Video still for TRUCOLD

A video work shot at night on the streets of London and - during a heavy fog - in Karlsruhe in Germany.

Lengthy shots with a fixed camera unveil the passage of time on the landscape. The work comes out of our interest in physical displacement, amnesia and time travel. It ties directly into other projects 10 Backwards and Can You See Me Now?, focusing in on the city at night and the gaps between what is real and what is fictional. The group are interested in the power of the viewer or participant to fictionalise their surroundings and to experience things which are not really there.

TRUCOLD at Fringe Fusina, Venice 2009

By partially erasing the ephemeral passage of traffic and people, the video presents the urban fabric as monolithic, expansive and subject to minute shifts that might otherwise pass unmarked. While superficially absent people are in fact constantly present on the margins: a running man appears as blur, another is briefly reflected in a marble column.

The work also plays with the limits and effects of technology: while reminiscent of time lapse techniques, the footage is in fact unfolding in real time. Shot on mini DV the shutter speed has been slowed to one third of a second in order to be able film in such low light. The video is filled with digital artefacts as the camera struggles with the conditions: pixellation, streaks of anomalous colour and lens flare. Some images seem computer generated. The act of image capture itself is bordering on entropy.

The city appears empty, open, receptive to meaning and yet there is attendant threat caused by that very absence. Both the quotidian and the mythic exists alongside one another.


TRUCOLD was made for the Biennale of Sydney in 2002 and was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It has since been featured in a number of exhibitions and film and video festivals in Europe, Asia and the United States.

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  1. Matt
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    This is one of those projects that came about serendipitously. We were working on Desert Rain at the ZKM in Karlsruhe and as we came out of the theatre late one night a dense fog had settled across the whole of the city. I ran inside to get the video camera and cranked every setting in an attempt to capture the eery, empty streets. Then it took a few years to find a home for the footage. Some of it featured in 10 Backwards but it was when Richard Grayson commissioned us for the Sydney Biennale that we found a fantastic home for it.

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