When someone screams in real life, do they hear us in virtual reality? Do they want to? CATERWAUL is an interactive sound installation that operates as a one way “portal” to Second Life via the internet. A physical wall in Boston operates as a totemic locus of grief. People approach it with intent to wail and mourn. The mourners grieve their lost loved ones who spend more time in virtual and on-line worlds than they do communicating in real life. The cacophony of the lamentation is recorded by hidden microphones in the wall, transmitted across the Internet and piped out of an "identical" wall in the virtual world Second Life. A website displaying a simulation of the wall allows other people, on the threshold of "real" and "second" life, to vicariously eavesdrop the wailing.
by Pierre Proske, with technical assistance from Artem Baguinski and Brigit Lichtenegger
with funds from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts