Crash scenes are normally deleted from in-flight movies. Please remain seated as On Air invites you to experience these scenes in the dark of an airplane cabin while listening to air-traffic controllers deal with real-life technical difficulties.
The installation, which suggests both an airplane cabin and a movie theatre, creates a visceral experience where our enjoyment and capitalization of tragedy is questioned. Airplane crash films are their own genre, feeding off the anxiety many feel around flight. Barely perceptible clips from these films and in-flight safety videos are added to scenes of peacefully flying through the ambiguous canvas of an ethereal sky. The lines that separate the real and the fake, and the precautionary and the incendiary, are blurred by melding them into each other much like we do ourselves in response to the heightened emotion - of anxiety, doubt and superstition - that surrounds air flight.
Along with the air traffic controller and cockpit voice recordings, a pair of headphones will accompany each seat, playing a continuous tonal frequency of 19hz. This will simulate the hum of a plane and create slight ear pressure. Also known as the ghost or fear frequency, it has scientifically (and disputably) been shown to produce dread and anxiety in the listener and is linked to haunted locales.
On Air stylistically recreates the flying experience to immerse the audience and question, perhaps more empathetically than usual, our own reaction to disaster and how we use media as its interface.
*Please note this installation is not for all audiences.
Presented by SAW Video Media Art Centre in partnership with Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau
In conjunction with the installation, SAW Video will also be parterning with PDA Projects to present Technical Difficulties: On Air and Other Disasters, an illustrated artist talk by Geneviève Thauvette that will feature a special advance preview of audiovisual elements from On Air. Technical Difficulties will be held at PDA Projects (361-4 Elgin St.) on September 17th at 7:30pm.
About the artist:
Geneviève Thauvette's photographs have shown internationally, notably at the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival, the Perth International Arts Festival (Australia), the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and the Vie Jeux de la Francophonie in Beirut where she won the gold medal for Canada. Images from Les quintuplées Dionne have been acquired by the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the City of Ottawa Fine Art Collection. In 2013, she won the FlashForward emerging artists award and is the recipient of several grants, including the 2011 Emerging Artist Production Grant from the OAC. Thauvette presented Cake is Freedom, the subject of a Radio-Canada documentary (Rendez-vous Artv), at Ottawa's inaugural Nuit Blanche. In 2012, she toured Canada, Haiti and St-Lucia to select the final participating artists for the VIIe Jeux de la Francophonie. She was further chosen by L'OIF to judge the photography competition during the games in Nice. Thauvette is represented by Galerie BAC and St-Laurent + Hill.