Ecstatic City Melbourne

Building Projection & Video Installation



Commissioned by the Melbourne Internationa Arts Festival, 2008

Ecstatic City Melbourne is a reinterpretation of the urban monumental. The project unfolded in two parts. The first was a day-long participatory public videotaping and photography event in Federation Square, Melbourne Australia. For the second part, the moat in front of the National Gallery of Victoria was transformed into an active public space through the construction of a “miniplex marina” consisting of three separate video viewing theaters connected by a walkway. Inside each chamber, a program of videos and animations by local Melbourne artists and filmmakers was screened. At night the miniplexes became projection surfaces for the three animations made with the citizens of Melbourne in Federation Square.


Ecstatic City Melbourne, installation view. All photos by Charlie Samuels.


 Ecstatic City Melbourne, Timelapse of construction of mini-theaters in the fountains of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.


The animations shot in Federation Square were projected onto the facades of the miniplexes. Each projection was an exploration of one of three common urban elements.

The Fountain

Water is quickly becoming a precious commodity throughout the world, and nowhere is this truer than in Australia. Passing by the moats of the National Gallery of Victoria and seeing the idle infrastructure for the fountains is a constant reminder of this. The Fountain is a piece where the water that has previously animated the moats and the stone facades of the Gallery will be replaced in the form of projected images

The Clock

Most cities have a monumental clock, like the one at the Flinders Street Station. These Clocks function as a landmark as well as a visual anchor in the city. The clock projected in the moat of the National Gallery is a playful interpretation of the experience of time. The hands of the clock are made with images of people who have been video taped in Federation Square. The footage will be sped up to create the second hand and slowed down for the minute hand. The piece will precisely an hour long and looped to function as a working clock.

The Statue

Based on the public statuary in Melbourne and figurative memorial sculpture all over the world, The Memorial is a living monument in which hundreds of residents of Melbourne recreate the poses of this statuary. The images are edited together in a fast-paced, morphing, video projection at the entry plaza of the Gallery.


Ecstatic City Melbourne, installation view

Ecstatic City Melbourne, installation view


Ecstatic City Melbourne, installation view of The Clock

Ecstatic City Melbourne, installation view of The Clock


Ecstatic City Melbourne, views of The Statue

Ecstatic City Melbourne, views of The Statue