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Average Collectivity​

“Average Collectivity” is a video documentation of an alternating digital mirror. This digital mirror is used in private, semi-private/semi-public and public spaces to simultaneously create images of dispersion and connectivity as a comment on memory and identity.


Eleni Alexandri



The digital mirror documents private and public spaces as extensions of the binary pair of Self and Other(s) and their dialectic, which concludes in collectivity; it shows how an image, a unit, consists of smaller individualities and concludes in ostensibly isolated points which are the result of another similarly developed circle. City, block apartments, corridors, rooms - community, groups, Self are containers or spaces where collectivity develops, thrives and changes/alternates. Additionally, “Average Collectivity” is a comment on the polarity of these concepts and physical spaces and their borders, whose vagueness is becoming increasingly more noticeable today, particularly when the private space turns into the publicity of cyberspace. Thus, “Average Collectivity” serves to compose and visualise these qualities in a non-linear narration of the above-mentioned containers/spaces.


“Average Collectivity” consist of eight different and alternating scenes; the eighth scene can be seen in the second section of videos. The first one is a simple image from a web camera, which gradually starts to split, spread, and repeat in real time; on the other hand, the last scene (second section of videos) is a mirror of a combination of moments/images in time. Footage is received and divided into smaller pieces, a grid whose parts appear in the image with an individual delay/time. The result is an average image of parts which are the result of what I call the “average collectivity” of any type of place, person or condition, anything in front of the camera at the moment the footage is taken. Ideally, there would be more than one input device/source, so that different spaces could be included in the visual composition. Likewise, the video would have only one section which would combine the different space in one video frame. In this way, the work could function as an alternative surveillance camera, not for control but for building and presenting these small places of communication.


Benjamin Grosser [1] uses online location footage to create a point where visitors to a website can connect via their IP; a temporal community which connects physical space with cyber space. The “Tracing you” website works as a connection between that which can be considered as personal behaviour on a network and serves as a comment on the blurred lines between the secrecy of personal, private choices and their public availability. Although Grosser sees his work as a computational surveillance system, the collective aspect of it cannot be ignored. The same artist has worked with software as a mirror in the “Flexible Pixels” project - particularly the self-portraits - , which aesthetically influenced the final scene of “Average Collectivity”. Moreover, my approach is related to a number of works by Jason Salavon [2], in which he uses the average of a number of images of the same theme to create an image which is actually moving in time and probably space.


 “Average Collectivity” is created with openframeworks (C++). The video documentation of the program is based on live-stream footage.