ALEXANDER HAHN

electronic media artist

 

Cao Chang Di Road on November 24 2009 I Stood There Waiting

2012, HD video projection, 5:1 surround sound, 41:43' loop)

 

A handheld video, shot mostly out of focus, of Cao Chang Di Road, a Beijing art district street. Passing vehicles and people trigger the camera pans. Fluctuations in the original ambient soundtrack control the amount of grain. Blur and grain varyingly obscure the details - fuzziness of recollection and forgetting. At the time, it seemed like filming an ordinary place: the estate of artist Ai Weiwei to the right, eventually, two women waiting to be let in. In the wake following the artist's detention, the reconstructed wait seems permeated by the tensional atmosphere present in covert or surveillance footage, ubiquitous these days, foreshadowing imminent perpetration in even the seemingly most inconspicuous places.

A caveat about the on-line version: the web codec by its nature degrades much of the pointillist grain characteristic of the original, non-compressed 1080 HD video.