Citizen of the Green Room

Citizen of the Green Room © 2017 Lundahl & Seitl. All rights reserved.

An installation defined as non-local micro nations: empty green-rooms.

Two visitors enter connecting themselves to VR headsets that crosswire their movements with two
other remote individuals in identical green rooms somewhere else on earth. They negotiate their
subjectivity within the collective, finding reciprocity by synchronized movements and touch, which also alter the virtual environment.


In areas of conflict, international zones called green zones form protective
enclaves. Green Screens (or Chroma Key Compositing) have been used heavily in
many fields of film production to remove the background from the subject in a filmed
environment video, making it replaceable with separately filmed environments,
where the subject is later inserted.


We seek funds to R&D and show a new installation: A Green Room – with the
inherent qualities that it is interchangeable, and intended to be replicated endlessly
over the globe as an inter-connected web of physical nodes.


The first step is to create one room in England and one in Sweden during 2 months.
The longterm goal is to make temporary Green Rooms appear around the UK and
internationally across the world.

The room opens at pre-determined time-slots that run simultaneously all over the
world (48 time slots per 24h. Visitors enter in pairs. A digital board on the wall
displays Universal Coordinated Time UTC* as well as counting down the visitors
into “live connection”. *(used for civil timekeeping all over Earths surface)...
The two visitors are informed that two other remote individuals simultaneously have
stepped into the Green Room’s international zone. Although far from each other,
once the 4 individuals enter the Green Room they are all standing within the same
micro-state. The visitors are able to see each others’ hands through live cameras part of an individual VR headset. The task is to synchronise with each other’s

movement until the visitors reach a state where they no-one longer know who is
leading or following movements. In this state it makes no difference that the hand
in front of them no longer look like theirs because it feels like theirs.

Using biofeedback technology we can track the visitors’
movements as well as their brain activity, changing the environment of
the greenroom in reciprocity with its visitors shared and conflicting emotions,
their cooperation or lack thereof. Examples of visualizations of their communication
may be weather formations: clouds, mist, light, color and darkness taking place

within virtual spaces that do not, politically, belong to anyone, e.g. international air-
space, above the earth’s atmosphere or international waters. This content is built

in the VR application: 'Unity' in collaboration with Nandi Nobell. It is important to

mention that it is the combination of sensory input that makes the experience
unique, involving other elements such as: smell, three dimensional sound, and

First Principle

:the particular politics of the green room

Ontological Politics
Absences and presences across vast distances have poetic and existential as well as
political characteristics. In fact, we do not think of these elements as separate: what
we create and release into our environments affects our experience of them. There is
a feedback loop between our actions, our environments and our experience.
Everything that we design, designs us back.

The green room is aiming to become a non-local micro-nation where everyone/anyone
on earth can become citizens once they enter the space.
Yet a citizen of the Green Room is always both individual and collective

Once a visitor stands inside the Green room he/she is potentially within all or no
countries and time-zones in the world simultaneously. Anyone inside the Green Room,
will be standing on international ground, similar to that of international waters and
airspace; like the area of an airport outside customs and immigration controls. In areas
of conflict there may be international zones called green zones that form protective
enclaves. Wherever the visitors are in the world we wish the green room to be politically
a free zone where human rights are applied and where everyone is equal to each other.
Agreement of the rules and philosophy that constitute these rooms should be
independent of surrounding geographic location, context, politics and religion.
All agreements will be put into a contract in collaboration with a lawyer - only visitors
that succeed in creating a collective individual/collective citizen will receive this at exit.


Our next task is to explore the possibility to build and keep the network of citizens within a community.

In a world where the debate is becoming more aggressive and polarized, and where
human qualities like trust and empathy are becoming depleted, the need for poetic and
receptive approaches to human relations is increasing.

How does one live inside distraction? But time itself is not data, it cannot be stored.
Attention is time. Love is attention. The digital world cannibalises time, threatens the
flow of love. How can we restore the flow of time instead of fragmenting it?
(Abha Dawesar TED).


Second Principle:
:the way time runs

The time inside the green room runs in synch with the Arctic poles. The North/South
pole are two rare places on earth where all times-zones merge/melt into one single
“time-less” place.
In theory one could walk through all the time zones within a few seconds, stressing a
new form of international time, measured: TAI (international atomic time), a high
precision atomic coordinate time standard, based on the notional passage of proper
time on Earth geoid, based on the rotation of the earth. This is the measurement that
is used for Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), which is used for civil timekeeping all
over Earth’s surface.

