+ captures from a public webcam aimed at the volcano Iwate in Japan +

"Over the course of 9 months this virtual view became an important part of my life. A day in Japan is almost exactly the negative of a day in the Netherlands, where I was based at the time; meaning that at the height of my obsession I got up in time to capture images of the sunset in Japan and did not go to bed until the sun had come up again over Mount Iwate. However, there is a lot of missing data, sometimes due to malfunctioning of the camera -especially during harsh weather in the winter -or the occupations of real life taking over. There are no captures from September 11, 2001 -obviously, I was watching other images. Later though, in the atmosphere of fear and confusion following 9/11, the act of gazing at a mountain unshaken by world events became a therapeutic ritual for me; the picture of a volcano omitting plumes of smoke seemed serene by comparison.
Then, in
June 2002, the webcam gets exchanged for the less striking image of an infrared camera; this put an end to the collection.

Looking at these images now, three years later, and in an attempt to reconnect to the time when they were taken, I use google image search in a video montage as a device to access a collective memory in the form of pictorial residue. Search terms are the dates (as written in the Japanese form of year/month/day in the time stamp on the webcam images) that bring up a strange and for the most part distinctly Japanese flood of found footage: souvenir photos, pictures of mushrooms, manga characters and cars, flow charts as well as news coverage of the unfolding 'war on terror'."

ij 2004

IWATE-SAN was exhibited in 2005 at SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio, in the form of an in situ installation of 732 digital prints and video.

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