Video documentation of a Nowhere Zone project at Devil in Baltimore, MD.
From the press release:
"The primary piece consists of an object meant to reproduce the lights of a squad car, flanked on either side by the U.S. and Maryland state flags, which are present to exhibit the authority and principles of the object they accompany. On the walls surrounding this will be several digital prints mounted on wood panels illustrating different graphic configurations of the environment created by CM#1.
“It’s common in Baltimore for squad cars to leave their back lights on at all times, insinuating a situation of permanent emergency. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of ‘activity’ this places all squad cars participating in this action at around five. Generally the use of police lights on squad cars is meant to be a reaction to some type of insurgent action. However, in this quite common situation, the action/reaction chain seems to be inverted, with the action potentially not existing at all, and the cop reaction existing constantly. In a war culture such as ours where the concept of the preemptive strike is the norm, this inversion is completely unsurprising.
It is possible to assume then that perhaps the purpose of the cop lights in this situation no longer exists in its original reactive ‘WARNING’ context, but rather in the context of an active ‘THREAT’ to those in the vicinity of the squad car, similar in use to the flashing blue lights of stationary 24/7 BELIEVE module, but now mobile and manned. What was, in the context of the 24/7 BELIEVE models, a somewhat passive suggestion of oppression becomes an overactive, overtly oppressive situation.”
Cops do a good job of arguing against your case, alienating you from your own actions. One might reinforce the fact that we don’t know our own rights, and refuse to provide further information. There are people who will make your life a living hell just so that they can feel like they did their job at the end of the night. Like a student who just gets the assignment done for the sake of completion, with no learning curve. “You don’t even live here.” “Even if you could do something, you wouldn’t spend the time making a police officer’s job a living hell.”
We’ve all had our experiences. There’s nothing like seeing your shadow swimming against the wall in a barrage of cyan and magenta. You look across the street and maybe there’s some guy sitting on the curb handcuffed, maybe a squad car is just trying to skip a red light. Patrols that make us uneasy in the evening walk home; an empty crashed car and the homeless sleeping. So how do we proceed? This Control Module becomes a way to engage in a phenomenon largely associated with paranoia and oppression. Together with more conventional components of CM #1 – prints, flags, sculpture – you are invited to engage in one isolated aspect of a spectacular oppressive system (the lights of a squad car).
Nowhere Zone is an ongoing project by Baltimore-based artist Nick Vyssotsky. The project explores and documents phenomena existing in public space, exhibited as an image blog as well as a series of publications. These images attempt to capture moments of what Jill Stoner calls “…indeterminate state(s) that (are) the passage from striated to smooth, from closed system to open space.”
Video documentation shot by Johnny Rogers (geojedi.org/)
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