The cycle of day and night does not exist within the green room. There are no windows
to the outside world. The philosophy is once you stand inside the room you are
potentially within all or no countries and time-zones in the world simultaneously.
The room is in this wayavailable to anyone 24h (if circumstances allow). It is divided
into 48 exact possible entry times per 24 hours, hence you should be able to enter it
in the middle of the night. As there is no permanent human presence at the north/south
pole, no particular time zone has been assigned. Equally the green room has no
permanent human presence, although some system of guardianship should be

Third Principle

What defines the room is not its location
but the relationship between the people entering it
There should be no apparent logic to how and where the rooms appear on earth.
These green rooms could pop up anywhere, both expected and unexpected places.


Everything from high profile theatre/dance venues/high profile arts institutions to
supermarkets, churches, suburban culture/club houses, prisons, hospitals or
abandoned houses/refurbished containers/airports or even schools.
What defines this room is not its physical appearance, and not so much where it is
placed, but instead the perception and fluctuating relationship between the four
individuals that have entered it (from different geographic locations on earth).
The physical attributes of the green room are exchangeable and easy to replicate,
similar to a green screen, where any potential reality could be projected.

Fourth Principle
:using the Green Room

You enter the room in pairs. Two visitors who have possibly never previously met enter
the Green Room, 3 minutes prior to live connection. The room only opens to you at
pre-determined time-slots that run simultaneously all over the world (48 time slots per
24h). One room is entered from a public school in Sweden, Stockholm where the local
time; 18.30. A digital board on the wall displays International Atomic Time as well as
counting down the visitors into “live connection”. The two visitors are also informed that
two other remote individuals simultaneously have stepped into the Green room’s
international zone. This remote Green Room is located within a Motel in Oakland,
within the outskirts of San Francisco local time: 9.30 am. Although far from each other,
once the 4 individuals enter the Green Room they are all standing within the same
micro-state, on international ground.

As the four individuals take on their VR headsets (with live cameras) the bio-feedback
devices connect directly and start collecting information that will change the outcome
of the experience. Biofeedback: connecting inside with outside.

Depending on the live response of the four individuals’ movement, synchronicity, and
their collected bio-feedback, the room is altered into various weather
conditions/weather phenomena experienced through VR glasses. The room’s
transformational capacity will depend on the relationship between the four individuals
that enter. The implicit goal is to generate empathy: the capacity to put yourself in
someone else’s body, through a physical embodiment of the other (in this case both
near and remote individuals).

Moving and getting moved - Being Together in Time
Weather as Emotions as Language


Depending on how synched the four individuals are with each other and how their level
of trust is estimated through bio-feedback, they are together simulating a virtual
weather equivalent of their combined mood. Suddenly the visitors perhaps find
themselves within a thunderstorm, only to later float through clouds together. The
outspoken (explicit goal) is to synchronise with someone else’s movement until they
reach a state that no-one seems knows who is leading or following movements any
longer. They become one.


The algorithms will directly respond to levels of trust and movement synchronicity. If
trust and synchronicity is increased among the participants, they will experience a
sensation of floating upwards and the weather will calm down. In response to the
interaction between near and remote individuals, a constantly transforming weather
continually immerses the individuals. In other words; the immersive weather constantly
transforms itself according to the level the visitors decide to trust/distrust or synch/not
synch with each other. As their combined relations transform over time, so does the
surrounding weather around them, displaying everything from floating among soft
clouds, tornados,being under water, to the universe.
The weather is there as an extension of human emotions as a way to communicate
beyond language, over distance. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis says that language
actually determines the way you see reality, the way you perceive it.This is called
linguistic determinism. An example from popular culture is the film Arrival where the
protagonist, a linguist, is hired to find a way to communicate with aliens that arrive on earth.

By learning the ink logogram drawings projected out into water by the otopus-looking aliens,

the linguist also re-wires her brain and experience of reality.

The visitors are also able to see each other through live cameras as part of their VR
headsets. They will see each other regardless of where in the world they entered the
Green Room. As time in the room passes, their physical appearances start to merge
and melt with each other, creating something that could be defined as a new collective

Through this collective individual, they have created a citizen of the Green Room. In
other words, visitors overcome geographic distance through embodiment of the remote
other. As this may sound unusual, there is nothing new about this. The research has
been mainly undertaken by the cognitive neuroscientist Henrik Ehrsson (Karolinska
Institute, Ehrsson Lab) to clarify how the brain produces a sense of ownership of one's
body. In this way, we learn how to project ownership onto artificial bodies and
simulated virtual ones and in this particular project; a remote body. One can even make
two people have the experience of seeming to swap bodies with each other. When we
synchronise with someone else’s movement through body-swap in VR something
interesting happens; the brain starts to think the presented body is your own and you
experience a direct kinaesthetic experience of owning it.

You have embodied a stranger. You are no longer a single individual you have become
a collective individual; a citizen of the green room.

Lundahl & Seitl