Park Bench Sojourn is a multi-modal arts project that questions what it means to be human; surrounded, as we are, by computer technologies and digital media, living lives which are perpetually connected and dispersed through the cloud. It explores ways in which we perform ourselves and mediate experience via digital technologies. It reflects on how our technologically determined lives and lifestyles conspire against us to find opportunities to stop, reflect and be witnesses to lived experience. The project is a contribution to post-digital aesthetics, exploring what it is to be human in the twentyfirst century.
The project as a whole is based around a range of sojourns, they are experiential and require participants to find a bench to sit on and then take a sojourn, or any number of sojourns as explained on the PBS website, which may include audio, video, spoken word, or just listening – see parkbenchsojourn.org for more information. The two iterations of Park Bench Sojourn in this exhibition, one an ‘art installation’ and the other a ‘VR experience’, are different in that participants are not first required to seek out a bench of their own as part of the sojourn.
// MATTHEW SANSOM