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Thing

Anouk De Clercq

video, b/w, 16:9, stereo & 5.1, English spoken, BE/IT, 2013, 17’

An architect talks about the city he has built. Gradually we realise that the city is imaginary. His account is an attempt to give his ideas a fixed shape. This, in a nutshell, is the story of Thing.

As part of this work a book Thing is published.

In previous works, such as Pixelspleen –where two pixels meet in a dark and vast space– , or Swan Song –a speculation about a pixel’s last song, or last dance before death– Anouk De Clercq draws on what might be called “the smallest unit” that makes up the digital image. In Thing, it is no longer about the pixel, but rather about the dot, or more accurately, about the scale interplay between the dot and its multiplication and organization in the digital image and space. Screened at a very large scale, Thing, is an architectural universe that ceaselessly reveals its own virtuality for it exists only as a nebula of points wherein the camera, or actually, the point of view, wanders.
Indeed, the technology used in Thing does not allow talking about a camera since it is made of 3D scans of urban spaces. Instead, we could talk about a point of view, a gaze, or even a body (that wanders). Thereby, a tension is generated between the mechanical register of space and its embodied perception. A tension or overlap between two sensing interfaces: the scanner and the body, without any need to determine whether there is a desire to reproduce the mode of sensing of the latter through the technology of the former.
Unlike other works in which the animation is for the artist an occasion to create spaces without memory (precisely because animation does not capture anything), in Thing, the virtual universe does have a memory; the scanner does capture. The same memory that a body has or that is required in the learning of perception.
Calling it Thing is a resistance to provide connotation beyond the signalling of a paradoxical –for it is virtual– materiality. Notwithstanding the nuances between authors and periods, the word “thing” in philosophical and psychoanalytic traditions has often been used to refer to the inaccessible, a stronghold of inexplicable emptiness on which meaning is built. Thing, is a film that is built from a text that progressively describes, creates, or builds a space. The dot and the word become thereby, parallel compositional elements. (Anna Manubens)

Images Scanlabprojects
Sound Scanner
Editing Fairuz
Voice Liam Byrne
Final sound mixing Maxence Ciekawy at Le Fresnoy studio national des arts contemporains
Dramaturgy Marianne Van Kerkhoven
Text editing & translation Mari Shields
Technical research Elias Heuninck, Yves Marquillie
Title design Michael Bussaer
Produced by Auguste Orts
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, CERA Partners in Art, Kaaitheater, Academia Belgica (IT), Nomas (IT) & Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains (FR).
This work is part of The art of ~scaping, a research project by Anouk De Clercq, funded by the Research Fund University College Ghent.

Thing has been on display at the following locations:

