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EVEN AFTER THE COMPLETE COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION THERE WILL STILL BE PRODUCT PLACEMENT & POWER BALLADS

Documentation of the immersive installation even after the complete collapse of civilization there will still be product placement & power ballads which first flickered into life at Spike Open 2015, Bristol, UK.

The video above is a 5min 49sec sample from the full installation. The main video screen loops and has 21min duration, the four smaller screens which provide the ambient lighting run 1min static loops. Full screen sequences from the main screen have been cross cut with the documentary video to illustrate the content and imagery in more detail, all these edits are synchronous with the installation as viewers would meet the work.

CONTEXT

‘All hail the conquering hero!… The one who was supposed to save us all.’
Halo 5 Guardians

Under a sheet of gunfire and explosions, as rain and thunder thrash the darkened earth, a multitude of heroes descend into the carnage. Colony worlds have been unexpectedly attacked. Chaos has been unleashed by a plague of evil terror as corrupt Governments rely on weaponry and stealth to maintain authority. Human, mechanical and fantasy forces unite and collide in a universe without trust. Humanity is at stake and the power of love must prevail.

In the distance, amidst the analogue ruins of a fading biosphere, past the weather-worn flags of a once-powerful empire, a monument emerges from the wreckage; an altar to a lost nation – no – to civilisation itself.

But for as long as the wars continue to rage with their unrelenting, glory-seeking heroes and until the power ballads, unfettered in their heart-breaking sincerity, cease to be sung, civilisation will silently, willingly, pleasurably continue to fade to black.

DESCRIPTION

Stepping through sheets of black pvc into a darkened void, a rumble of thunder surrounds you, followed swiftly by a crack of lightning. You can just about make out a screen in the distance, looming overhead and showing only fuzz. As your eyes adjust you see that the floor is strewn with detritus; broken machinery, TV’s, barrels and bike wheels dictate a path onto a mirrored walkway, reflecting an immense structure ahead. As your eyes settle further you make out the outline of a monument; an altar. Bedecked in tin foil the structure reaches imposingly, ridiculously, into a sky of would-be ominous, cartoon-like clouds.

Embedded in the altar, the screen flickers into life and the nightmare begins to unfold.

Clips from video game trailers are cut and spliced into a cacophony of relentless violence, forming a loose but compelling end-of-world narrative. Power ballads intermittently overlay the visual and aural assault, weaving a love story into the homoeroticism and undercutting the hyper masculinity and sexualised images of women with a tongue-in-cheek melodrama. A single coke can carelessly, deliberately, anoints the altar; an altar consecrated to the monetisation of the failed futures of yesterday and the lost dreams of better tomorrows.

ENVIRONMENT DOCUMENTATION @ SPIKE ISLAND & PLYMOUTH ART CENTRE

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