Ouroboros (2008) by Alvaro Cassinelli
“Ouroboros” is a shared virtual space, a world-scale tunnel built by chaining video-conferencing cameras and projectors in a closed loop around the world. This virtual space comes into contact with the Earth at several entry points or “Gates” situated in different cities, each standing in a location particularly representative of the place (public squares, markets, private homes, etc). Each Gate is simply composed of a projection screen, a video camera a little far away, and an “interstitial” public space in between. The camera captures the whole view – that is, the passersby and the standing projection screen blended in the background – and the resulting live stream is sent over the Internet to be projected onto a similar structure – in a different city, in a different country, in a different continent. The process repeats itself until the loop is completed, as the final video is projected back onto the first screen – only to restart a tour in an eternal circulation. In its (almost) instantaneous travel around the world, the video stream will gather “souvenirs” of the visited places. People from all around the world will appear on the screen as standing in the middle of a tunnel whose walls are composed by an infinite recursion of (Matryoshka-like) nested video windows; one can recognize the actual location of the shooting in each of these rectangular frames.