Skip navigation

The Narrative Landscape

Jeffrey Shaw

With Dirk Groeneveld.

In this installation images are projected onto a large screen lying flat on the floor of the exhibition space. The spectators stand on a surrounding balcony where a joystick enables any one of them to interactively operate the work by panning in any lateral direction over the surface of its images and zooming in or out of a chosen part of an image. At the zoom extremes the joystick generates a digital transition from one image layer to another. The Narrative Landscape is constituted by twenty-eight images that are interrelated by a specific spatial and conceptual architecture. The primary image - a satellite picture of earth inscribed with a Hebraic astrological chart) is divided by a grid of red lines into nine areas that define access to nine groups of three images. The three images in each group are arranged one below the other and the viewer can move up or down through these three layers.

All nine groups are structured as iconographic triptyches. The images on the first level represent a place, those on the second level indicate the body, the images on the third level are symbolic figurations. Each group of three images has a distinct narrative formation where the underlying metaphor is one of emblematic places whose typologies are articulated in the fate of its denizens. The spoken texts, written by Dirk Groeneveld, are conceived as nine distinct narrative poems interactively linked to the nine groups of three images.

In 1995 a compact CD-ROM version of this work was made using a trackball and a monitor mounted horizontally in a specially made table. Credits:

Software: Larry Abel (1985)
Revised Software: Gideon May (1992)
Hardware: Tat Van Vark and Charly Jungbauer
CD-ROM Version: Volker Kuchelmeister (1995)
Produced under the auspices of Stichting de Appel, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


1985: de Appel/Holland festival, Aorta, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Siggraph Ô85 Art Show, Exploratorium San Francisco, United States; De Lantaren, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Performancetage, Moltkerei-Werkstatt, Cologne, Germany.

1986: Festival des Arts Electroniques, Rennes, France.

1989: 25 Jahre Video-Skulptur, DuMont Kunsthalle, Cologne, Germany; 39. Berliner Festwochen 1989, Berlin, Germany; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland.

1992:The Robots, Nagashima Spaland, Nagoya, Japan.

1995:Trigon-Personale 95, Neue Galerie Graz, Austria.

1995/96: Photography after Photography, Siemens Kulturprogramm, Munich: Aktionsforum Praterinsel, Munich, Germany; Kunsthalle Krems, Austria; Städtische Galerie, Erlangen, Germany; Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen Cottbus, Germany; Museet for Fotokunst Odense, Denmark.