Film Noir

site specific project

2017

17th WRO Media Art Biennale

Wroclaw / Poland

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location: an abandoned wooded area in an industrial district of Wroclaw / Poland
material: a high-mast portable lighting tower with a power generator, 90L petrol, metal board, 40 plastic chairs, four speakers + two subwoofers, sound amplifier & mixer, microphone on tripod, three LED-flood lights, 100m wiring
 

In the middle of an urban wooded no-man’s land, I installed a large aluminum board, reminiscent of a cinema screen. The board appeared black from the front side because it was backlit by six LED floodlights.
 
The board was attached to a lighting mast, which was a component of a portable power generator. The generator powered six LED floodlights behind the aluminum board, a sound system (microphone, mixing console, amplifier, four speakers as well as two subwoofers), an illuminated signpost and three LED lights guiding the audience to the installation site. The microphone was placed in front of the generator, amplifying the machine noises through the amplifier and transmitting them through loudspeakers randomly dispersed in the woods. To make the situation theater-like, I set up six rows of 40 plastic chairs in front of the aluminum surface. The installation was placed near the isolated tram/bus station “Aleja Armii Krajowej” between two country roads (Ulica Krakowska and Aleja Armii Krajowej) and a wide set of railway tracks. The performance began at twilight and continued all night until the generator ran out of juice. Nightfall’s increasing darkness gradually highlighted the deep blackness of the aluminum screen in the backlight.

 
 

 
 

The audience was directed from the tram station by a lighted signpost reading “FILM NOIR” and then accompanied along a path into the woods by 3 LED flood lights, leading to the “theatre”. The WRO Media Art Biennale’17 program advertised the project simply as “Film Noir: a performative installation”. No one knew what to expect. Based on the title, some surely anticipated a film screening. The microphone and rows of seats may have alluded to a stage production. Most people hung around until midnight, frustration mounting as they waited for an event that never happened.

 
Photos: Andrey Ustinov
Production: WRO Art Center, Wroclaw / Poland
Special thanks to: Agnieszka Kubicka-Dzieduszycka, Kamil Kawalec, Michal Michalczak, Kamila Elżbieta
 
 

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