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Unfinished: Scars of the Past/Face of the Future

Unfinished: Scars of the Past/Face of the Future, 2005-2006.
Unfinished: Scars of the Past/Face of the Future at Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade. Photo by Bull.Miletic.

In the Unfinished installation, three identical vertical panoramas of Belgrade are projected with an 8-second delay side-by-side in the room. Some of the buildings and sites that come into view are of historical and/or national importance. Other locations include improvised suburban colonies, concrete residential conglomerations of New Belgrade, obscure underground passages, remnants of the 1999 airstrikes, floating habitats, refugee settlements, graveyards, etc. The sound in the installation is created by striking each of the 88 keys on a grand piano in 40-second intervals.

This project is produced with funding from ArtsLink, New York, OCA, Norway, Ambrosius Egedius Legat, UKS, Norway, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade. A catalog of the project is published by the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Serbia.

Synopsis

Situated on the main cultural and ideological intersection in Europe, Belgrade is the city where scars of the past turn into the face of the future. Belgrade's unique strategic position in the Balkans represented a target for countless conquests and destructions throughout centuries. A recent example being the NATO military intervention in 1999, when the city's already fragile infrastructure was further compromised. Its eclectic architectural solutions, peculiar infrastructure, and convoluted urbanization are monuments of this traumatic history.

Our intention with the piece is to create a sense of space in between mnemonic and physical environments where Belgrade's past, present, and future exist as interchangeable variables. In dissecting Belgrade's urban tissue with our camera, we unconventionally frame the extraordinary architectural incoherencies throughout the city and expose them to different time sequencing. Belgrade, as a city in constant transition, opens up new ways of reading historical artifacts and political trajectories. The intention behind this work is to discover how architectural form, as Siegfried Kracauer acknowledges, can be seen as the result of deeper concern, discovering a culture in transition that rejects traditional analysis by mythologizing its own collapse.

The visual and acoustical pattern of the work

The video installation has an internal time/frame relationship. Within the three different channels, the relationship is based on a distance of 8 seconds. The structure is like this:

16 – 8 – 0

The same video is played back three times on three different screens. The right starts at 0, then 8 seconds later comes the middle, and 16 seconds later the right (8 seconds after the middle). The audio has an internal time and tonal logic. The relationship is 88 descending notes on a grand piano in a diatonic scale at 40 seconds intervals.

Relationship between audio and video

The relationship between the audio and the video in the installation is seemingly unrelated. The audio is played back from a CD, which runs separately from the DVD player. The total running time of the DVD is 54,12 minutes and the total running time for the CD is 60 min. Both played back in an endless loop, the keys associated with the images are going to change accordingly. The sound still provides for an important structure to the video and the relationship between audio and video will be constantly redefined through its different juxtapositions through time.

The tonal distance between the notes is one scale step, the temporal distance is 40 seconds:

Seconds: 0 – 40 – 80 – 120 …..3600
Piano keys: 88 – 87 – 86 – 85 ………..1

Key number Note name Frequency (Hz)
88 C8 4186.01
87 B7 3951.07
86 A♯7/B♭7 3729.31
85 A7 3520.00
84 G♯7/A♭7 3322.44
83 G7 3135.96
82 F♯7/G♭7 2959.96
81 F7 2793.83
80 E7 2637.02
79 D♯7/E♭7 2489.02
78 D7 2349.32
77 C♯7/D♭7 2217.46
76 C7 2093.00
75 B6 1975.53
74 A♯6/B♭6 1864.66
73 A6 1760.00
72 G♯6/A♭6 1661.22
71 G6 1567.98
70 F♯6/G♭6 1479.98
69 F6 1396.91
68 E6 1318.51
67 D♯6/E♭6 1244.51
66 D6 1174.66
65 C♯6/D♭6 1108.73
64 C6 1046.50
63 B5 987.767
62 A♯5/B♭5 932.328
61 A5 880.000
60 G♯5/A♭5 830.609
59 G5 783.991
58 F♯5/G♭5 739.989
57 F5 698.456
56 E5 659.255
55 D♯5/E♭5 622.254
54 D5 587.330
53 C♯5/D♭5 554.365
52 C5 523.251
51 B4 493.883
50 A♯4/B♭4 466.164
49 A4 (A440) 440.000
48 G♯4/A♭4 415.305
47 G4 391.995
46 F♯4/G♭4 369.994
45 F4 349.228
44 E4 329.628
43 D♯4/E♭4 311.127
42 D4 293.665
41 C♯4/D♭4 277.183
40 C4 (Middle C) 261.626
39 B3 246.942
38 A♯3/B♭3 233.082
37 A3 220.000
36 G♯3/A♭3 207.652
35 G3 195.998
34 F♯3/G♭3 184.997
33 F3 174.614
32 E3 164.814
31 D♯3/E♭3 155.563
30 D3 146.832
29 C♯3/D♭3 138.591
28 C3 130.813
27 B2 123.471
26 A♯2/B♭2 116.541
25 A2 110.000
24 G♯2/A♭2 103.826
23 G2 97.9989
22 F♯2/G♭2 92.4986
21 F2 87.3071
20 E2 82.4069
19 D♯2/E♭2 77.7817
18 D2 73.4162
17 C♯2/D♭2 69.2957
16 C2 65.4064
15 B1 61.7354
14 A♯1/B♭1 58.2705
13 A1 55.0000
12 G♯1/A♭1 51.9130
11 G1 48.9995
10 F♯1/G♭1 46.2493
9 F1 43.6536
8 E1 41.2035
7 D♯1/E♭1 38.8909
6 D1 36.7081
5 C♯1/D♭1 34.6479
4 C1 32.7032
3 B0 30.8677
2 A♯0/B♭0 29.1353
1 A0 27.5000

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