Real-time, site-specific media performance-installation
Members' access exhibition, Struts Gallery, Sackville NB
Soundtrack simulcast on CHMA 106.9 FM
June 15 - 16, 2002
Performance duration: 7.25 hours
flow-chart is both an installation and a live performance that is viewed at night from the street outside the gallery. During the day, during normal gallery hours, the performance space is open, and it is possible to walk around the installation and observe it from the inside. At night, the gallery doors are closed, and the performance occurs during an advertised time period. The work involves a single performer (the artist), live video projection in the gallery windows and a recorded soundtrack broadcast by a campus-community FM radio station.
The premise of the work is the performer's "processing" of a piece of obsolete, discarded and demolished electronic equipment, through a large-scale "flowchart" delineated on the gallery floor. The performer's actions on the material can be observed in the nighttime video projection. The flowchart conceived as is a kind of stage set or game board: installation material is processed through it. The audience observes the projected output of a multi-camera video system in the gallery windows, listens to the soundtrack on their own FM radio receiver, or both. The listening audience might be walking by the gallery with a portable radio receiver, driving in a car equipped with a radio receiver, or tuning in anywhere in the broadcast range of the radio station.
The work is motivated by an interest in the question of technological obsolescence, and by a desire to explore the boundaries of the gallery as a presentation space. The flowchart is an attempt to reinterpret the performer's actions as a kind of computer program by radically slowing down the time base and greatly enlarging the physical scale of a typical information processing operation. Instead of quick, invisible pulses of electricity, the "data" in this operation are bulky, inconvenient and insistently physical.
The long duration of the performance corresponds to this magnification of temporal scale, while the spatialization of movements and materials throughout the gallery alludes to an investment in the material world which is nevertheless mediated by the outdoor video presentation. The video projection represents a kind of "monitoring" of the operation being performed. The repetitive quality of the activity being performed is reinforced by the meditative soundtrack, which is designed to sustain and pace the performer's movements.