Beijing Zoom

Dirty Animation | Site=Sight Studio

An Engagement in Wandering
  • reflect,
  • connect
  • speculate
  • consider
  • process
  • formulate
  • and make
  • in response to the environment in which you are in

This is one of 10 works created during a collaborative studio consisting of a group of 17 artists from New York City traveling together for one month through Beijing, Shanghai and Hang Zhou in the Peoples Republic of China, from May 21 to June 21 2010.
It is based on the Surrealists’ idea of the Exquisite Corpse, where one idea is shed in order to reveal the next. Smaller groups where formed and received a restriction and constraint along with the art or artifacts of another group throughout the trip.
At the core of this project is the concept of site and the space between and connecting the sites, as mediated by wandering. During the first stage of the project the primary task was to gather images, video footage, and materials to use as starting points for an exchange of ideas and form.

gobidesertOne group of artist remained in Beijing with a smaller group working in the Gobi Desert. I belonged to a sub-group of the artist in Beijing.  Artist in both the Gobi and in Beijing simultaneously gathered information that formed the basis for an exchange of work and ideas after the two groups reconvene together in Beijing. The works created from the project where presented at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and eARTS in Shanghai, where artist worked with students from China Academy of Art and other universities. In addition to the continued studio, Sight=Site was part of the Parsons’ Art, Media + Technology workshops at eARTS.

Beijing Zoom

I was inspired by the video and rhythm from a previous round and our site, The Gulou in central Beijing. I decided to do my own piece on the subject.  I wanted to include the actual sound of the performance and use the drums as a more central part of the piece.  Incorporation of the new word of the day,  Immensity, was also important to my concept. I was also starting to think about the folks in the Gobi and their relationship to us geographically and spiritually. Corpsing the audio off a piece  Atalay Harrison did at the Drum Tower and spending hours and hours in the coffee bar trying to get the wifi to give me a good screen capture of Google maps zooming out from the Drum Tower all the way past the Gobi Desert to show the whole of the earth, a la Charles and Ray Eames Power of 10 coincidentally enough.

I didn’t have wifi or any internet for that matter in my hotel room in Beijing, so to complete the project I had to almost spend the night in an internet cafe in the neighborhood.  It really did take a long time to get anything I could really use.  One of the videos was great – except – it had the roadmap in Chinese overlaying the satellite images of the geography.  I liked the speed and pacing, I just couldn’t use it with the text.

Here’s some shots from the day of the drum tower.

I also incorporated some of the video I took from Lake Houhai near the Drum Tower.  It had been raining for a few days off and on and water was an important element from the video we were given to corps for the rhythm Drum Tower Corps. I used two different scales of the water video I  shot and overlaid them in different mode for the water.

All these layered together created  my submission to the corpse.