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CRUISING THE URBAN INFERNO FROM THE 4th FLOOR
2009 / 3:57 minutes / featuring music by SEDAN
Cruising the Urban Inferno from the 4th Floor is a city portrait and stop-motion/time-lapse animation piece composed from over 2,000 digital photographs, shot over 4 days, from a 4th floor room at the Patricia Inn, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each photo was taken by hand (rather than remote), with a point and shoot camera which involved physically maneuvering the camera during various shots to achieve particular visual effects such as swirling and superimposition. Editing with an intention to simulate movement was performed in-camera. Although a couple of sequence sections were shifted during the final video editing process, they are presented chronologically by day and none of the images are repeated.
“Cruising the urban inferno” is taken from Susan Sontag's essay, Melancholy Objects, and is in reference to Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur, or one who voyeuristically strolls through city streets. The area in which I was staying is an intersection between Chinatown and Gastown, on the edge of the downtown core, and home to many non-profit organizations that provide assistance to the drug users, sex workers, impoverished, and homeless who congregate or reside there. The street and alleyway I have documented in particular feature some of these individuals, including needle exchange volunteers. With this in mind, and careful observation, the viewer can glimpse various interactions and activities that are characteristic of and commonplace in this particular section of Vancouver.
SEDAN is Danny Sasaki on drums and Scott Seckington on piano