Flying False Colors (The Sixth Day), 2009
This multimedia project loosely refers to the 1975 espionage film Three Days of the Condor (1975), directed by Sydney Pollack, which was one of the first films to suggest a link between covert US military operations and the control of oil production in the Middle East. It is part of a trilogy that wants to update the main themes of the movie. Each project represents one of the missing days that you find in the novel upon which the screenplay of the movie was derived (Six Days of the Condor by James Grady).
Like many of my projects, even this one relies on the fluctuations of live digital information to affect the outcome of the artwork.
When you walk in the room where the project is installed, you see a flag flying at the end of a system of gates and pipes. You can hear the wind blowing while apparently there is no wind in the room. The flag is flying its own wind coming from remote locations and injected through its pole.
Flying False Colors (The Sixth Day) consists of a flag set in a wind-generating base programmed to blow and rotate at particular speeds and in certain directions based on wind data coming from the capitals of the “Demand top 30 countries” listed by the JODI Oil World Database and updated every month.
The number of oil barrels requested by a particular country affects the duration of each wind blown from a particular location. For instance a wind coming from Rome (Italy) blows for around 13 seconds (demand of 1,290 barrels for September 2012) while from Washington, D.C. (USA) for 184 seconds (demand of 18,391 barrels for September 2012).
While the wind data are shown in a video projection next to the flag, this third important data can only be perceived if one spends some time contemplating the project.
The flag is a replica of the universal Ecology Flag that was designed in 1969 and depicts the Greek symbol of Theta in a white and green stripes background. Theta which derives from thanatos, means death. The flag is fabricated with a pigment that will flake off over time as it is blown, leaving a white flag, an internationally recognized protective sign of truce or ceasefire.