colour, stereo, loop endless
flatscreen monitor vertically orientated
stereo directional audio speaker
With a static camera Tan films the dense night time traffic in West Los Angeles from her temporary studio location at the Getty Center. Undercutting the cinematic quality inherent in this view of teeming traffic, the upright frame instead suggests a domestic window or an abstract painting. The space is flattened, the viewer unsettled. Shorn of a narrative, this trio of video works are a series of dream-like moving pictures.
One monitor captures the white headlights of the approaching cars, another the red taillights of those receding. In the third, the camera has panned out to reveal the two streams together, neatly categorised in binary opposition, coming here/ going there, like blood cells in a diagram of the circulatory system. In this looped footage, the cars become abstracted, unstuck in time, moving slowly but not progressing.
Viewed from afar, these cars are elements in a mesmerizing pattern, an undulating surface of pixels or brushstrokes. These vehicles could be stars in a galaxy, a shoal of luminescent fish, molten lava, glowing fireflies. They are denatured and at once both beautiful and disturbing. Viewed en masse the traffic appears to be organic and inevitable, almost graceful. Vertical Red is accompanied by a minimal piano soundtrack composed in synchronized correlation with the illumination of the brake lights.