point A -> B (2007-9 DOWNIE ESHKAR KAISER)

Our point of departure is the urban sport of parkour, in which the goal is to get from point A to point B as rapidly, as inventively, and often as dangerously as possible. Rather than negotiating real spaces, here our virtual traceurs encounter a vertiginous world where action, perception, and location are continually overturned. This sensation is heightened for the viewer by the two parallel projections of the piece, which only rarely coalesce into a continuous panorama – more often they divide the space like a chasm.

For both figure and viewer, it is hard to traverse the space of Point A -> B since it seems mainly conjectural, as if its design had been left incomplete on the architect’s drawing board. The built terrain is under mental construction, the process of which is everywhere evident in generic cubes, wireframe scaffolding, place-holder masses, stock elements, translucent surfaces, and cut-away and cross-section views.

The project was developed with the UK-based parkour group Urban Freeflow. Blue (aka Paul Joseph) was the lead performer for the piece; NY Parkour traceur, Exo (aka Exousia Pierce), also performed.

The parkour motions were recorded both with 32 optical motion-capture cameras and with 2 high-definition video cameras (one hand-held, the other on a tripod). The hand-held camera was itself motion-captured so that both its camerawork (itself a kind of performance) and its imagery can be placed seamlessly within the virtual world.

The artwork is composed for two screens, set to be inclined towards each other. The imagery of Point A -> B was generated by the custom-made 3D renderer used in Forest, which in turn is part of our Field software.