The Inside of Houses

Lisa Gye, Bronwyn Coupe, Interactive CD-ROM, e-media, Melbourne

e-media, a new gallery space dedicated to the display of computer-based art, kicked off in June with the presentation of Bronwyn Coupe’s interactive CD-ROM The Inside of Houses. A thoughtful and whimsical work, The Inside of Houses offers the user a guided tour through the memories of the author’s family. Each family member was asked to contribute their recollection of the floor-plan of a house inhabited by the family years before. The user is invited to navigate their way through each floor-plan, drawing out hidden sounds and video footage in the process. The vast difference in the floor plans produced by each member—and the sounds and images they invoke—is then used as a device to prompt the user into contemplating the way in which, to use Coupe’s words, “notions of size, distance, direction and connection are influenced by each person’s personal mythology”.

The work cleverly draws attention to both the computer’s status as a memory machine and its ability to archive and cross-reference. It does claim to allow the audience their chance to add to the work with drawings and stories about a place they have lived in, but I wasn’t able to get it to do this. That aside, The Inside of Houses runs well and provides the user with an enjoyable experience.

An initiative of the Centre for Contemporary Photography and Experimenta, e-media is a welcome addition to the electronic art scene. Look out for future programs featuring Sally Pryor’s Postcard from Tunis and Megan Heywood’s I am a Singer.

e-media is open Wednesday to Friday 11-5 and Saturday 2-5 at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, 205 Johnston Street, Fitzroy 3065

RealTime issue #20 Aug-Sept 1997 pg. 28

© Lisa Gye; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 August 1997