Strip is a series of site-specific panoramic video installations: each an uncut, continuous ride through a
specific urban area, produced by traversing a long path through a city, cutting through areas both industrial and residential in nature, while avoiding famous monuments and the like, in favor of
day-to-day environments and structures. The first piece in the series was shot in North Spaulding
Avenue, Chicago, USA: a typical, mostly residential street that in Chicago-grid fashion runs straight for many miles, crossing the city from the downtown, less well-to-do Garfield Park in the south to the wealthier suburb of Lincolnwood in the north. The artist’s first Chicago home is on this street and thus
it serves as “ground-zero” for further exploration / mediation of the surrounding urban fabric.

The video is shot from the side of a bicycle, that becomes an engine for the construction of the
cinematic image, driving it in a rippling, humanizing rhythm of starts, stops, twists and turns. The single video image from the camera is sampled at different moments in time that are tiled next to each other
to produce the resulting “panorama” seen in the installation. The intervals between the tiled fragments
are manipulated, shrunk and expanded, to suggest a different metaphor of “focus”, in which only one
of the main planes in the frame (mostly houses, cars and greenery in the Chicago piece) remain physically whole: what is not in “focus” becomes stretched and multiplied, or else cut up and broken. Owing to it’s continuous, modular nature, the piece may be extended in width as much as is technically possible, until it becomes a Borgesian map, overlapping the street it depicts, providing an intensely, physically subjective view of the gestalt of its existence as a chunk of both space and time.

Strip builds on concepts and research from diverse fields: the raw materials for military aeria
l surveillance photography are long photo-panoramas of landscape, called “strips”. There is a poignant inversion between the all-seeing perspective of a classified, powerful aircraft surveying the land from above, and that of a lone cyclist with a camcorder, creating a subjective image of the same landscape, one that may never be effectively used to control and navigate it as it’s military counterpart is.

Strip refers to a long tradition of landscape panoramas and documentary photography, introducing the
embodied agency of the artist as a physical, transformative presence in the piece, in a way that is perhaps more related to the oldest, hand cranked cameras then to the contemporary digital image-industry.

Later additions to the series such as the one created in Xuzho, question the role of the artist himself
in his interaction with urban space: somewhere between a resident, a tourist, a performer and a documentarist. Thus a local resident is invited to participate in the piece’s creation, traversing the
spaces they are more and less familiar with in their current home town.

Nadav Assor
Merit Scholarship
2010 Graduate Candidate for
MFA in Art and Technology
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
http://nadassor.net/

Nadav Assor Strip 1 Strip 1, 2009, Installation Shot, Sullivan Gallery, Chicago

Strip 161
Strip172Strip233
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1.-4. Strip 1, 2009, Video, 7’34”
5.-6. CutStories, 2009-2010, Video installation

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CutStories LeftCutStories Right6

 

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