A Sense of Place

George Legrady

A Sense of Place ,
Co-workers & Funding
Partially funded by a Canada Council grant and Base.arts, San Francisco
  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Map
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Blurred Screen
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Installation Layout
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Interactivity Graph
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Beijing Street Scene
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Downtown Los Angeles
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Beijing Rain
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  • A Sense of Place, 1998: Hollywood
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An out-of-focus "still-life" image of a window display is projected on a full screen gallery wall. As the audience moves in the gallery space, items from the inventory of objects in the image come into focus depending on the audience's relative position in the gallery space. After a certain amount of time in front of the image, a street scene becomes gradually visible, functioning as a "window" reflection with its ambient sound superimposed on the still-life image. This reflection and sound gives the window display a cultural context as it positions the window still-life into an urban setting. This scene reveals itself to contain either Oriental features (China) or Occidental ones (Los Angeles). The program selects one image from amongst a set of ten possibilities. Every so often, the reflection scenes are animated. Depending on the particular make-up of the database, (which objects the audience has invested time in front of), the program shows a matrix schemata showing the database values based on where the audience is standing in front of the image.
The work has a cultural and technological premise. In this age of mass migration, cultural environments are transported across geographical borders. A window display may seem Spanish, Chinese, Greek, etc. but its geographical location may be anywhere in the world. The surrounding environment visualized through the surface reflection in the installation, contexutalizes the window display's location between Orient and Occident. Paul Virilio describes the ubiqitous monitoring security camera systems in the urban landspace as one of "giving presence". The out-of-focus image in the installation responds to the audience's presence by showing itself (putting sections of the image into focus) depending on the audience's location within the viewing space. In effect, the projected image comes alive (comes into being) in the presence of the viewer.

(George Legrady)
  • aesthetics
    • acoustic
    • automated
    • documenting
    • uncanny
    • visual
  • genres
    • installations
  • subjects
    • Power and Politics
      • surveillance
    • Society and Culture
      • globalization
      • urban space
Technology & Material
1 G3 300mhz Mac, 128MB RAM with AV input
(G3 macs with firewire require an additional analog-to-digital converter)
1 Security camera, long video coaxial cable and 12volt adapter with cable extension
1 bright (1200 lux) and very sharp digital projector
1 amplified sound system, Foxtex 6301B or equivalent, preferably 4 speakers
Installation Requirements / Space
The installation requires an enclosed space appproximately 5m by 10m by 4m height. The space should have complete sound insulation and light dimming controls.