The American desert seen from above: only a few shades of brown, grey and red. A place where hundreds of atomic bombs have been triggered for research purposes. Unusable barren land, stones and boulders, as far as the eye can see. And suddenly, as if they were signals from a distant space station, from other planets, there they are, the lights of Las Vegas – the city a biotope kept alive within a hostile environment: an aquarium.
Stepping into this enormous aquarium you are caught by a maelstrom, you are confronted with a world where everything is beautiful, lucent, but only superficially so; where everything is cheap and still money is in the focus of this world. The builders of Las Vegas sure understood the grammatical system of manufacturing dreams.
In this overdimensioned aquarium, objects move about like driftwood, apparently without any purpose or direction. There is no need to distinguish between reality and projection. The game of deception mingling reality, reflection and projection creates a state of semi-sleep between hallucination and triviality.
The video presents a sequence of shots, without camera motion or zoom. They are exclusively night shots realized with a camera modified so as to record the infrared spectrum. By reversing the images into the negative the darkness of the night is turned into a bright world of glass. Layers, will o’the wisps, reflections, light images, shadows, light effects, meaning, meaninglessness interact.
And also the Las Vegas soundscape – the eternal plashing of US pop music, voices and engines – is reversed into ist contrary: an abstract electronic sound world, drones, fragments of melodies fading in the distance, minimal like clusters – all these sounds convert the noisy, sparkling world of Las Vegas into an unworldly scenery lost in revery.
featuring Werner Cee, e-ch’in, Eivind Aarset: e-guitar