TAO G. VRHOVEC SAMBOLEC
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WITH A PASSERBY (2016)

Two crosswalk loudspeakers, sound.

Duration 18:20 min

In the installation With a Passerby two crosswalk loudspeakers are sounding rhythms Sambolec has recorded during a walk in a city. One speaker is playing back the rhythms of Sambolec’s footsteps and the other one is playing back the rhythms of steps of people passing by, that Sambolec was observing, marking them with his voice and recording.

Installation brings to the fore the hidden rhythmical relation of the steps of two strangers walking by each other on a street in an urban environment, articulating and highlighting this moment of encounter without contact as a rhythmical non-event.

Combining the elements of aimless walking, observing strangers and random encounters, this project alludes to the figure of flaneur as it is epitomized in the poem by Charles Baudelaire “To a Passerby”. Here the poet describes an emotion of falling in love with a passerby that he will never see again. A dramatized and affective random encounter that Walter Benjamin describes as “love – not at first sight, but at last sight”.

Contrary to this fascination, the present project does not seek for emotional investment and relation towards a random passerby, but is rather focusing on the listening to the hidden rhythms that occur during usually unnoticed and unexperienced encounters that are taking place in everyday situations on the street. Sounding these uncoordinated rhythms the installation is amplifying the moments of passing by as occurrences of non-contact, non-attention, non-communication and non-synchronization.

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