Heidi Tikka

Mother, Child & The Double

13 November - 19 December 2004

In the winter of 2004, Fabrica invited visitors to explore fundamental human relationships amid the commercial hubbub of Christmas, by exhibiting two interactive video installations by Finnish artist Heidi Tikka.

Mother, Child was a video installation that represented the experience of a mother holding her baby. Exhibition visitors were invited to participate in the experience of cradling, feeding and bonding with a virtual infant. Through its computer-controlled behaviour, the video projection of the baby had a life-like appearance that both simulated intimacy and acted as a focal point for a broader portrait of motherhood.

The Double was a new commission for Fabrica that presented the image of a sleeping four-year old child within whose dreams visitors were invited to participate. Throughout the shifting states of sleep the child’s dreams and visions were relayed as unfolding fragments of domestic life starkly punctuated by moments of wakefulness. From the child’s bedside, and from the mother’s perspective, visitors were able to influence the pattern of sleep and interact with the emerging stream of consciousness.

Heidi Tikka combines the use of new technology with real objects in order to represent the intimacy of close contact. She involves visitors in environments in which their movement and voices can generate immediate responses and mimic real life interaction between adults and infants.

Heidi Tikka is a media artist and a researcher at the UIAH Media Lab Helsinki, where she has also been teaching media art and media culture since 1997. Her projects often involve collaborations, most frequently with her son. Recent work has involved the participation of parents submitting live images of their new-born children via camera-phones. She has just been awarded the first annual AVEK prize for audiovisual art.