Interactive Photography Installation: Analogue photography combined with digital imaging and text | Video projection | Interactive application
© Maria Paschalidou 2012

Text: Selected fragments from Louise Bourgeois’ art/book, He disappeared into complete silence | Viewers’ written interaction

Sound synthesis: Manolis Manousakis

Programming & software development: Marinos Koutsomichalis

 is an interactive installation that explores the fragile and unforeseeable relation between image and language taking as a reference Louise Bourgeois’ printed art/book “He disappeared into complete silence” produced in 1947. Combining analogue photography with digital imaging and text, the ten images of Arbitrariness installation (most of which are in black and white) reflect on the fictitious and the estranged spaces that were initially suggested by Bourgeois’ associations of image and text.

The installation creates an environment where the audience participates in a process of assembling and re-interpreting Bourgeois’ ‘original’ artwork. In particular, through software that allows improvisations in writing, viewers can digitally manipulate the visual result by inserting their own texts anywhere on the projected photographic image. This process makes possible connections from the past to the present; from the printed material to the digital; from the digital to the interactive. Moreover, the software has been designed to back-up all the combinations and record all the written responses of the viewers.

In Arbitrariness, viewers do not draw words from databases; they use their own words, expression and imagination to respond to the projected imagery. In the exhibition space, this act of texting often developed into a collective experience in which participants answer to each other’s comments on the screen in poetic dialogues merging politics with aesthetics.


  • Beton 7. Athens, 14-31 March 2013.
  • Beyond the limits of the gaze. Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art. Thessaloniki, 11 May – 17 June 2012. Curators: Syrago Tsiara, Domna Gounari


  • Photographic Encounters 2019. Eleftherios Venizelos Research Foundation, Elena Venizelou Square, Chalepa, Chania, 3-5 May 2019. (Maria Paschalidou, Practices of incorporating text in the photographic image: The case of the participatory interactive photography installation, Arbitrariness). Arbitrariness @ Photo Encounters | Photo Encounters Program Conference 2019
  • Fine Art Practices/Photography Research Group Conference. School of Arts; Art, Design and Humanities, De Montfort University. Leicester, UK, 26 June 2014. (Maria Paschalidou, Installation as a space of re-making, participating and meta-commenting)
  • Textual, Visual & Digital Cultures Conference. School of Arts; Art, Design and Humanities. De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, 21 February 2014. (Maria Paschalidou, Arbitrariness Interactive Photography Installation)


  • Simmons, M. (2015) Making Photographs. London: Bloomsbury (Maria Paschalidou, Arbitrariness, 151-53)