conceptThousands of people are moving along the streets and highways of cities. From a birds-eye perspective; it is a harmonious view, often compared to nature-line phenomena like animal herds or blood flowing through arteries. However what is the perception of each actor within this flux? How many eyes are looking ahead from behind the steering wheel, focused at the same point in front of them at the horizon? How would the impression of the urban landscape look like if we could share and combine our individual view points?
Crossing Yangpu Bridge is an artwork addressing the topic of urban space and how the perception of this space is constructed. It investigates the changing view of an urban landscape through physical movement in relation to a fixed reference point (axis).
The actors in the artwork are: An observer, an object (axis) and a frame, placed in a three-dimensional space among other objects. The subject-object relationship between the (moving) observer and the (moving) landscape is stressed by defining this reference point in the landscape, which serves as a counterpart to the observer. In this way a vector is established - i.e. a point and direction - between the observer and the landscape. Further on, all movement is perceived in relation to this “relational vector”. The direction of the movement is further stressed by the fixed framing of the field of view, eliminating interference in the perception of the relational vector.
The observer is moving in relation to the observed object. The frame is placed in between, and stands still in relation to imaginary line drawn between the observer and object.
The object-subject relationship is defined by the relational vector; all other points in space are in flux, performing an imaginary “rotation” around the defined axis. The direction of the movement perceived depends on the point’s positioning towards the relational vector. The resulting image can be interpreted as the view of multiple observers at the same time or as the view of one observer at different times.
Time is highly compressed in the artwork, evoking a permanent state of flux, as described by the present continuous form of verbs. Each frame of the video represents a state of ‘moving’, while referring to multiple moments – not just one – in time. Views are overlaid with afterimages and anticipated images. Present, past and future all collapse into one.