THE MEASURE OF DISORDER
Single channel full HD video projected twice, forward and reverse,
single channel sound distributed on multiple speakers, 41 min, 2018.
The Measure of Disorder follows the trail of the Austrian scientist Ludwig Boltzmann, who is know for his ground-breaking findings about the phenomenon of entropy, but also for his tragic suicide in the village of Duino, not far from the Adriatic town of Trieste. The film presents a non-linear reconstruction of Boltzmann’s last train journey from Vienna to the “Austrian Riviera”, crossing the Alps and the territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the turn of the twentieth century. The images are presented to the tune of an evocative soundtrack, composed of fragments taken from The Archive of Loops, which I have been building by recording unedited sessions of improvisation playing with looping layers of voice, guitar, percussions and found instruments, using repetition as a memory trigger. The single music track, intermittently contaminated by train sounds and samples of Tony Bennett’s “This Funny World”,
is diffused throughout the space of the exhibition, enveloping the two facing screens onto which the film is retro-projected, running forward on one side and reverse on the other.
Image and sound are equally important and indisputable in this work. They stand on their own, which makes it all the more remarkable that they synchronize so brilliantly at times, perhaps never so cleverly as in what feels like the middle of the film loop—the in-between two directions. Here we see the golden escalators of Trump Tower in New York City, recorded from above, making the direction of their movement indistinct. At first the sound of a train steam engine carries this image, but then Tony Bennett suddenly begins to sing “This Funny World.” It is the exception to Boltzmann’s journey, it is the exception to an otherwise wordless soundtrack, but it shows the theory of (dis)order to be no less real. (Huib Haye van der Werf)
Text by Ive Stevenheydens, curator at Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels.
The performance Teresa Cos + Caroline Profanter: Live on Acousmonium was held within the spaces of the installation on the occasion of a public opening of the exhibition.
The link to watch the full film is available upon request.
Film stills and Installation views at Argos, Centre for Art and Media.