Locus Moment Houston, Texas 1999
For a brief period of two hours, we orchestrated an urban audio-visual experiment in a parking lot in midtown Houston. Inspired by Lars Lerup’s reading of a wild Houston and pushed by our own personal crises about that city, we tried to interfere in and intensify Houston’s metropolitan public realm. In collaboration with Gunnar Hartmann, Logan Ray, Aline Cautis, and Jens Joneleit we produced an urban event (a stim, as Lerup would call it), whose manifestation took many forms, including posters, branded gear, a radio talk show, and finally a live gathering in the city. The infrastructure necessary for this event was typical of any postwar American city: cars, more cars, a parking lot, and broadcast radio. With the help of a local radio station and the spectators’ stereos and headlights, every car present that evening emitted the sound of a Jens Joneleit composition. A live musician improvised in response, while similarly pre-recorded and live video feeds were projected on screens supported by the parked cars. The video footage, which consisted of fragments of daily life that we recorded on the mid-town parking lot prior to the event, slowed down and zoomed into a world of dust, ants, and vegetation that was taking over the pavement, one crack at the time. We abstracted this piece of the city offering it back for contemplation during the event. Locus Moment No. 1 was a focused intensification of urban interactions, briefly creating density where there was none.
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