Real-time, site-specific media performance-installation
Latitude 53 (Edmonton AB)
Installation and performance, March 4 to 26, 2005
Performance duration: approx. 3 hours per night for 7 nights
This project involved the creation of a performance site inside the gallery, where a performer (the artist) carried out a process of retrieving items from the gallery's basement storage room, sorting the items and attaching them to the walls of the gallery to reflect on the passage of time and the obsolescence of technology.
The performance action took place at night with the audience viewing an outdoor rear-screen projection in a window on the gallery's facade. The split-screen projected image combined the real-time, sequentially switched output of a network of cameras that the performer moved within inside the gallery space, and the output of two wireless video cameras attached to the performer's wrists. The live sound of the performer's movements (along with a drone-like component) was transmitted by low-power FM radio and could be listened to by the audience on ordinary portable FM radio receivers up to about 10 metres from the projection screen.
During the day the audience could visit the performance site in the gallery but did not encounter the performer there. The residue of the performance remained in the gallery as an installation for the remainder of the exhibition.
Excerpt from artist's text in the broadsheet published in conjunction with the exhibtion:
"flowchart began as a project to deal with the impact that technology (specifically technology that had become ‘obsolete’) was having on my life. I was interested in looking at what happens to technological systems that are deemed to have reach the end of their usefulness: having being categorized as obsolete, artefacts representing enormous social investments are transformed from functioning systems into either garbage or into collectors’ items.
"I saw my role in this domain as an exploration of the processes of collection, categorization, remembering and speculation. By ‘irrationally’ reversing some of these common processes (saving broken items, valorizing obsolescent features, subordinating my lifestyle to ‘antique’ technological approaches and procedures), I have created a scenario in which my own role is no longer associated with ‘objective’ inquiry, but is embedded in more ambiguous discourses of obsessionality and nostalgia."
Media coverage: Gilbert Bouchard, "Artist puts himself under surveillance", Edmonton Journal, March 4, 2005, p. E6.
Images show the audience’s viewpoint of the video projection outside the gallery during the night-time performance, the interior of the gallery installation, and some views of the performance process underway. The audience would have seen only the projected video representations of the performer's activity.