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Synthetic Geographies

Keith Piper
2004

Mixed media installation

Synthetic Geographies

Synthetic Geographies was a series of site specific installations which were commissioned as part of the project "Der Black Atlantic" at the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin.

"Der Black Atlantic" was an exhibition and German language Publication exploring notions of diasporic exchange generated from Professor Paul Gilroy's text 'The Black Atlantic' (Modernity and Double-Consciousness) 1992, in relation to developing Pan-European black presences.

'Synthetic Geographies I' explored the historical location of the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt within the Tiergarten and the wider cityscape of Berlin, as a metaphor for wider themes of imperial expansion, using the Berlin Conference of 1885 as a pivotal point. The resultant mixed media installation employed a three screen video projection, tent material and a portrait of Otto von Bismark in a rural setting, to echo the original use of the site dating from 1745 as the 'Zeltenplatz' or 'place of the marquees'

'Synthetic Geographies II' used a projection of a randomly scanning digital image of the contemporary landscape of Berlin along with captured local radio sounds to comment upon the consolidation of new communities and their impact upon the aural cityscape of a contemporary metropolitan European capital.

Installation with three projections and mixed media

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