"Under Scan is an interactive video art installation for public space. In the work, passers–by are detected by a computerized tracking system, which activates video–portraits projected within their shadow. Over one thousand video–portraits of volunteers were taken in Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton and Nottingham by a team of local filmmakers. For its London presentation in Trafalgar Square, Tate Modern filmed over 250 additional recordings. As people were free to portray themselves in whatever way they desired, a wide range of performances were captured. In the installation, the portraits appear at random locations. They 'wake–up' and establish eye contact with a viewer as soon as his or her shadow 'reveals' them. As the viewer walks away, the portrait reacts by looking away, and eventually disappears if no one activates it. ...
The piece was inspired by representation en abîme, where the portrayed make eye–contact with the viewer, – as found in works by Jan Van Eyck, Parmigianino, Velázquez or Leon Golub. Other references for this work include the post–photographic device described in La invención de Morel, written by Adolfo Bioy Casares (1940) and the ghostly portraits created by Gary Hill, Lynn Hershman–Leeson, Paul Sermon and Luc Courchesne."
"The Origin of Painting' by Disinformation – luminous graffiti, live electromagnetic sound and shadow photography, autodestructive portraiture and experimental painting installation, live at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, UK, Nov 2001. A huge new version of 'The Origin of Painting' features in 'The Party Project' fiesta (organised by J&B, Diageo and Advanced Music / Sonar Festival) – a major exhibition of urban street art and graffiti culture that tours Seville, Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, La Coruña, Malaga in July and August 2008. …
This Disinformation installation was first exhibited under the title 'Artificial Lightning' at The Hayward Gallery in London in April 2000. The installation takes its current name from the painting 'The Maid of Corinth, or The Origin of Painting' depicted by Joseph 'Wright of Derby' in 1782 (and Disinformation's tribute was exhibited at Q Arts, 35 Queen Street, Derby in June 2004, just a few doors from Wright's former home at 26 Queen Street, Derby). This exhibit also inspired the production 'Luminous' by experimental choreographer Saburo Teshigawara, on which Disinformation worked with the Japanese dance company Karas. 'The Origin of Painting' also inspired a project called 'Anti Matter' (exhibited at Huddersfield, Wrexham etc) – a Disinformation video which explores themes suggested by ideas of the physicist Paul Dirac."
('Disinformation' Aka Joe Banks, YouTube)
"50 Word's for Snow found the elusive Kate Bush at her most stark and stripped–down. The album was the aural equivalent of a single line of footsteps in a snowy pasture. It's no wonder then that Bush, who has always been skilled at pairing her music with their equivalent visuals, turned away from her trademark cinematics for the video of her song, 'Lake Tahoe.'
In the album version of 'Lake Tahoe,' only quiet strings and a piano accompany Bush as she weaves a tale of an old dog dreaming of his owner. And while the full song explains the animal's true situation, Bush – who directed the video herself – has trimmed it down into a more ambiguous excerpt here.
Her use of shadow puppetry matches song's dreamlike quality. The stark contrast between the black figures and the white world makes each set piece seem mystical. The dog runs through phantasmagorical lands filled with spooky woods, looking for his owner. It's beautiful in its simplicity – emphasizing small subtle movements over big extravagance. The elegant design of the puppets mixes fantasy elements like the moving trees with realistic pieces such as the soft sway of the woman's hair."
(Dan Raby, 24 January 2012, All Songs Considered Blog, National Public Radio)
"Behold! human beings living in a underground cave, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the cave; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.
And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, –what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, –will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?"
Plato's Republic, book vii, 514a–c to 521a–e
[Plato's allegory about consciousness underpins Western philosophy. It also introduces a fundamental concept used by Christian theology to describe spiritual enlightenment.]
"The mirror is a utopia after all, since it is a placeless place. In the mirror I see myself where I am not, in an unreal space that opens up virtually behind the surface; I am over there where I am not, a kind of shadow that gives me my own visibility, that enables me to look at myself there where I am absent – a mirror utopia. But it is also a heterotopia in that the mirror really exists, in that it has a sort of return effect on the place that I occupy. Due to the mirror, I discover myself absent at the place where I am, since I see myself over there. From that gaze which settles on me, as it were, I come back to myself and I begin once more to direct my eyes toward myself and to reconstitute myself there where I am. The mirror functions as a heterotopia in the sense that it makes this place which I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass both utterly real, connected with the entire space surrounding it, and utterly unreal – since, to be perceived, it is obliged to go by way of that virtual point which is over there."
(Michel Foucault, 1994, p.179)
Michel Foucault (1994). "Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias".