The Art of Privacy: Karmic_Lapse, 2014

In our inaugural year, the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities has been examining the topic of privacy from a variety of critical, cultural, and artistic angles. Through conferences, lectures, film screenings, and public discussions (like the upcoming Big Ideas @ TU event), the Center and its guests have raised questions about how privacy shapes our democracy, how it has changed over time, and how digital technologies might now be redrawing its boundaries.

In addition to this public programming, the Center’s research fellows have also been examining the idea of privacy, drawing on their varied expertise in law, literature, art, cinema, history, technology, and journalism. In the next few weeks, the results of this research will be shared publicly and we’re happy to highlight first the work of Aaron Higgins, Assistant Professor of Art at TU. Working in the medium of video and installation art, he has created and exhibited an interactive piece titled Karmic_Lapse. Here’s how he describes it:

“Karma is the sum of one’s actions in this and previous states of existence and is viewed as deciding one’s fate in future existences. Karmic Lapse uses a camera feed that is processed live and abstracted into the imagery. The camera as both source and sensor allows an element of randomness and serendipity to exist. Viewers move in front of the work as video clips are shuffled and re-edited, capturing still images and incorporating them into the composition. The effect is one where imagery is altered and recomposed by the virtue of one’s presence and the act of viewing.”

This piece has been on display at Living Arts here in Tulsa as well as at other venues around the country including the International Digital Media & Arts Association Summit, where it won the Audience Choice Award. You can see Aaron’s work at TU’s Arts and Humanities Festival on April 28th.