23rd Art Division Excellence Award
Bull.Miletic [Norway / United States]
A kinetic video installation exploring how the experience and current proliferation of observation rides relate to the new imaging technologies that shape our contemporary media culture. In 2000, the 135-meter-high London Eye (re)launched the interest in large-scale urban observation wheels and propelled a rivaling appetite for ever grander designs. This work investigates the apparent boom of observation wheels across “world-class cities” by staging a meeting of some of the most iconic examples in operation today with the original Ferris Wheel, created by George W. G. Ferris, Jr. in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In the video, image sequences from the London Eye, Las Vegas High Roller, and Wiener Riesenrad are combined with 24 animated archival photographs taken from the original Ferris Wheel, in a visual experiment suspended between total overview on the one hand and vertigo and instability on the other.
Ferriscope offers a sense of fun akin to a pop-up children’s book. A projector shows viewers archival images of an old Ferris wheel. It was in 1893 that George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. invented and constructed the first Ferris wheel in the U.S., and since then massive Ferris wheels have popped up around the world. Ascending higher and higher on a Ferris wheel creates an increasing expansion of the field of vision while at the same time inducing dizziness and unease. Fully capturing this mental state exceeds the capacity of archival imagery; such subjective emotional affectation is not fully expressible through video content. The collaborative duo Bull.Miletic’s ambition is to achieve such expression by presenting the output of the projector in revolving motion, in the manner of a Ferris wheel. A DLP (Digital Light Processing) projector’s output is reflected in various ways with mirroring, causing colored noise to begin flying around the room at high speed, simulating a ride on a Ferris wheel that is starting to pick up speed. This is an entertaining work of media art that adopts an oblique slant in its approach to more comprehensively convey a subjective experience for which video content alone has limitations. (IKEGAMI Takashi)