Arriving Without Leaving (Guaranteed Happy Ending)
28 March 2017

presented by Lucy Pawlak and
The Institute of Immaterialism

researching critical distance in augmented reality, a live videoconference event co-hosted by Fogo Island Arts and
Art Metropole, Toronto

Augmented reality has a special kind of darkness, for (as with consciousness itself), how can we see it if we see right through it?

Arriving Without Leaving explores strategies for collectively breaking down and reconstructing the architectures of transmission, the production of space and the scripting of experience. Working with the apparatus, this event combines audiovisual technologies with the concept of transception (transmission and reception) to create a Brechtian Verfremdungseffekt / distancing effect – “Being” at one remove) from the immersive technologies themselves. An arrangement of reflexive critical discussion will swing between immersion and estrangement to produce a “Third Space” beyond the screen.

Arriving Without Leaving (Guaranteed Happy Ending)

This augmented telepresent zone, shot entirely from your Point Of View (P.O.V.), uses the format of a Choose Your Own Adventure story to explore sensations of remoteness and presence. Featuring an “interactive” romantic encounter with an Artist-in-Residence (AiR) on a far-flung island, the work deploys multi-modal five-sense stimulation, facilitating full immersion in a unified and coherent experience designed by Lucy Pawlak.

*Arriving Without Leaving
(Guaranteed Happy Ending)

available to view here.


Discussing augmented realities and immaterial forces shaping our lives via a remote third space. In this forum between Fogo Island and Toronto, each group will transmit contributions to an actor/avatar in a remote third space projected into each auditorium. Thus, the actual conversation between the two groups will be performed by their on screen avatars (see diagram).

*Documentation of video conference/performance available here.


Post-forum forum – direct line videoconference between two spaces: Art Metropole and
Fogo Island Film House.

Questions surrounding how we act together lie at the core of Lucy Pawlak’s practice. She aims to design structures for reflexive navigation of how and why we conform to systems and what the possibilities of breaking with patterns might offer. She is involved in ongoing practical research into the potential for critical distance in augmented reality. Pawlak is currently an Artist-in-Residence on Fogo Island, experimenting with wireless transception and remote communication.

*Text by Kay Burns — No Fixed Address: UK Artist Lucy Pawlak creates a ‘Third Space’ on Fogo Island, available here.

The Institute of Immaterialism is an event-based publishing project that spawns experiences designed with the immaterial forces that shape our contemporary social landscape. We work with artists, pale ontologists, paleontologists, anglers, wranglers, and economists to collectively explore immaterial markets, social networks, pecking orders, and power struggles. We temporarily give ourselves over to instructions. A loose series of minutes are collected and circulated freely. Co-edited by Cressida Kocienski and
Erik Martinson.

Art Metropole is a not-for-profit organisation with a focus on the production, dissemination and contextualization of artist-initiated publication in any media, especially those formats and practices predisposed to sharing and circulation. Contact Art Metropole.

Fogo Island Arts located off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada, Fogo Island Arts was established in 2008. A residency-based contemporary art venue, the programs of Fogo Island Arts support artistic research and production for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers, and thinkers from around the world. In addition to artist residencies, exhibitions and publications, Fogo Island Arts produces a series of think tank events called the Fogo Island Dialogues, held on Fogo Island and in other locations. All Fogo Island Arts initiatives are part of a social enterprise-based business model that supports the economic viability of the Fogo Island Inn and the growth of tourism on Fogo Island.