DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45
A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
Live: #Alleman & Street Ghosts
Multimedia theatre premiere and present-day remake of Bert Haanstra’s 50 year old portrait of Dutch society, created inside Google Street View. Presented together with Street Ghosts by Paolo Cirio. Part of Interactive Reality organized with De Brakke Grond.
Fifty years after the release of documentary master Bert Haanstra’s Alleman (still the best-attended Dutch documentary of all time), theater director and actor Bert Hana presents his tribute to the iconic film, a live documentary that travels through the streets of the Netherlands by way of their digital images. Over the past few years, Hana created an immense archive of images of the Netherlands through Google Street View.
As Haanstra’s documentary did in 1963, these images depict the ordinary Dutchman and typical scenes of daily life in our country. We cross the barren plains of Zeeland and the crowded communal gardens in Amsterdam, encounter rowdy teenagers and bickering soccer moms, and behold Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” Passing through the various scenes, a fascinating picture of our flat little country emerges. Combining the theater’s direct address with cinema’s visual power and accompanied by a live sound- track, #Alleman asks what has changed over the past 50 years. Have we exchanged prudishness for worries about privacy? Has the abundance of information made us richer? The project will have its world premiere during DocLab Live: #Alleman + Street Ghosts on November 24.
For the “Street View” function of its online maps, search-behemoth Google has been industriously photographing the entire world. They don’t bother to ask for permission from the cities they capture, or the people who are photographed, literally in passing, as collateral damage in Google’s dreams of digitization. The artist Paolo Cirio turns Google’s practice on its head, and uses the company’s copyrighted photographs, without permis- sion, to change the image of the streets. Life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View are printed and posted at the exact spot where they were photographed. The posters are printed on thin paper and affixed to the walls of public buildings, giving them an ethereal quality – as if Cirio has made visible the specters of what would otherwise only have existed in Google’s digital world. These street ghosts have already shown up in New York, Marseille and Berlin, and will now also adorn buildings in Amsterdam. While the physical evidence of the ghosts’ appearance may vanish quickly, their documentation on the project’s website will remain forever. Paolo Cirio will present the project at the Interactive Reality Exhibition at De Brakke Grond, as well as during DocLab Live: #Alleman + Street Ghosts on November 24.