alex mackenzie : mediaworks

the velvet light trap, 2007

the velvet light trap
mentor, 2007
The Velvet Light Trap was a group installation exploring pre-cinema, light and movement in collaboration with Projections, a film and video mentoring and training program for youth with limited access to resources in Vancouver. Integrating workshops involving hand-processing, contact printing and rayogram exercises as well as an exploration of pre-cinema technologies, youth were asked to imagine a time before film and video existed—that period which only barely precedes the moving image as we have known it for the past hundred years: how were light, shadows, and movement being investigated and explored in that moment, a moment in history on the verge of monumental and radical shifts in economics, entertainment, and self-perception? And how might we apply these concerns in a contemporary and personalized way? The result was a group installation of individual works as well as the collaborative creation of a room-sized camera obscura, in essence a giant pinhole camera which reflects the outside world inverted in the darkened space of the InterUrban Gallery in Vancouver. The installation used this device to create an atmosphere of observation, study, inquiry and calm while investigating a corner of the Vancouver downtown eastside cityscape.
Original poster art here, gallery sheet here.