Carsten Höller ‘Test Site’

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As I want my work to be interactive, I thought I would have a look at some artists who have created interactive sculptural pieces. I have always been very interested in interactive work; how they help create an ‘experience’ for the viewer and also how the viewer’s experience and reaction feeds back into the piece. In my work I am comfortable with the concept that items may get broken or damaged, as I feel that the piece does not finish just when I stop working on it, but that it keeps evolving and that as each viewer interacts with the piece, it is theirs for that moment and they could as a result make a lasting change.

I decided to start with Holler and his ‘Test Site’ which was made up of five interactive spiralling slides, running from the upper areas of the Tate to the ground floor. Holler called it a “platform of interaction” with people experiencing a range of emotions from exhilaration to anxiety and fear. Being a scientist before becoming an artist, Holler set up this work as an experiment to see if the slides would change visitors’ perceptions and behaviours. He wanted to create more of a carnival feeling to the gallery and was interested to discover whether people would let-go and feel more liberated. Although visitors had the choice whether or not to use the slides instead of the lift or stairs, the lifts still made a statement and posed some interesting questions, which pulled all viewers in.

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