A Practical Demonstration

Machine Project, LA, CA 2008


A Practical Demonstration was an exercise in suspended orbits, suspended disbelief and circular group formations. This two part project consisted of a circle of local amateur videographers documenting the artist’s stunt double leaping from Machine Project's 2nd story window and another circle of international participants documenting the sun through live feed for 24 hours as the earth spins in it's daily orbit. In the tradition of a Vanitas still life, a human and a celestial body were held aloft for one day at different rates of speed that reflect both the physical proximity of their documenters and the particular nature of their life spans. The title refers to artist Yves Klein’s famous Leap Into the Void, which he considered a “practical demonstration”. In this homage the perspective of the documentarians is privileged over that of the artist.

Part One: On Sunday July 6th I hired a stunt double to leap from Machine Project's 2nd story window (where I spent the week sleeping). 36 volunteer videographers arranged in a large circle on the ground documented the fall. This footage was then edited to create a 360 degree pan, that overtly points to the presence of multiple perspectives, and suspends the figure in a perpetually circling set of falls that never reach the ground.

Part Two: For 24 hours on Friday July 11th (my birthday) in addition to the first video, we projected a continuous live broadcast, which tracked the sun around the earth, with help from a very large circle of international volunteers. A participant in each time zone pointed their computer camera at the sun from 11:30am to 12:30pm, with one time zone handing off to the next, feeding back "midday" to Machine Project via live video feed.


Special Thanks To:

Mark Allen- Curator

Eileen Maxson-Project Assistant

Tony Snegoff-Stunt Coordinator

Scott Rosen-Stuntman

All of the volunteer videographers and Skypers