FACES AND STANDING FIGURES SERIES 2
(this video intallation is part of the Anatomy of Future Nostalgia project)
Moving images projected simultaneously on ivory-coloured screen captured in 27 glass boxes of different sizes.
In a possible museum, in a possible future, images are captured and freezed to be put at the disposal of the following generations.
In France, at the Centre Informatique National de l’Enseignement Supérieur (National Computing Center for Higher Education), scientists, politicians, academics, companies and manufacturers in the year 2000 formed a working group called Groupe PIN: Pérennisation des Informations Numériques (i.e. “perennation” of digital information). At their meetings, they exchange and review ideas and take action to find solutions to deal with the digital memory we are building and maintaining - in terms of its scale, its content and its lifespan.
They examine two main questions:
- What should we do with the material we are storing today?
- What information should be kept?
We, Gabriel and Luca, have also started to question ourselves.
More specifically, the mass of iconographic and textual information which we record, store and disseminate today will in future undergo a selection. Firstly natural, then human.
Backup media will be faulty, illegible, lost, burned, broken. There will be wars and nuclear catastrophes. Humans will destroy data; there will be lapses in memory and spontaneous gestures. In future, based on what they find, archaeologists will analyse, sort through and archive the information which needs to be shared.
Will the images that reach future generations bear witness to and represent our city and its inhabitants in the same way that we now view them?
What will remain of us?
We, Luca and Gabriel, wanted to conduct an experiment.
We spent the month of September collecting images.
September 2016 - week 1:
We started online. We surfed the internet, trying to behave as normally as possible across blogs, social networks, video platforms, etc. We downloaded any image which held our attention for longer than one minute. One minute is a long time.
September 2016 - week 2:
We sent an email to as many people as possible, asking them to forward it to others. In the email, we invited them to come to Escaut, where we were working, to take their portraits. We met everyone who responded. We spent a week shooting the portraits. We decided on the spur of the moment what to film.
September 2016 - week 3:
We sent a questionnaire by email to as many people as possible. The questions were based on our research on images: what was an image to them, what did they like to watch - on screen, in Brussels, in life; what stuck in their minds; what did they hang on the walls of their bedrooms; what would they miss most if they went blind; etc. People responded to us anonymously via Google Forms. We received about 100 responses. We selected the phrases which captured our attention and noted them on post-it notes. For some phrases, we searched for matching images. For others, we simply kept the post-its.
September 2016 - week 4:
We finally ventured into the city with our smartphones and our camera. And we recorded everything which captured our eye for longer than one minute.
Friday 30 September 2016:
We stopped storing material. All the images were saved on a hard disk. Our images took up a total of 1,809 gigabytes.
Saturday October 1st, 2016:
We deliberately, but randomly, erased and destroyed 90% of the material gathered during the month of September.
What you see here is a montage of the remaining 10%:
Brussels, September 2016
Luca et Gabriel.