Panoramic multi-monitor, single channel, digital video installation series. Run time varies, averaging 1-1.5 hours per installation (real time of the bicycle ride used to generate the piece).
STRIP / NSA: In the process of making the first piece in this series, I rode my bicycle for 12 miles on North Spaulding Avenue in Chicago- a typical street in the Chicago grid, crossing 7 neighborhoods from it’s rough southern origins, where my studio is located, past my old home, to the affluent northern suburbs, scanning the street-scape with a side-mounted video camera. I then proceeded to create an installation presenting a fragmented video panorama, constructed of consecutive moving frames from that single traveling shot, spatially laid out next to each other so that each slice shows a moment a few seconds behind that of it’s neighbor. These slices combine to resemble a long, strip-like cross section of the street that expands and contracts with my motions. The bicycle-generated bumps ripple through the panorama constantly, keeping it from ever achieving perfect alignment. The result, rather than being an objective, top-down document like it’s militaristic namesake (Strip is army parlance for a piece of an aerial surveillance map), resembles an unwrapped, first person memory of travel, or the undulations of a body. Since it may be scaled and expanded to fill any space by adding more adjacent windows into consecutive moments in time, it holds the potential to become a 1:1 subjective, Borgesian map of the location, a representation that occupies the space it references. Strip also touches on obvious analogies with the filmstrip, presenting an alternative way of perceiving the motion picture and it’s relationship to movement and photographic film. This, like many of my projects, is an ongoing and developing body of work.
STRIP / XUZHOU: A second piece was created in China in 2010 with a local collaborator, her memories and our conversations charting a path through the city that is very different from the solitary one I traveled in the more familiar Chicago. In Xuzhou, I was even more of a stranger, and mapping the street could only come out of a conversation, however disjointed it was (Strip: Xuzhou).
STRIP / LSE: Further pieces in the series are in the making- The current iteration in the Strip series takes place in and around the north-eastern part of the Chicago Loop, mostly centered around a recent development called “Lake Shore East”, encompassing some of the most expensive real estate in Chicago. It is a unique location in Chicago, embodying in my mind much of what is both fascinating and horrifying about this metropolis. The development’s focal point is a meticulously designed and landscaped park, which is completely surrounded by a wall of skyscrapers and luxury condos above ground, and heavy traffic arteries on multiple levels, in all directions. It is also undermined by the several underground levels of Lower Wacker Drive and it’s adjoining “streets”, the literal underbelly / underworld of the Chicago loop. All of these combine to create a place that in essence has no ground: a precisely engineered bubble floating on massive layers of busy infrastructure, of machinery and movement- a massive, grounded spaceship. I have been riding through this landscape since August 2011, testing and mapping the different access and egress routes, the permeability of the bubble and what it means to move between the layers and worlds comprising this location. The final structure & content of the installation is still in development. In general, the concept involves spiraling into and out of the green center of this area while weaving up and down, in and out of the underground, all done in single long takes that seem to move between night and day and even times of year, as well as figuration and abstraction. Sound is also an important element in this piece: every slice of video comprising the strip plays its audio at the same moment, creating a strange doppler effect as sounds from different, adjacent locations play in unison.
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