PAN is a large scale, multi-channel video installation. It consists of three main elements:


Click to enlarge diagram

Wall projection (silent)
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.

Reference: Mother/Land (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.