'Vecuum' is taken
from the French word Vecu which means lived space. This
project takes its source material entirely from film samples.
The pieces of film are very specific, as they are the scenes
where the action takes place on a rooftop. Thus chase, fight
and suicide scenes (from movies as diverse as Vertigo, Spawn,
Blade Runner and Fearless) amongst others have been collected
and categorized so that each video and sound track of the
Vecuum project represents a specific type of action/emotional/dramatic
sequence on a roof. The sound has been processed to the
point where the source material is unrecognizable. The video
work follows the same structure and is taken from the same
source that the sound is. Again the video is processed and
animated to re-animate the narratives of the rooftop.
The Vecuum project takes the rooftop as a setting to question
the politics of the city and the film as systems of spatial
metanarratives. 'Vecuum' asks what the sound of the over
ground is…we know what the notion of the underground
represents in Western culture, from the Second World War
to current day notions of supposed culturally subversive
activities. But what does the overground represent or rather
how can it be represented as a space to contest the midflow
of mainstream culture? The rooftop is often unsurveilled
unlike the majority of space beneath it in a city, which
instantly renders the rooftop as a plausible set for dissonant
social, emotional, cultural or political actions to be enacted
Rooftops in the city create a spatial matrix of lost spaces,
another city of ‘archiscapes’, which is known
of but not often traversed, explored or socially defined.
These spaces are what Foucault elementally defined as 'heterotopia’s’
or what Lefebvre would describe as ‘l’espace
vecu'- an actually lived and socially created spatiality,
concrete and abstract at the same time. They 'suggest a
myriad of other sites within a culture'.
The installation carried out at the 7 Degrees
Media Centre in LA was an interactive installation piece.
Battery Operated rebuilt a rooftop that was an exact replica
of a rooftop in the Skid Row area of LA. A construction
company built it to building regulations. At the sidewalls
were sensors that would sense people’s movement on
the roof. Above the roof, 62 speakers were built into the
ceiling. The sensors were hooked upto an audioweb system,
so that people’s movement would trigger sounds directly
above them. The sensors also detected people’s movement
towards the video screen. The nearer the audience moved
to the screen the more anxious the movement of the figures
(in silhouette on the slides) became, until if an audience
member got within 5 feet of the screen, the figure would
jump off the roof.