2013 | 11:11 (excerpt)
Video: Adam Magyar
Shinjuku (excerpt), Tokyo, 2013
the full version: HD video, 11 min. 11 sec.
Other videos in the series: Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Bejing
Duration: from 10 to 24 min
“While spending extensive time in cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kolkata and New York, I was getting increasingly fascinated by man-made structures. I consider all man’s scientific achievements an integral part of human evolution. So, to me the city is not less of a natural environment than the rainforest. It is an ever-present human desire to go further and leave some trace behind in the fraction of the time we are given.
My drive is not different. I aim to grasp the devices at hand, push towards new frontiers by converting already existing technologies for photography in the hope of coming up with something new, a new device, a new language, a new frontier.
The factor of time is essential both in our private history and for humanity as a community. I am more interested in the drama of our own transience. In my works I capture man’s finite time in infinity. In my images I “stage” a situation where people are seen from a distance and I depict them as particles in a system. The observer of this scene is an imaginary person, looking at the whole as an outsider, as if being exempt from the laws of time.
I also perceive time and events taking place subjectively, consequently inappropriately. I find particular events more important than others, so I would instinctively emphasize them in my compositions. To eliminate this problem, I am experimenting with systems that relate to reality like watches and record series of events objectively. I build digital camera systems, adopt industrial machine-vision cameras and set up script-driven post processing methods.
In STAINLESS I scan rushing subway trains arriving to stations. The images record a number of tiny details of this moment. We see people staring towards their destinations standing at the doors framed by the sliding door windows. They are scrutinizing the uncertain future. Similarly to all my images, their main motivation is arrival. The darkness of the tunnels deep below the city turns these chemically clean mock-ups into fossils of our time.”