“Virtual Wall” is an installation creating a metaphoric situation that allows participants to reflect on how technology affects how we communicate.
The installation connects two physically remote places to one another while putting up new communicative barriers. On either location, participants can interact with the other side in one of two distinct ways. A video feed (no audio) gives them the ability to communicate visually; through gestures, body language, and facial expressions. At the same time, they can also use their phones to send text messages to the other side.
Messages sent this way instantly appear on the screen at the remote location. The convenience and conciseness this offers, however, comes at a cost. Each new message contributes to the progressive degradation of the video feed. Only continued abstinence from sending new text messages will eventually restore the image quality.
In many ways, digital tools bring us closer together than ever before while also putting up barriers to our intuitive understanding of one another. This experiment tries to exemplify this dilemma.