The Distance in Heart 
Artist Statement

The piece starts with a quiet ambience in a dark room. The first chapter is 2 animations from Google Earth Studio on the top cubes, they are apart but moving in the same direction. It then switches to the attractions and uniqueness in cubes with extra footage in the below cubes. The cubes are displayed like a heart. After the transition of a plane ride,  the next chapter is about people and multicultural events. With another transition, it goes to the small bits of life. Suddenly, there is an interruption of video calls. My family and friends waved in front of the camera and flashbacks to other important people in my life. It ends with a line saying, " Far away, but close at heart."

Since the new reality of the pandemic, everyone had been in a social distance environment and was impacted. I wanted to create something that is therapeutic and feasible. Last year I had explored my identity as someone that grew up without a clear "nation" in mind. With the changing political state in Hong Kong and me being far away, I decided to show the differences through footages that I accumulated in the past 5 years. 

I was inspired by Hole In Space by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Over Yonder: Open Window In City by Megan Smith, video artwork about communications virtually. Even though we are themes are all similar - challenging the separation in physical space, I would like to think mine is uniquely different. It is built in my own home and heart, created during a socially isolated time, and virtual participants are not expected to react to it. I chose 4 cubes that are existing furniture as the main object, they symbolize the safe bubble we are in. The top two cubes are apart, but the below two are connected. With the four screens designed this way, I can freely choose to display video in positions that connect the experiences I had or separated into cubes. 

With the limited space in my studio apartment, I had to be creative in how to set up the installation.

My main challenge is envisioning and editing the 4 screens onto Mapmap, an open-source projection mapping software. Every time I add a newly edited video into Mapmap, I had to re-assign each "layer" of display windows to the correct box for projection. That is why only the plane ride transition is "full screens". I also had to redo the project from Final Cut Pro X to Premiere Pro because I was not able to align the tracks of footage.  

I added a layer of the positions of cubes, but it still weren't accurate as I was hoping to be.

Unlike Christo & Jeanne-Claude's philosophy of nature and landmark could not be own and should be enjoyed equally and for everyone, The Distance In Heart is private and intimate work. It is hard to describe everything but I am happy that the experience of viewing it conveyed the complex emotions I am having. I plan to invite my close friends for a viewing party, other than that, the area will rearrange back to a part of my living space. 

Work Cited:

http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/hole-in-space/

http://megansmith.ca/mls30193241/over-yonder-open-window-in-city-megan-smith-4/

https://www.azuremagazine.com/article/gift-guide-2020-7-books-for-distanced-design-lovers/

Full video for projection:

https://youtu.be/NfPdfLVIWmU

Tools:

Google Earth Studio

Mapmap

Final Cut Pro X

Premier Pro

Illustrator 

Zoom

Whatsapp call

Music:

Keith Anthony Holden, Ambient Background Music 3 [https://www.storyblocks.com/audio/stock/ambient-background-music-3-sewbeb0nuwsk0wy346p.html]

Neil Cross, Welcome Home

[https://www.storyblocks.com/audio/stock/welcome-home-rg5k8c3uwrk0wy3chp.html]

Facetime calling audio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzlpGk955Ds&ab_channel=FunandFresh