Near-Strangers (2017) is an installation by artist duo DIASPORA (Constanza Casamadrid & Juan León Sarmiento), produced during their Summer Sessions residency at V2_.

Near-Strangers looks into the process of getting to know the people with whom we have meaningless interactions and who would otherwise remain strangers. When does someone become recognizable? What is it to be recognizable?

The project makes the network of links between people visible through two types of objects: Circuit Portraits and Memory Sound Boxes. Both objects invite the audience to get closer (please d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶  cross the line) and literally to make contact (please d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶  touch). This network emerged between August 3 and September 14 in places in Rotterdam, including V2_ (DIASPORA’s workspace) and the Wolphaertstraat in the Charlois neighborhood (where they live).

Circuit Portraits (2017) is a light installation composed of interactive portraits of the people DIASPORA met during their residency. These portraits made of copper react to touch and light up to become more detailed and also to reveal the connections that exist between them

Memory Sound Box (2017) is a box-shaped object that collects recordings and images of the near-strangers that DIASPORA’s acquaintances identified in their lives. Each box reproduces a narrated story and shows a photograph of the place where it happened. To listen to the story, you need to get close to the object. As you get closer, the volume rises – a whisper becoming a chat.

DIASPORA, Constanza Casamadrid & Juan León – Near-Strangers – Summer Sessions 2017 from V2_ on Vimeo.

This project is produced as part of the Summer Sessions Network for Talent Development in a co-production of Master in Technology and Aesthetics of Electronic Arts - National University of Tres de Febrero and V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media.
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