proposal taking form

Things to define

  • Budget
    • The initial idea is to have the viewable result of the project cost nothing. The actual materials, including the videos, on the evening of Flux will be essentially freely created. The budget should, however, include some amount of money that can be used for recruiting purposes. That is, while the viewable project will cost nothing, the process of building a network will. We should aim at keeping the cost minimal (between $100 and $500 dollars).
  • Exact location and permission
    • The call asks that each project identifies a location and begins the process of obtaining permission for that location. After we scout out the area tomorrow, we should have a better idea of what we think are interesting spaces. As it will be location specific, we are not going to be able to specify without the knowing the basic space.

Proposal outline

  • Issue the Margins v2 is a participatory video installation that explores the ways contests of space can produce alternate temporary communities that surround use. Taking Critical Mass as its inspiration and content, the installation engages the public in and with space by recognizing the physical and material conditions of viewing in the completion of the work. The work, in turn, exists as a structured dialogue: the viewer is forced manage the material constraints of the space and the fluctuating social landscape to create the condition of viewing. Like Critical Mass itself, the installation requires a two-way negotiation: one that is internal and goal-oriented; another that is external and maintenance-oriented. Issue the Margins v2 consists of two parts: four (4) video projectors pointed outward and a clothing rack with sixteen (16) screen-shirts.
  • Video and audio collection
    Over the course of several months, videos will be collected from Critical Mass rides in Atlanta, GA. The video is obtained by mounting small digital video cameras on the front, back, or either side of several bikes within a monthly ride. Along with video, synced audio is also recorded. As a record of the ride, each video and audio track shows the individual and internal experience of being part of a contest of urban space. In this footage, one gains insight into the characteristic spontaneity and conflict of the event. The collection of videos–multiple perspectives over multiple months–illustrates the changing shape, attitude, and tenor of these characteristic elements.

    After the collection process is complete, the videos will be compiled into a four (4) video projections, each of which will feature two to three (2-3) selected views of various rides. Each video of the compiled projections will play as real-time loop (approx. two (2) hours). Along with the video projections will be a synchronized master audio track.

  • Staging details
    The projectors will be positioned so that each projector occupied a 90 degree arc of a full circle (4 projectors completing 360 degrees). The projectors will have a focal length of twenty-five (25) feet. There will be no surface set up for the projected videos to be displayed on. On the ground will be thick (4 inch wide by 25 feet) strips of tape that demarcate the four regions of projection, as well as a straight line of four (4) sets of two (2) footprints (16 sets in total; individually numbered) to indicate where people should stand. Off to the side there will be a clothing rack with sixteen (16) large white shirts.
  • Use details
    While no one is standing on any of the footprints, the projections will flood out onto the ground. As people pass by, the vague images will paint the ground. Those that come close to the footprints will begin to make out the images themselves. At this point, the artists, who will be tending a clothing checkout booth, will invite participants to become a portion of a screen. Each participant can leave any personal items with the artists and receive a numbered shirt. The shirt corresponds to a set of footprints. When all the spots are filled, the participants and the general audience can finally view the projections.

    Interesting here is not the filling of the piece with participants, but the continued process of balance between people wanting to passively view and people having to engage in the piece for it to be viewed. As participants grow tired of being a screen, they are asked to find a suitable replacement. This act of negotiation is forces the public to challenge the typical act of passive viewing–in order to watch, one is impelled to contribute. Additionally, due to the focal length, the participants engage in a physical act of negotiating space through diverting pedestrian traffic. Here is the second negotiation and public engagement–participants are confronted by their physical presence in space as affecting space.

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