Filmoteca Madrid, (ES) Saturday, Dec 15 2018 MEER Gent, (BE) Sunday, Aug 26 2018 OMSI Portland, (US) Wednesday, Jul 11 2018 The Institute for Architecture and Media Graz, (AT) Thursday, Apr 12 2018 De Grote Post Oostende, (BE) Sunday, Mar 4 2018 Acud Macht Neu Berlin, (DE) Feb 2–Mar 4 2018 International Film Festival Kaunas, (LT) Friday, Dec 8 2017 DocLab Hanoi, (VN) Wednesday, Nov 8 2017 La Bande à Vidéo Québec, (CA) Oct 28–Nov 26 2017 Argos Brussel, (BE) Sep 24–Oct 8 2017 Nordland Kunst- og Filmfagskole Lofoten, (NO) Sep 4–Sep 5 2017 ACUD MACHT NEU Berlin, (DE) Saturday, May 20 2017 Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, (AU) Saturday, Apr 29 2017 De Brakke Grond Amsterdam, (NL) Thursday, Apr 6 2017 Kunstnernes Hus Kino Oslo, (NO) Tuesday, Apr 4 2017 Art Academy Leipzig, (DE) Saturday, Mar 25 2017 MuZEE Oostende, (BE) Mar 21–Jul 31 2017 Art Rotterdam Rotterdam, (NL) Feb 9–Feb 12 2017 Gallery Sofie Van de Velde Antwerpen, (BE) Sep 2–Oct 9 2016 Whitechapel Gallery London, (GB) Jun 24–Jun 25 2016 Cameo Winterthur, (CH) Saturday, May 28 2016 Metro Kino Kulturhaus Vienna, (AT) Friday, May 27 2016 Antwerp Art Weekend Antwerpen, (BE) May 20–May 22 2016 SPOT Produce festival Istanbul, (TR) Saturday, Apr 23 2016 Swiss Architecture Museum Basel, (CH) Saturday, Feb 27 2016 Art Cinema OFFoff Gent, (BE) Monday, Feb 22 2016 California Institute of the Arts Los Angeles, (US) Wednesday, Feb 17 2016 Goldkante Bochum, (DE) Wednesday, Jan 20 2016 CPH:dox Copenhagen, (DK) Thursday, Nov 12 2015 Filmer à Tout Prix Brussel, (BE) Sunday, Nov 8 2015 Statens Museum for Kunst Copenhagen, (DK) Friday, Nov 6 2015 ARKIPEL International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival Jakarta, (ID) Aug 19–Aug 29 2015 Les Rencontres Internationales Berlin, (DE) Wednesday, Jun 24 2015 OK. Video Jakarta, (ID) Jun 15–Jun 28 2015 International Short Film Festival Kiev, (UA) Apr 22–Apr 26 2015 Temporary Gallery Cologne, (DE) Apr 17–Apr 19 2015 Sphinx Gent, (BE) Wednesday, Apr 1 2015 TIFF Bell Lightbox Toronto, (CA) Sunday, Feb 1 2015 HISK Gent, (BE) Monday, Jan 19 2015 International Video Festival Busan, (KR) Dec 12–Dec 22 2014 Les Rencontres Internationales Paris, (FR) Wednesday, Dec 3 2014 European Media Studies Potsdam, (DE) Tuesday, Dec 2 2014 Kortfilmfestival Leuven, (BE) Nov 30–Dec 3 2014 Cynetart Dresden, (DE) Wednesday, Nov 12 2014 Video Festival Cairo, (EG) Nov 8–Nov 20 2014 CPH:DOX Copenhagen, (DK) Nov 6–Nov 16 2014 Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, (CH) Nov 4–Nov 9 2014 Impakt Utrecht, (NL) Thursday, Oct 30 2014 Festival International du Film de La Roche sur Yon, (FR) Saturday, Oct 18 2014 Underdox Munich, (DE) Tuesday, Oct 14 2014 Romuva Kaunas, (LT) Saturday, Oct 11 2014 Dailės Galerija Šiaulių, (LT) Friday, Oct 10 2014 International Film Festival Kaunas, (LT) Saturday, Oct 4 2014 CAC Cinema Vilnius, (LT) Thursday, Oct 2 2014 Art Kino Rijeka, (HR) Sep 29–Sep 30 2014 25FPS Zagreb, (HR) Saturday, Sep 27 2014 Ars Electronica Linz, (AT) Sep 4–Sep 8 2014 La Casa Encendida Madrid, (ES) Sunday, Aug 24 2014 International Short Film Festival Sao Paolo, (BR) Aug 20–Aug 31 2014 NeMaf Seoul, (KR) Aug 7–Aug 15 2014 Film Festival Traverse City, (US) Jul 31–Aug 3 2014 New Horizons Wroclaw, (PL) Jul 24–Aug 3 2014 Film Fest Lago, (IT) Jul 18–Jul 26 2014 The Art Academy London, (GB) Jul 18–Jul 19 2014 Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina Novi Sad, (CS) Jun 21–Jun 28 2014 International Short Film Festival Hamburg, (DE) Jun 6–Jun 8 2014 Budascoop Kortrijk, (BE) Wednesday, May 28 2014 Videoex Zurich, (CH) May 24–Jun 1 2014 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, (DE) May 4–May 5 2014 IndieLisboa Lisbon, (PT) Apr 30–May 2 2014 Ann Arbor Film Festival Michigan, (US) Sunday, Mar 30 2014 Kanuti Gildi Saal Tallinn, (EE) Thursday, Feb 27 2014 Finnish Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki, (FI) Monday, Feb 24 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam, (NL) Jan 25–Jan 31 2014 CinemaXXI Rome, (IT) Nov 9–Nov 10 2013 Kaaitheater Brussel, (BE) Wednesday, Sep 25 2013