Following on from immersive installation ZEE in 2011, FACT will premiere an ambitious new installation, Echo by the award winning Swiss-American artist Mark Boulos for the 2013 Abandon Normal Devices festival this October.
Curated by FACT, Echo commissioned by Forma, in association with FACT and with support from the Wellcome Trust and presented as part of Abandon Normal Devices 2013 will be a large-scale immersive video installation presented in FACT’s Gallery 1 in which viewers will encounter a ‘reflection’ of themselves – that moves and speaks as they do in real time – but transposed within the fast-moving traffic of an unfamiliar city. As the viewer continues to observe their 3D doppelgänger it becomes increasingly de-synchronised, its voice an echo and the surrounding buildings and streets, stretching and distorting.
The work combines scientific research with innovative camera techniques, including Hitchcock’s vertigo inducing ‘contra zoom’ and special effects based on the illusion ‘Peppers Ghost’ to produce the unsettling sensation of an out-of-body experience.
Inspired by neuroscience and psychoanalysis, Echo has been developed in collaboration with Professor Olaf Blanke, Director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Brain-Mind Institute in Lausanne.
Echo will be presented alongside three of Mark Boulos’ previous video works:
All that Is Solid Melts into Air (2008) is comprised of two large-scale videos and presents two communities at opposite ends of the world – from the New York Stock Exchange, to the Niger River Delta in Africa – each locked in a struggle to control oil. Oil surrounds us on a daily basis, and yet we are scarcely aware of its source or presence; when refined into products. Boulos’ installation begins to make visible the mechanisms of this process of abstraction, and the political conditions that these objects conceal.
The Origin of the World (2009) – an obvious play on the Gustave Courbet painting of the same name – is a sophisticated and experimental self-portrait realized through psychoanalysis, theatrical fiction and narrative deception. In this video, the artist filmed himself through a two-way mirror, reciting the passage of Sophocles quoted by Freud in Interpretation of Dreams.
For three-channel documentary video No Permanent Address (2010), Boulos spent eight weeks living in the Philippine jungle with two guerilla squads of the New People’s Army, a Communist insurgency currently designated as a terrorist organisation by the EU and USA. In this piece, Boulos transforms the anticipated revelatory documentary into a more complex narrative, allowing the personalities, pasts, and philosophies of the cadre to come to the fore.
A programme of related talks, films, events and a symposium with guest speakers including Professor Olaf Blanke, Mark Boulos and Yann Chateigne will accompany the exhibition as part of the Abandon Normal Devices festival 2013.