flaneur, 2012, three channel synchronized video animation, 14:52:00, with sound
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We were invited by A trans pavilion, an alternative art space in Berlin, Germany, to create a three-channel video installation. This video, flaneur, draws upon the time between 1890 and the mid 1930's and encompasses Neoclassicism, Jugendstil and Modernism by using the architecture, dance, music and philosophy of the period. As foreigners looking voyeuristically into this culture we appropriated the French term flaneur to describe an outsider's experience of the city. The video moves through those years using digital avatar/marionettes created using motion capture technology and three-dimensional scans of dance performers. The marionettes have the advantage of being weightless, a property most resistant to dance, and they appear graceful, without the consciousness that afflicts their human counterparts. flaneur takes the viewer through the era's cultural changes using these marionettes and three-dimensional architectural models. We deconstruct both the human and the architectural models similarly to the way we have treated the figure in the past, by rupturing, puncturing, sectioning and unfolding their skins as a means to re-visualize them and to explore their volumes in unique ways. We approach the narrative of the piece as a fairy tale and collage. By referencing two writers of the period, Friedrich Nietzsche and his influential approach to architecture, and Carlo Collodi, author of The Adventures of Pinocchio, the video abstracts and melds these divergent sources into a contemporary whole and also introduces a sense of transcendence into the work.