ALEXANDER HAHN

electronic media artist

 

 

Aviation Memories

(1986, computer animation, SD, stereo, 6:09'')

 

Aviation Memories is a "virtual multi-channel video installation, created with a Fairlight CVI, using images derived from the illustrations of the Dutch artist Jan Vredeman de Vries. The work begins as an introduction to possible installations of video work, showing (with diagrams and animation) how monitors and related objects would be placed in a gallery setting.

 

Aviation Memories is a document on a series of video installations that were never realized. First of all, there is a sort of program-image, a TV monitor on the screen of which an object resembling a satellite is turning. It is, in fact, an image-tube. Then a feminine voice off-screen describes a complex installation composed of several monitors and closed-circuit cameras, enclosed in a space whose wall might be the support media for perspective views, copies of XVIIth century engravings. Pictures of rooms with various computer-marked locations of monitors and cameras give way to global computer-generated views. Silhouettes of men flying are overlaid onto historical backgrounds, filmed by cameras in real time. We see a few extracts of the images that could be seen if one of the installations were to be produced, and we can hear the text which would be put out over loudspeakers in the exhibition gallery. The installation as a whole functions on the mise en abyme system. The looped images repeated in a closed-circuit device echo the history of a man who enters a house, falls, then sees a house that he enters, etc. Here, Alexander Hahn makes an attempt at spatialization of memory, not without reference to Giordano Bruno's famous ars memoriae of the XVIIth century. The document itself, constituted by the film, ends on the same image as at the beginning, that of an image-tube turning in a monitor. Themes can be found here that will be developed in the artist's later work, such as, for example, the use of urban, architectural space as a metaphor for mental space.

(Lysianne Léchaut-Hirt, in New Media Encyclopedia)