A circular bench in the centre of a dark circular space conceals a data projector. The projector casts its panning imagery vertically onto a slowly rotating mirror fixed at an angle to the ceiling. As the projected panoramic footage and the turning mirror roll in synchronisation, a full 360° view of Potsdamerplatz, Berlin, is slowly and only ever partially revealed on the single interior wall of the space. The synchronised speeds of rotation of the projection within the space, and of the panning imagery within the projection, appear to reveal - in the manner of a true Camera Obscura - a 'live' view of the immediate exterior environs 'in the round'. What we actually see however is elsewhere [we are quite remote from Potsdamerplatz], and just as a crude Camera Obscura reverses and inverts its cast image, so a corresponding optical/mechanical distortion of this electronic view causes the Berlin skyline to do a 360° bi-axial 'roll' around the installation space, much like a coin on its edge, or a cog in the works.
Using panoramic footage obtained in 1996 from the Project Cityscope camera [surveilling architectural change around the recently united Berlins' Potsdamer Platz], I propose to install an electronic Camera Obscura of the Berlin hub at remote sites and times.
References to critical-theoretical content are luggage that various elements of this piece will be seen to carry with them... [one thinks of Foucault's panoptikon, Lacan's gaze, Calvino's cities, of deconstruction & reconstruction, the corporate & the corporal, of power & abjection, technology & modernity, of centred subjectivity, of Berlin - die Großstat - as a sign, and without reflection of the Marxian model of ideology] ...the actual nature of the work could best be described as a formalist-structuralist visual poem.
Proposal for Screens, Museum of Art, Trondheim, Norway, 1997