'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 upon.

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.

Images from the 'Vecuum' installation

Image of the rooftop and video screen as the gallery is entered

Image of the staircase leading upto the interactive rooftop

Detail of the rooftop showing characters on the video screen

Detailed image on the rooftop where a character is about to jump