PAN is a large scale, multi-channel
video installation. It consists of three main elements:
A continuous horizontal pan is created by four video projections
that cover the four walls of the gallery. The footage is spliced
together from shots of different horizon lines culled from my super-8
home movies from the 1960s and ‘70s. The same footage can
be used for all four projections, but it should be staggered in
four DVDs or scrambled so that a different image appear on each
of the screens at any given time. The four projections are looped
so that they form a continuous circular motion around the room.
This panning motion is disrupted when it comes to a shot of my mother
and I (see image on left) standing against a landscape, where the
image would freeze. The panning motion resumes after about 10 seconds.
7 " video monitors are set on metal stands with the screens
tilted to face up at the viewers. Monitors are arranged randomly
in the gallery space. Extreme close-up images of a camera panning
among up-rooted trees (see Mother/Land) are played at different
speeds (3-5 channels, signals can be split) on these monitors. A
low audio track recorded when videotaping these images (footsteps
on fallen leaves, birdcalls, insects, and other natural sounds)
may be played through monitor speakers.
The main audio track for this installation is a recording of someone
whistling the U.S., U.K., and PRC (People's Republic of China) national
anthems (see Mother/Land). The audio is activated through
motion sensors in the space (i.e. viewers' movement in the space
will turn the audio on and off, thereby fragmenting the songs.)
The floor of the gallery is covered in recycled casting sand - a
kind of fine black silica sand in which the viewers will leave their
footprints as they move within the space.
(2000) 25 min. A single-channel video containing some of
the source footage for the installation. And exploring similar themes.
© Ming-Yuen S. Ma 2000 All rights reserved.