Chicago, IL


The twin stair towers of the Armory are used as narrative devices to be read ascending or descending. Video cameras along each stair’s radial geometry encompasses a 65 degree optical wedge made up of three concentric zones of surveillance: the stairway, the window wall, and the distant views beyond, which are appropriated by the project. Liquid crystal panels switch from transparent to printed translucent surfaces that narrate observations of characters extracted from arbitrary sites: a distant apartment, an office, a hospital room, or a street scene. In the transparent mode, the gaze of the viewer transgresses the exhibition surface and focuses on actual private sites, turning viewer into voyeur, fictions into speculations to be visually confirmed. Sight lines of live video cameras in the intermediate surveillance zone are constantly broken, turning viewers into foreground characters. The twin video installations are cross-wired, thus the symmetry that once expressed the authority of the military now serves to disorient its new occupants.

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