Western University Research Mobilization, Creation, and Innovation Grant
Lindsay Bell, in collaboration with Jesse Colin Jackson
Please find below samples of artistic work that illustrate our qualifications and the nature of our proposed research-creation project.
Four-Channel Immersive Video
In all locations, the Mackenzie Place art installation will be anchored by a four-channel immersive video. Over the course of five years, the environments and activities of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada were captured using four cameras mounted on the tower’s roof. The weather, celestial, pedestrian, commercial, and industrial patterns captured will be presented in various configurations, ranging from linear time-lapse to curated juxtapositions of specific conditions and events. The compiled footage will aggregate the carousel of space and time the building and its diverse inhabitants experience. As befits its position in the local imaginary — omnipresent, though often ignored — the building is seemingly erased from the town in the video, remaining present only as a shadow, rotating across the projection screens. Because Hay River is just below the Arctic Circle, the shadow will evolve from a single shimmering moment on the winter solstice, to a complete rotation around all four screens on the summer solstice, and back again.
Still Images, Plain and Composite
The video will be enhanced and extended by still images assembled on the surrounding walls. Some will be plain stills, e.g. images of the tower from various vantage points in town, near and far.
Others will make use of digital compositing methods. Time Overlays represent the experience of time at a specific site as a single still image product. Each composite is created through the compilation of a linear sequence of information derived from time-lapse photography. The composites are, at first glance, indistinguishable from conventional still photographs, but the information they contain represents the occupation of and interactions within a space over a length of time. The amount of time ranges from several minutes to several hours, depending on the subject matter. Each Time Overlay incorporates dynamic information from 16-32 instances, thus presenting, simultaneously, parallel experiential narratives — the actions of any featured protagonists do not account for the presence of neighbors in time. The method reveals the vitality of the space under scrutiny and creates surreal representations that begin to suggest its defining characteristics.
Space Overlays are composite images that represent the experience of repeated built forms found at multiple sites, again as a single still image product. This repetitive information might include tract housing, portable trailers, branded structures, sidewalks and roads, commercial and industrial equipment, parked vehicles, and other urban infrastructure specific to the north. Each composite is created through the transparent overlay of six to twelve photographs. Consistent elements reinforce each other through repetition, while inconsistencies, such as the surrounding environment and human subjects appear ghost-like. Space Overlays privilege ubiquitous forms of urbanity found throughout a single urban environment or across several urban environments. The method reveals how our visual world is organized around architectural anchors, by conflating the self-reinforcing narratives of repeated built forms with the unique circumstances of their occupation and of their surrounding environments.