Prisoner's Cinema

This project originated from the concept of the Prisoner’s Cinema Phenomenon: a state in which an individual describes having visual hallucinations which result from long periods of light deprivation.

In my own experience living in three major metropolis’--Jakarta, Beijing and New York City-- I have often felt a similar sense of isolation when I am overstimulated in the frenetic cities I’ve lived in. It is often the case, after a long day out in the city, that I return to the quiet of my home and feel the hallucinatory effects of that environment.

The interactive installation is an empty room with only four projectors, speakers, and four motion tracking sensors attached to each of the four walls. As visitors enter the space, they see projected on each wall a different city scape from my own expereicne living here and abroad. The effect is to create a feeling of overstimulation that could cause the feeling of being isolated in the midst of a busy metropolis. At some point in the video the visitor is asked to wave back at the screen they are facing. When the visitor waves, the projections and the lights suddenly switch off, plunging the space into total silent darkness. By removing all visual and auditory stimuli, this installation uses the sudden transition from overstimulation to stimuli deprivation as a catalyst to produce the hallucinatory effects similar to the Prisoner’s Cinema Phenomenon.

To this day, there is a difference between societal expectations for women and men in Indonesia. This is mainly because of traditional views that many people still maintain in their everyday lives, such as the idea that men are the ones that support their families financially and that women do not need to worry about their careers and money, and should focus on finding a good husband and supporting their husbands instead. Therefore, many women are pressured by society, their families, and friends to follow these traditional views, and are often frowned upon when they do not follow these views. By the time they reach their mid to late twenties, they end up feeling intense pressure to get married as soon as possible.

In this animation, the blooming of the Moon Orchid, one of Indonesia’s national flowers, symbolizes a woman’s growth, the change in a woman’s mind and a woman’s heart as she learns that she has a choice to be whoever she wants to be, regardless of society’s expectations.