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THE MEASURE OF DISORDER

Two-channel full HD video installation, stereo sound distributed on multiple speakers, 41 min, 2018.

Developed with the support of the Flemish Community and ARGOS Centre for Art and Media.

Collection/Distribution: ARGOS Centre for Art and Media.

The Measure of Disorder follows the trail of scientist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906) on his last train journey through the Alps before his tragic suicide in the village of Duino. Entropy, chaos, probability and time reversibility, which are some of the concepts Boltzmann helped theorise, guide the visual and sound editing throughout the work. The emblematic ride layers histories and territories of past and present Europe. Improvisation and repetition function as triggers for the eruption of private and collective memories, across oceans and timelines. The single music track, 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 projected, running forward on one side and reverse on the other. The filming locations run like credits, also projected twice and separately, 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, film stills.