Twin Trajectories

2015

Assistance: Alan Kwan, Ian Soroka, Deniz Tortum

Supported by: Council for the Arts at MIT 

Two large screens face each other. They depict opposite views down the length of the 200 meter long basement corridor of MIT's central building. In the beginning, one image is completely pixelated, and vibrates aggressively, while the other is focused and smooth. Over the course of ten minutes the quality of the images switch.

The two channel film utilized a track dolly holding two cameras, one facing forward and one backward down the corridor. The track itself was built in three pieces which could be easily picked up and laid down. With the help of assistants, the cameras were slowly walked down the length of the corridor. 

The footage was later manipulated to digitally recreate the dolly-zoom technique. The digital images were magnified in relation to the actual movement of the camera in space such that the size of a particular section of the hallway remained fixed within each screen. The field of view remains constant while the camera angle expands or contracts.

Sound levels were set inversely to the quality of the image such that the higher the visual fidelity, the lower the sound until, at full resolution, the image became completely silent.

 

Between the two facing screens, the viewer situates themselves within an unnatural optical environment. They experience movement rendered on new terms that play out through resolution, vibration, and sound. The viewer encounters the mechanical systems, the custodial team, and various sounds all in service of this institutional building. The apparatus of the camera along with the systematic editing and installation provides a hypnotic vision of this human institutional apparatus: mechanical eyes for a mechanical society.