In 1956, the Stadttheater Munster is the first theatre in Germany to re-open after the war. And while most of the city of Munster was rebuilt as historic replica, an intervention by a group of young architects resulted in a “thunderclap" of bewildering pink mosaic tiles and blue glass wrapped around a fragment of ruin. A singular event in the city’s history, that probably would not happen again.
About 16 years after the gala opening of the theater, with its photographs of crowds looking in through the glass -- an artists group from a different zeitgeist proposed an outdoor “matrix" or dark mother sky of wires, as a symbolic counterpart to the 1200 hard-to-change lightbulbs of the interior “lamp sky” of the main theatre hall. Further, seizing the open ends of Norbert Kricke's “Spacetime Plastic" wire sculpture in the front of the theatre, they extended black wires outward till they hit the neighbour institutions: the Volksbank and Munster Zeitung, while ignoring the churches. They also claimed that the mesh sky was a reintroduction of the 4th wall of theatre, without clarifying further. Except to say that in the future, it could have something to do with our responses to surveillance.
In the mid-1980's, a youth connected the grid with an electric switch to the nearest church, via a hidden music synthesiser. This was followed by other peculiar inventions, such as in the early 1990's when a composer brought photographs, an old song, a film and a live feed from the bank into its own matrix, that could be experienced through the glass and without a ticket.
Uses of the matrix have continued since, and in the Munster Sculpture Project of 2017 you can see several of them together, as survivors and benders of time.
Virtual girl in the Münstersche Zeitung window: Anna Viehoff
808 Church bells: Sneha Khanwalkar and Mark Fulgado
Screens on the theatre glass: Micheal Klier, Michael Anderson (film clips), Leo Strauss (lyrics), Stadtarchiv and StadtTheater (images from the 1956 opening)
Thanks: Britta Peters, Jan Bockholt, Christoph Schäfer
Nam June Paik Art Center Prize
An exhibition of the contextually rich, environment-shifting media works of CAMP
Video project that takes us on new and recently rebuilt roads in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and India. Endoscopic views from the interior of the road system, and of the interfaces through which pride, money, data, climate, and vulnerability are connected to it, heighten our sense of developmental possibility, failure, and the deep ambiguity of road achievements.
‘A Passage Through Passages’ is a collaboration with anthropologists, and draws upon ethnographic and archival work in five field sites. This film is part of Roads and the Politics of Thought, a 5-year ethnographic study of road-building in South Asia.
On three screens, a city-symphony filmed by automated CCTV cameras in Amsterdam. The optical and motor capacities of these cameras are pushed to an extreme. Certain human subjects reappear near or far in the images, suggesting a form of reciprocal knowledge or intent, a secret pact between cameras and people.
A 100-foot long sequence of photo-cutouts, first shown at the Chennai Photo Biennale, March 2019
20 mins, HD. 2 - channel installation
Filmed in Guangzhou at the Zhuhai International Container Terminal
Single exposure solar cyanotype print on cotton fabric
CAMP with Shunya collective and Clark House Initiative 22 x 5 feet
An image of the sea as its own “country”, with frontier towns at its edges disorients an easy reading of this territory
A three-channel installation from 8mm film From the Clark House family archives, sequenced in a timeline as above. Each screen is a different part of the same 8mm frame, usually a face.
Feature-length travelogue by sea between western India, eastern Africa and the Persian gulf. First shown at a purpose built outdoor cinema on the creekside in Sharjah in 2013, where many of the sailors gather. Shown in Documenta 13 in an abridged form, as part of the installation The Boat Modes.
83 mins. Original format(s): HDV, SDV, VHS, Cellphone videos (variable). Stereo audio and in-cameraphone music.
4 channel HDV, 8 minutes
A screenplay in Courier 12pt melodramatic format, spanning the first three days of lobbying for cabinet spots, in the wake of the Indian general elections of 2009. The dialogue is entirely from phone taps made by the government. The screenplay slows them down and asks: what kinds of environments and scenes may lie behind them, and how are they connected?
Printed screenplay and IVR-based phone line, audience can type in scene numbers to hear dialogue in the original voices. Also performed as a reading.
Act II (Hum Logos) is a 45-minute audio film spliced from the Pad.ma collection of the Radia Tapes. It covers two months after the Indian general elections of 2009, with the new cabinet in power. The film asks: if debate around these tapes was about whether they are edited or not, or as Justice Mukhopadhay put it, "splice has been added", then what can further editing do?