Alone in a Dark Room (with Steve McQueen)

The skin of (digital) cinema: an experimental video dealing with the nature of capturing and disseminating digital cinema, the materiality of digital artifacts, proprietary issues regarding media art, and an attempt to “touch” another person—another place, another time—via the networked moving image. In January 2013, I visited the Steve McQueen exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, where I found the installation of his video piece Illuminer particularly riveting. In McQueen's work, the reflected illumination of the television screen is the only light, which casts its media-glow on the artist's body, reclining in a hotel bed. The digital camera struggles to find the subject, creating a swirl of digital optical effects. Confronted with this video installation, I used my 8gb cellphone camera to capture (maybe "steal"?) this work. I posted my own capture of McQueen's work online, titled Illuminer Expanded, part 1. From this new source, a MacBook Pro was used to both project and capture my own watching of this work while reclining in bed. Using an Auto Contrast algorithm, the resulting images are cast in another layer of digitized visual effect—three times removed from McQueen's digital camera, and with the French news station that provided the original light source and audio now translated 4 times. — More on Steve McQueen's Illuminer: mudam.lu/en/le-musee/la-collection/details/artist/steve-mcqueen Illuminer Expanded, part 1: vimeo.com/56839171

Experimental video, 10m 34s, 2013
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