Mind Games 2018 by Julia Featherstone & Josh Harle

Mind Games (2018) is an interactive simulacra artwork by collaborators Julia Featherstone and Josh Harle that explores our complex and evolving relationships to technology, machine learning, camera surveillance and digital avatars. As participants enter the exhibition space, they see themselves mirrored as a cyborg on a digital screen––which causes them to respond in diverse and unexpected ways. Some participants are delighted and engage in physical movement and dance with the cyborg. Others are more introspective and engage in contemplative conversation. Occasionally, some viewers fold their arms, waiting for the cyborg to respond, reflecting the artist David Rokeby’s (1996) observation that “people sometimes feel irritation when faced with an interactive artwork, because they feel their behaviour is being judged”. In this case the simulacra will cross their arms, sharing the ambivalent interaction.

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