I was not there, but I am here now
Photographs, installation, physical computing
“I was not there, but I am here now” is an object, light, and performance based artifact that challenges the idea of history as an objective and universal story that can satisfy the multiple experiences of those (human and non-human) who lived the event. It takes the photographic medium as a key case study of what has been a tool of representing the ‘truth’. Rocks have been photographed in film to symbolize the solid and the immutable which are characteristic of normative history telling, and the strip of 35mm film is set in the artifact which turns the film round in loops mimicking a 16mm film projector. In every loop, the film is pressed under a piece of sand paper stuck in a block of wood. As this happens, the image is slowly being transformed, just like the memories of our experiences. Therefore, the image projected is never the same. In order to experience the projected image, 3 white LEDs have been soldered together and programmed to turn on when an ultrasonic sensor is being activated. The sensor is placed at the front of the machine, opposite to the LEDs, so that that which activates the sensor is the same where the film is projected. Aimed to be a participatory installation, subjects are encouraged to activate the projection with their presence in front of the machine. As the film is projected in one’s body, only the surrounding subjects can experience this projection. This system makes the performance collaborative and immersive, where the constantly being destroyed film is happening on the skin of the different subjectivities. As the image is erased, more light can reach the skin, enlightening the individual experiences of those who activate the projection.