Travelogue, a Web game that Studer / van den Berg developed for the TV and Online-Project 56kTV bastard channel, is a first-person travelogue whose narrator is the user, trying to escape from the claustrophobic narrowness of an anonymous hotel room and the annoying background noise of a broken television. With the very first action – that of looking for a remote control in order to shut off the sound – the narrator’s comment is briefly blended in: The remote control seems to be broken.
Although the narrator seems to comment in a neutral-polite style each time another possibility to leave the site is thwarted, the user feels increasingly uncomfortable, stuck in this noisy, narrow space. If at first identification with the search for a quiet, paradisiacal place by the sea unites user and narrator into one protagonist, the two levels of the figure drift further apart through the emotional discrepancy between neutral commentary and increasing unrest. The emptiness of the minimalistic world of images is revealed, depending on the user, as a potential generator of an emotional odyssey.
(Text: Bettina Back)
Monica Studer (*1960), Zurich, Switzerland, and Christoph van den Berg (*1962), Basel, Switzerland, live and work in Basel.
Collaborating as artists since 1991 and on Internet projects since 1996. 2003 visiting professorship for new media at the Kunsthochschule in Kassel.