A video/surround-sound piece made for Argos Festival,
Brussels October 2004
The Berlaymont building, seat of the European Commission
is a symbolic centre for the European quarter of Brussels
as well as for Europe itself. Formally interesting is the fact
that the original modernist architecture has been renovated
and forseen with a new "skin" or rather an armour plating,
changing the outward appearance while preserving the inner
form. I see this as mirroring the expansion of Europe in general.
In the piece, Berlaymont Dreaming, Berlaymont/Europe is
pictured as a modernist utopia, where the transparency of
architecture is a metaphor for democracy itself.
The building is empty, but it hums softly to itself. It dreams
of its future uses, its future occupants, dreaming that it might
one day be open to all, but knowing that its gigantic security
machine regulates the flow and access of people just as the
airconditioning regulates the flow of air and heat.
The sounds are of empty buildings and their machines but
sometimes other sounds filter in from outside through ducts
or through the windows. The images are of Berlaymont and
other buildings either in use or already being demolished.
The image and sound sequences are composed by a machine
that chooses sounds and images which build up, overlap and
then fall away again. Thus the machine constructs its "dreaming"
- an imaginary ephemeral architecture.
The two-dimensional layering of transparent architectural
images on the screen are expanded into space by the surround
Material: DVD video with 5.1 surroundsound.