Viewmaster THE SERIES | 2010
THE SERIES explores the possibilities of Viewmaster ( >>> more on Viewmaster here : >>> ) as a tool that can be used by other artist to develop own work. Taking the idea of VM as an architectural machine rather than a scenography to its limit, it is logical to give the object to different users, freeing it from its unique relation to one specific work and developing it as a mobile production unit. In The Series invited guests develop a personal score based on the Viewmasterís architectural and conceptual set-up. Through a hands-on workshop of 2 days and a 3-4 week residency they can develop an own episode of the Viewmaster series. Much as the cinema apparatus is used to create and project each time a different film.
By inviting other artists from different disciplines (film, performance, visual art) to produce personal work within its existing structure, the Viewmaster becomes a platform in which different works that are fully authored by the invited artists are tested within the controlled time and space of this performance tool.
As Viewmaster moves from one host institution to the next, each becomes the producer of one episode in the series. The choice of the invited artist is left up to the producer or is suggested by the Viewmaster team. During the residency, Viewmaster can equally function as an installation during specific opening hours and as a performance venue for the new and existing performance episodes.
The first installment was co-produced by Huis a/d Werf in Utrecht, where Finnish choreographer Inari Salmivaara explored the box during a two-week residency in February 2010. The workshop and residency was accompanied by a seminar for the PHD students of the Media and Performance department of the University of Utrecht on the topic of "Liveness".
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VIEWMASTER (2007 - 2010)
Viewmaster operated for the first time at Netwerk / Center for Contemporary Art. Focusing on the different logics specific to the theater space as well as the gallery, the Viewmaster is both a performance and installation, as well as a tool for dramatizing venues and the viewing public.
Trick & Illusion :
The Viewmaster is a transportable mini-theater and live-cinema machine in one. Itís peculiar architecture and function is inspired by the Pepperís Ghost Illusion, a well known optical trick made popular in the theater during the late nineteenth century, before the invention of cinema. Using the illusion as a central mechanism, the Viewmaster produces a live cinema based on the sequence of reflected spaces rather than projected images.
A tool for sequence making :
Technically the Viewmaster is a theater box with a double interchangeable interior room or 'stage'. By altering the light situation either one or the other stages or a superposition of both becomes visible. It uses non-digital techniques to produce a cinematic sequence of spaces rather then images. The glass wall acts as a window, mirror and projection screen. Using sound, lighting and image, the traditional set-up of theater and cinema is duplicated and questioned.
Viewmaster shows you a Ďrealí special effect. You know it is a trick. You can even see how the trick works and still your enchanted by its magic.
Sharing spaces :
Since the invention of projection in the late 19th century, film has become practically synonymous with the cinema or movie theater. Modeled after the traditional theater dispositive, the place where films are shown is a divided space: on the one hand is the screen, acting as a window onto an imaginary depth, and on the other, the auditorium, acting as a single, shared point of view, occupied by an audience that sit immobile in the dark.
The Viewmaster reconfigures this traditional set-up, proposing a cinema where auditorium and screen are reversible, where multiple view points are possible and where the visitor can be both viewer and participant within a live image making process.
As opposed to other cinemas, which must hide from the audience its own gaze and projections, the architecture of the viewmaster allows viewers, both inside and out, to perceive their own positions, their own bodies and identifications.
After having toured as a performance as well as an installation during 2008, Heike Langsdorf, Laurent Liefooghe and Ula Sickle are focusing now on the potential of Viewmaster as a tool for use by other artists. From fall 2009 they will develop a format where several invited guests can develop a personal score based on Viewmaster's architectural and conceptual set-up. By inviting other artists to produce a work within it's existing structure, modifying it according to their needs, the Viewmaster becomes a platform for emerging projects that are fully authored by the invited artist.
episode 1 / Viewmaster _ Langsdorf, Liefooghe, Sickle
episode 2 / Etude _ Salmivaara
Tour02-02-2010 until 27 feb 2010 Huis aan de Werf . Utrecht
Heike Langsdorf, Laurent Liefooghe, Ula Sickle
initial performance / installation, dramaturgy, realization :
Heike Langsdorf, Laurent Liefooghe, Ula Sickle
guest user 1 :
guest residency 1 :
Huis aan de Werf
Caravan Production for Rebecca September vzw
Kunst/Werk, Netwerk Center for Contemporary Art, WorkSpace Brussels, Huis aan de Werf.
University of Utrecht, Department of Media and Performance