Robbie Cooper: Immersion

watching Peppa Pig
Jack Peacock watching Peppa Pig, 2009 Age: 1 Location: Bradford, England.
(Image credit: TBC)

When Robbie Cooper filmed a series of porn aficionados sharing (and showing) the depths of their passions for Wallpaper’s inaugural sex issue last year the response was explosive. The photographer and video artist films people through a screen (in which a Red digital camera is embedded) watching a range of different visual stimuli, from computer games to horror films, footage of executions to children’s cartoons. He then takes stills from the footage and the extremely high-resolution, densely saturated portraits are the resulting works of art.

The most striking thing is that you can’t tell who’s watching what (though the flinching ecstasy of Cooper’s ‘Immersion: Porn’ participants is a bit of a giveaway). Is a girl sniggering at porn or a cartoon? No, she’s actually watching the torture and execution of a Mexican soldier. Though the portraits are imbued with artistic merit based purely on the clarity and sharpness of the images themselves, they become even more intriguing when you realize what the individuals are watching.

(Image credit: TBC)

Watch Robbie Cooper: Immersion

A series of Cooper’s Immersion portraits are the subject of an exhibition at the National Media Museum, combined with a selection of his Alter Ego portraits – a pictorial study of computer gamers and the avatars they create to represent themselves in the virtual world.

The significance of Cooper’s portfolio is immense for a generation saturated by and engrossed in media, in all its forms. When one considers the extent to which our lives are spent staring at a screen – absorbing, downloading, interacting, passively and actively – it pays to see what’s happening in our faces when the screen shoots back. The results are unguarded examples of human emotion expressed in an entirely one-sided exchange - a fascinating byproduct of the technological and internet revolution - amusing, heartwarming and also rather dark at times.

watching Overdrive

(Image credit: TBC)

Watch Robbie Cooper's Immersion: Porn

watching Monsters

Savannah Shimmin watching Monsters, Inc. 2009
Age: 2
Location: Bradford, England.

(Image credit: TBC)

playing Hulk

Drew Hugh playing Hulk, 2008
Age: 7
Location: New York City, USA.

(Image credit: TBC)

playing Grand Theft Auto IV

Victoria Crowe playing Grand Theft Auto IV, 2008.

(Image credit: TBC)

playing Tekken: Dark Resurrection

Jessica Hardy playing Tekken: Dark Resurrection, 2008
Age: 13
Location: Grimsby, England.

(Image credit: TBC)

playing Call of Duty 4

Alexander Kinch playing Call of Duty 4, 2008
Age: 12
Location: Grimsby, England.

(Image credit: TBC)

watching The Death of Neda during 2009 Iranian election protests

Timmie McLees watching The Death of Neda during 2009 Iranian election protests, on YouTube, 2009
Age: 31
Location: Bradford, England.

(Image credit: TBC)

watching Torture and Execution of a Mexican Zeta soldier

Sumara Bi Sultan watching Torture and Execution of a Mexican Zeta soldier, videos.expectaculos.com via Digg, 2009
Age: 23
Location: Bradford, England.

(Image credit: TBC)

watching Paranormal Activity

Natalie Taylor watching Paranormal Activity, 2009
Age: 25
Location: Bradford, England.

(Image credit: TBC)

watching The Crash Pad

Lindsay watching The Crash Pad, 2009
Age: 22
Location: New York City, USA.

(Image credit: TBC)

watching Overdrive

Benjamin Solomon watching Overdrive, 2009
Age: 26
Location: New York City, USA.

(Image credit: TBC)

watching (undisclosed)

Theodore Bouloukos watching (undisclosed), 2009
Age: 47
Location: New York City, USA.

(Image credit: TBC)

Rurouni Kenshin in Star Wars Galaxies

Jason Rowe is Rurouni Kenshin in Star Wars Galaxies, 2003
Born: 1975
Occupation: None
Location: Crosby, Texas, USA
Average hours per week in-game: 80.

(Image credit: TBC)

Dark Freeman in City of Heroes

Jean-François De La Fage is Dark Freeman in City of Heroes, 2006
Born: 1979
Occupation: Journalist
Location: Paris, France
Average hours per week in-game: 21.

(Image credit: TBC)

Ligar in EverQuest

Kim Nyvang is Ligar in EverQuest, 2003
Born: 1978
Occupation: Butcher
Location: Roennede, Denmark
Average hours per week in-game: 27.

(Image credit: TBC)

Megatox in City of Villains

Serge Creola is Megatox in City of Villains, 2006
Born: 1958
Occupation: Hotline manager
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Average hours per week in-game: 20.

(Image credit: TBC)

Naemie Theud in Guild Wars

Thierry Te Dunne is Naemie Theud in Guild Wars, 2006
Born: 1963
Occupation: Building superintendent
Location: Angers, France
Average hours per week in-game: 21.

(Image credit: TBC)