Wangfujing, Beijing, 2009, 30 minutes.
The final presentation of this video has not been decided yet. The most likely presentation would be a 42” LCD television mounted to the wall.
The video is taken from a fixed point, mounted on a tripod. The result is a sort of moving photograph that records the pacing of the changing/repeating advertising messages as the activity of the busy shopping area transpires in the foreground.
The scene is a pedestrian shopping street with an outdoor cafe and the structure of a shopping mall in the background. Across the top of the screen is a wide billboard that changes every thirty-five seconds. The mechanically timed changes of the three messages sets a visual pacing for the activities below. Things are thrown off just a bit by the fact that the far right side of the billboard is out of synch with the rest of it.
The transition from one billboard to the next takes about four seconds in real time. During this period, the video is slowed down to extend the transition and accentuate its effect on the space. The video returns to normal speed as soon as the billboard change is complete.
Visible in the upper left corner of the frame behind the tree is a small piece of a large LED screen showing a video of martial arts star Jet Li promoting his charity. The sound of this video presentation runs about forty-five seconds and repeats itself with verbal and musical audio elements. The promotion ends with a musical crescendo that builds to an audible apex occurring at least once a minute. This element of the video sets a pacing for the scene through repeated audio information while the sign at the top of the screen does so with visual information. The sound is not slowed down during the transition periods.
There is no conceptual beginning or end to this video. The viewer is invited to watch as much or as little as they like. Once the viewer understands the idea of the repeated messages, there is a great deal of interest in events occurring on street level. Street narratives play out in the foreground with pay phones, trash/recycling receptacles, the cafe, smokers, shoppers, cyclists and sanitation workers.