It’s interesting to watch how people interact with the Printemps CUBEcois protest banner installation as it was on exhibit in the EV Building Atrium at Concordia University from October 12th to the 18th, 2014. The time-lapse video of the CUBE’s exterior was recorded between 5-6pm during a Thursday rush hour. It was initially recorded at the rate of one photograph every 2 seconds using a GoPro Hero 3. The images were edited together at a video frame rate of 12 frames per second (FPS). So for every second that passes in the video, the actual time that lapsed during the recording is 24 seconds, hence the choppiness of the footage. Time goes by quickly so only the slow-movers and interested lingerers are apparent. When advancing through the footage frame-by-frame, though, interaction with the CUBE becomes more noticeable.
Most people just walk past on their way to and from the metro, offering nothing more than a glance. A few loiter adjacent to the cube with their impatient glances focused on their phones, seemingly oblivious to the cube. Others stop for a while and contemplate the CUBE without entering. Some stop to read the artist statement before entering. One person can be observed arriving with deliberate attention. He stops, takes out his camera then enters the cube. Seconds later (or actually more than a minute later in real-time) the same person emerges from the cube and begins taking photos from multiple sides, careful to capture its best angle. His interest in the installation is observable.
As the person who conceived the Printemps CUBEcois, I made daily visits to the installation. I like to sit at a distance from the same perspective as the exterior time-lapse camera. I also go inside the cube from time to time. I linger myself and monitor others with my surveying eyes and curious ears. People glance upwards to ceiling’s anticapitalist banner. They point at video projections to draw a friend’s attention to a particular image. They remember specific demonstrations as represented by a particular banner. I overheard a passerby complaining to a friend about the wastefulness of the Concordia Student Union executive for having spent funds on such an “atrocity”. “They are promoting dissent,” he said as I listened with a smile. I was sent an email by a history teacher who wrote, “While viewing [the cube], I understand the importance of archives. Not like a dusty memory destined to be studied in 20 years, but like something living, something that nourishes reflection and action. As a historian, history teacher, etc., it makes me think of history in a different way. What you have done inspires action and projects forward into the future.”
In case you missed this short one-week exhibit of the Printemps CUBEcois installation, below are two time-lapse videos of the inside and outside of the cube.
Time-lapse de l’extérieur :
Time-lapse de l’intérieur :