THE MEASURE OF DISORDER
Single channel full HD video projected twice, forward and reverse,
single channel sound distributed on multiple speakers, 41 min, 2018.
Collection/Distribution: ARGOS Center for Art and Media.
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 audiovisual installation presents a non-linear reconstruction of Boltzmann’s last train journey from Vienna to the "Austrian Riviera", crossing the Alps and Slovenian valleys towards the Italian Adriatic sea, territories which at the turn of the twentieth century belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and which today are all part of the European Union. Fragments of music taken from Cos’ growing Archive of Loops constitute the auditory field of the work, where improvisation and repetition function as triggers to private and collective memories across multiple timelines. The single music track, intermittently contaminated by train sounds and samples of Tony Bennett’s “This Funny World”, is diffused in the space through multiple speakers, enveloping the two facing screens onto which the film is retro-projected, running forward on one side and reverse on the other. The film credits follow the same principle and are projected separately, in forward and reverse.
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. (Excerpt from Huib Haye van der Werf's review on Mousse Magazine)
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.
Installation views at Argos, Centre for Art and Media.