[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Ken Kobland – Manezh Square: 1:20 pm, September 16, 1990

Artist Statement

Moscow in Sept. 1990 was a city on the edge of historic change; hovering somewhere between perostroika and collapse, between reform and disintegration. Manezh Square is the recording of a mas, pro-democracy demonstration held in the gigantic traffic plaza just outside the Kremlin walls. It is a kind of audio advent calendar of the last days of the Soviet Union. Manezh Square is a 3-D photo-composite made from Hi-8mm video stills that scrolls in a 360° Quicktime VR panorama, controlled by the viewer. As the image revolves, a general audio ambiance track of crowd and broadcast speeches plays. Of special interest is that one can select particular individual faces within the crowd, and by clicking the cursor, activate the ‘interior monologue’ of the person (voice-over in Russian with English subtitles). The site also allows the viewers to write their own thoughts into a read-only archive. This is the premiere of this work in this form. The original images come from a videotape, MOSCOWX, which first was shown as a video diary of Moscow 1990 as a video selection in the New York Film Festival.

Art Director: E. Jay Sims Technical Director: Bill Waldman Photography: Nancy Campbell

Video: Manezh Square

  • Ken Kobland (U.S.A.) was born in the Bronx, New York. He studied architecture at Columbia University and graduated from Union College with a degree in Philosophy and Art in 1969. He is presently teaching film/video at Princeton. Since 1972 he has been making independent film and video work (experimental films and tapes) exhibited primarily at festivals and museums internationally, and occasionally seen on PBS.