Pietu Pietiäinen & Juha Valkeapää: The Truth

The Truth is an oracle-like entity that people visit in order to learn truth. To enter the room of the oracle, the visitors are asked to answer one question: “What is the truth?”, by writing the answer on a desktop computer. The languages used can vary depending on where the work is presented. We learn that truth is relative.

The Truth is an interactive installation, in which viewers are invited to share their truths with an oracle. 

The truths that people write in any selected language for the oracle are randomly read aloud by the low-pitch computer voice. The projection light cone reacts to sound and becomes both the eye and the mouth of the oracle.  

The installation is inspired, alongside various oracle legends, by the horn of Archangel Gabriel in which she would blow on the Armageddon day. The conelike shape of the projection of the entity’s speaking mouth reminds also of the geometric figure, named after the same legend “Gabriel’s Horn” which is a known mathematical paradox with infinite surface area but finite volume. Other influences include the mystical Roman marble piece “La Bocca della Verità” (The Mouth of Truth) and the “Pure Sculpture” works by Anthony McCall.  

The Truth is a speaking, moving mouth or an eye, forming a deep, hypnotic three-dimensional tunnel in a dark space that is filled with harmless theatre hazer smoke. The random truths will be triggered when a spectator approaches the breathing light in the dark space. The optimal point for receiving the truth is in the centre of the projection cone, along the centre line of the room.  

At all exhibition times the work requires an attendant who is showing the audience their way in and out the dark room and controlling the right amount of hazer smoke as well as people in the space. The same person will guide the audience to answer the question before entering the installation. 

Light sources, materials, and equipment:  
Video projection, hazer smoke, loudspeaker, computer.

Dimensions of the work, approximately (width-height-depth): 
Minimum 7 meters of room depth, can be narrow, can be low in the ceiling but the bigger space the better. Scales up easily.

Electricity consumption:
Standard mains current (10A/16A).

Does the artwork use sound?
Ambient sound.

Support and other structures:
The work includes all the necessary structures.

Structures, hardware, or other equipment needed from the client: 
To darken the installation space may require structures, as well as hazer smoke control.

Minimum height of the space:
2,5 meters

Minimum square meters of the space:
30 m2

Requirements for the space: darkness, temperature, colouring (light / dark / specific colour / other) etc.:
Darkened space, double door curtain, hazer smoke possibility, table, chair and power for the computer & guard by the entrance. Temperature over 10° for the computer table, over 0° for the projector and the hazer to operate well.

Building time and people required (estimate):
1 day if the space is darkened already.

Artist's presence:
Artist or their representative must be present during building.

Seen before at:
Ärjän taidefestivaali (work-in-progress) 2019, Flash 2 Suomenlinna, Helsinki 2019, Haihatus Joutsa 2019


BLAF Best of Light Art in Finland
is hosted by
Finnish Light Art Society FLASH

Producer: Annukka Ketola
+358 40 735 3972

Mia Kivinen / mia.kivinen@valotaiteenseura.fi
Anna Björklund / anna.bjorklund@valotaiteenseura.fi

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