Single channel video, sound, 7 min 29 seconds, 2020
‘Pandemia to Pandemia’ is a surreal journey that reflects on the trauma of modern transitory life and how travel has changed during Covid 19. Actual travellers were photographed and interviewed at different moments during the Covid epidemic and in short audio statements reflect about their feelings during travel.
Watch the video
All travellers are safely enclosed in giant colourful bubbles. They are taken by the velocity of speed; they come and go and ride in an endless loupe just like a toy train does. Bubbles collide, and strangers meet each other for a moment before they move on. The word “bubble” has gained a new connotation during Covid times, but more so I was inspired by a seaside fun fair where people were wheeling in giant bubbles like hamsters. I was suddenly overcome by the fearful vision that the fun seekers got blown out into the dangerous open sea.
Travelling signifies the freedom to experience other cultures, gain enlightenment & overcome fears. At this moment in history people are afraid of being close to others or/and get infected, but also afraid to lose the freedom to roam freely in this world. Throughout the years, I have photographed people caught on mass transit during significant historical time: Russians riding the escalator after Perestroika (Metropoliten, 1993), New Yorkers travelling the Staten Island ferry shortly after 9/11 (Passengers, 2001), and commuters glued to their electronic devices in our digital world (In Transit, 2015).
Finally, when the journey is over and all travellers have gathered, they suddenly in a precisely synchronized move disperse, tumble & vanish into all directions and the far distance. An unknow ending and “really shocking for not saying anything precise about their vanishing”.
The project is animated with the gaming software Unity and can be experienced as a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift. The digital models of the travellers are created in Blender and are originally based on cut- out photographic prints playfully folded into three – dimensional sculptures that exaggerate the physique and posture of the characters.
I am currently seeking funding to develop Pandemia to Pandemia into an immersive virtual reality experience/ game with interactive features.
This project was made possible thanks to a GRAIN_Projects bursary, part of the national programme ‘Covid -19 Responses’, supported by @aceagram