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Solo exhibition

Close-up on object during daytime

I want it to be alone. Alone in the dark. Alone in the wild. I don't want anyone to see it. I told Ong and Gabor, who are coming with me, that I would have to kill them afterwards, so no one knows how to get back there. I was kidding ... or was I? :P

Although I travel as light as possible, it feels as if I'm going for a week. Aside from the media equipment (mini-dv, photo camera, tripod), I got plenty to eat and drink, including a small bottle of Song Sam to keep me warm. For safety, I got a machete and, to give me some courage (or is it stupidity) a venom pump, the kind of which, according to Ong, once saved the life of one of his friends.

We leave ComPeung in the late afternoon, driving with the bikes to meet the fisherman who's supposed to lead us throught the Mae Kuang reservoir. I want to go far away, way after the road. I want to see water passing. I want to see trees, and rocks, and more trees. After a fifteen minutes ride on the boat, we step out of the boat and go straight in the jungle, looking for a spot.

We find a nice one up-hills. I almost get lost when I go pick up the bags that we left behind. When I come back, the sun is already going down at the horizon. Luckily, Gabor have already collected some wood for the fire (the best protection against unwanted visitors such as mosquitoes, spiders and poisonous snakes). But we have to hang the device before the sunset.

Ong tries to show us his monkey skills by climbing a tree but only manages to fall midway and almost break his foot on the sharp rocks. But Gabor was a waterpolo player for the Hungarian national team in another life. He attaches a rock to the rope and throws it over a branch in an almost perfect way. We pull the wire, raising the artwork high in the orange-soaked sky.

My friends leave with the fisherman, leaving me behind. The night falls with the opening a rather peculiar exhibition, with me being both the sole artist and the sole spectator.

The behavior

The object follows a simple behavior that is illustrated in the schema. During daytime, it is put to sleep mode and consumes very low energy, allowing the batteries to recharge with the energy from the solar panel. When night comes, it starts by being idle, emmitting a slow oscillation, as if snoring. After a while, it starts looking curiously at its own reflection in the bottle, as if quickly moving in front of a mirror and noticing the way the image follows. Then, it either stops at this point and goes back to idling, or it starts playing with its own reflection by trying to match the perceived light. At the beginning of the process, the adjustments are rather bruques and clumsy, resulting in a rapid flickering. Slowly, the adjustments become smaller and smaller and the light stabilizes around a central point, a bit like a pendulum slowly stopping over time due to friction. After stabilization, the object eventually returns to its idle state and the process starts again.


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I want it to be alone. Alone in the dark. Alone in the wild. I don't want anyone to see it. I told Ong and Gabor, who are coming with me, that I would have to kill them afterwards, so no one knows how to get back there. I was kidding ... or was I? :P

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