Out of This World

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OTW explores our relation to the anonymous public space. It challenges the idea of being at one place at a time while wanting to be elsewhere. It plays with the imaginary trips we make in our minds as we move through this free space that belongs to nobody. By opening a ‘real time’ link between two places, OTW visually connects a place on the thoroughfare canal (Nassaukade) in the center of Amsterdam with the transit hall at Schiphol airport. This link is entirely virtual and provides a glimpse of real-time Amsterdam to the passengers arriving  into the city. The installation at Schiphol terminal is complemented with a publication – the OTW Passenger Ticket and Baggage Check. This is a ‘portal’ to a get-away for the people staying at home.

From  OTW Passenger Ticket and Baggage Check 1998 © Jelena Stefanovic

“Being in more places at the same time remains the ultimate desire of every traveler. Maybe the true condition of being in transit is the illusion of ‘all’ destinations being within our reach without any physical movement. It leaves us very often in a vacuum where locality and time completely collapse. The point of departure (the past) is known, and so is the final destination (the future).  Only the link with the reality of the present is missing.

An image of a place beyond this environment ‘cuts a hole’ in it’s tightly sealed isolation. It provides access to the present by creating a virtual intersection of different places and times. In an environment saturated with images and signage, the suggestion of an interaction through just another image seems almost self-contradictory. Still, an image that does not quite belong to its context is like a silence in a continuous field of sound. Its ambiguity stimulates curiosity.

An audio-visual report has the fascinating quality of immediate presence. It has something of the voyeuristic experience – watching without being seen. Just like travelling without accomplishing the movement. It is the image that has not been edited and this authenticity gives it a personal experience. It comes as close as possible to ‘reality’.

Projecting an image is an objective way of looking at it. It frames a perspective that is usually overlooked and taken for granted. It is nota bout the sightseeing, but rather a different approach to orientation. Knowing where we are at any moment in time, regardless of our desire to be at many different places, is our response to the fear of being lost.

Through manipulation of these definitions a substitute for experience is generated. Whether trying to escape the boredom of a daily routine, or driven by a heavy nostalgia, we all keep wishing for a time machine. All we get is an illusion. “

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Temporary installation at Schiphol Departures hall D, Amsterdam 1998

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