Creating the installation:
My abstract screen was in the shape of a shirt and pants put together, so it looked like a human without the head. The screen in the shape of a human represented the self who takes a certain meaning by the posts they show to the world that represents who they are.
Each screen has a specific representation of today’s aspect of technology, multimedia and humanity while having a connecting thread between all three screens. Front projector – representing the reality, the urban environment, the society that is hooked to devices. Overhead projector – representing the imaginative world, the surreal, the inner thoughts, the part of us that feels confused and trapped. The Abstract screen – representing the self, the “I”, how we find our identity, mostly through our presentation on social media. For this installation I chose Instagram feeds.
As the connecting thread I added two video images. One of myself traveling on the floor. This created the image of a person in search for something, floating, curious, maybe lost? The second image was my eye over the full screen looking out to symbolize the self.
It was hours of detailed work which felt like choreographing a complicated dance when a lot of dancers are doing different movement and I try to keep the feeling of chaos but give it some kind of common sense, so the overall picture doesn’t get completely lost. but with film editing - If something didn’t work on one video, then I also had to fix the timing in the other two. Each of these corrections took many hours, but finally I arrived with a result I felt satisfied with.
the sound is a rich soundtrack that was a combination of sounds, music and text. I used some of the sounds
from the actual videos of the streets of New York as well as from my nature trips. I used text from YouTube
lectures about the danger of the internet and the addictive aspect of social media. And I added a beautiful
aria from Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera which is a sacred motet composed by Antonio Vivaldi. It lyrics
translates from Latin: “There is no true peace in the world except in you.” this really felt connected to the
theme of self-identity and feeling lost and trapped in the crowed.
This was my final project for video art class which I took during the Spring 2019 semester. I decided to create a multiscreen
installation that will incorporate the use of different projectors – a front projector, overhead projector and a mini Pico projector
to project into an abstract screen that I created. It was a very ambitious project, but I was ready to take on the challenge.I liked
the contrast between shots I took driving in nature in Argentina over a recent trip in contrast with urban environments and
shots of people talking on their phones and taking pictures. I was thinking how we document everything and mostly post all
our documentations on social media as a proof that this actually happened As if being at a specific location doesn’t give the
event validation if it wasn’t posted on Instagram for example and received many likes.
It made me think how we experience nature today as an instant moment and when we are there, we focus on what would
be the best way to capture this on camera, for social media, to earn comments and receive validation through our posting.
I wanted the installation to be full of visual stimulation that can enhance the feeling of being somewhere yet
missing the actual experience. An overload of images that doesn’t allow us to fully commit and concentrate on
one thought or idea in the same way that we are constantly distracted by our devices. My goal was to allow the
audience to either view the installation from far or walk between the screens and let it become a personal
experience that can resonate in their memory.
The installation was five min long and intended to loop and run constantly.
I had a few rehearsals on my own in the studio where the showing would be. It was a lot of work to plan and decide how to set the room, to hang the abstract screen and to map the projector. Also working with Isadora program was very challenging. I had very little time to actually try to run the installation and take notes. I also used a special split-cable whic allowed me to program Isadora from one computer and split into the three projectors using three stages. This was very helpful and ran pretty smoothly during my rehearsals. During the showing the three-cable split stopped working for an unknown reason and I had to borrow an extra computer from my teacher and set the Isadora program on it. In addition, the sound crashed, and it was impossible to try to repair this error and make the sound work. I later learned that Isadora usually can’t carry the sound when working with a lot of files and I should have created a separate audio file. (since then it has been fixed with new program updates.) This never happened during my persona try outs, so I only learned the lesson during the showing itself, which was of course, too late.
In the short time that I had to set up with the new difficulties, it was hard to set the timing of all three screens working perfectly in synch. I did the best I could but felt that a lot was missed by not having the soundtrack which really linked all my ideas together, the audience never got to see how I intended the installation to be to its fullest
Nevertheless, I did receive very positive feedback about the visuals from the people who came to the showing They all responded very well to the ideas I had and could relate personally to the content of my images.
I was quite frustrated and stressed that it didn’t work as well as I intended the installation to be and that the lack of having a technical rehearsal didn’t give me the time to see the errors that happened during the actual showing. The lesson I learned from this experience is to take more time when approaching such a challenging project. To insist on having a technical rehearsal especially when it is a group showing. To separate the soundtrack form the video when working with Isadora program. Many pieces can easily fall apart and there is a lot to consider when creating such a big multi-screen project.
A few days after the showing I went back to the studio and took my time to re-build the installation. This time it worked perfectly, and I wish this was what people could see during the showing but I was happy that I could at least record it and get a good documentation for my personal records as well as to post on social media.
Trapped – Video Art installation
Trapped is a multiscreen video installation Presented as part of final showing of Video Art class at Tisch School of the Arts
May 10, 2019
The installation Trapped projects video images on multiple surfaces to show the effect of everyday media overload on our daily behavior.
Through images of Instagram feeds, nature, busy urban environments and dancers in a limited space, I aimed to use the technology of video projections to question our desire to be part of a community and have a sense of self identity. It’s a commentary on how we are trapped within the
constraints of technology and our communication devices.