UBI-SCreen, a distant intimacy

Isabelle Grosse
Telecom ParisTech

How do we continue living together when we are away ?

UBI-Screen is an interactive web movie about "distant intimacy", made of recordings from face-to-face video calls, between Ange and Yoro, a young african couple. Ange was living in Ivory Coast while Yoro was staying in France. They used to meet everyday through their webcams in a ritualized relationship. What they were saying was not always amazing, often ordinary, but never insignificant. The distance emphasizes everyday life and their video conversations could last up to 6 or 7 hours, which enabled a temporality close to the one in real life.

Based on the principle of multi-camera capture, UBI-Screen is a film dedicated to internet and exploits the possibilities of interactivity to produce a new screening of moving images. The multiple captation proceeds as follows :
• using a standard video camera, Isabelle Grosse shoots Yoro at home, in France,
• simultaneously webcams images of both sides (Ange and Yoro) are recorded.
Ubi-Screen shows Ange's and Yoro's conversation and one of their faces (or both their faces) altogether on the screen.The screening of the three different sources of images is done within a single screen (unlike conventional multi-screen or editing). This web movie is processed through a totally new interface that the artist has entirely conceived, and which enables viewers to switch from one character to another, without breaking the conversation flow between the characters. Such a device enhances the effect of presence and immerses the viewer into an active behavior thanks to the possibility offered to switch between characters.

This project has been run by Isabelle Grosse in collaboration with the sociologist Dana Diminescu). This project has received support from the CNC (French National Center for Cinematography) and the company Regart.net

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