion after effect utilising a zoom in to a star filled night sky triggered by pressure sensors. In this work I was concerned with simulating the residual effects of a journey and the comparative experience of urban and non-urban spaces.

The installation was developed as a direct response to my experiences of the motion after effect phenomenon; outside of the sphere of the urban environment. The buzz of the city and the sound of many simultaneous journeys is replaced by the hiss of nature and the sound of singular footsteps. The ancient image of the stars, normally obscured by the ambient lights of the city, can be perceived in its vast scale and grandeur - it perhaps speaks subtly of our own scale.

The physiological experience of the motion after effect can be explained by asurge in the motion detectors in the brain that become attuned to our motion in a particular direction. In the absence of motion in a given direction, the detectors tuned to the opposing direction are activated and surge - thus
creating the illusion. Investigation of this experience seemed to parallel the feeling of journeying out of the space of the city, the senses surge and become a tuned to an apposing direction.


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