In the process of making the first piece in this series, I rode my bicycle for 12 miles on North Spaulding Avenue in Chicago- a typical street in the Chicago grid, crossing 7 neighborhoods from it’s rough southern origins, where my studio is located, past my old home, to the affluent northern suburbs, scanning the street-scape with a side-mounted video camera. I then proceeded to create an installation presenting a fragmented video panorama, constructed of consecutive moving frames from that single traveling shot, spatially laid out next to each other so that each slice shows a moment a few seconds behind that of it’s neighbor:
These slices combine to resemble a long, strip-like cross section of the street that expands and contracts with my motions. The bicycle-generated bumps ripple through the panorama constantly, keeping it from ever achieving perfect alignment. The result, rather than being an objective, top-down document like it’s militaristic namesake (Strip is army parlance for a piece of an aerial surveillance map), resembles an unwrapped, first person memory of travel, or the undulations of a body. Since it may be scaled and expanded to fill any space by adding more adjacent windows into consecutive moments in time, it holds the potential to become a 1:1 subjective, Borgesian map of the location, a representation that occupies the space it references. Strip also touches on obvious analogies with the filmstrip, presenting an alternative way of perceiving the motion picture and it’s relationship to movement and photographic film. This, like many of my projects, is an ongoing and developing body of work. A second piece was created in China in 2010 with a local collaborator, her memories and our conversations charting a path through the city that is very different from the solitary one I traveled in the more familiar Chicago. In Xuzhou, I was even more of a stranger, and mapping the street could only come out of a conversation, however disjointed it was (Strip: Xuzhou). Further pieces in the series are in the making.
Following are some images from the Strip installations in Chicago, Xuzhou and Tel Aviv from 2009-2011:
Panoramic single channel digital video installation
Varying dimensions, 5-12 meters wide by 2-3 meters high