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The Alvin Straight Project
2012, Roadtrip and interactive video installation
modified lawn mower, video footage, projectors, monitors, size variable


 

An homage to Alvin Straight (USA, 1920-1996) as well as an ironic mashup of David Lynchys movie "The Straight Story" (1999) and todays Google Street View technology. A 360° HD-camera system was installed onto an ordinary lawn mower. As the performative part of the project, this Street View lawn mower cruised around several streets, towns and places within Austria collecting hours of video material. Like on Google Street View cars the mounted cameras recorded the whole surrounding area but on a top speed of approx 5-7 km/h. For the first presentation of this work, the artist travelled with the adapted lawn mower (trunk, extra petrol tank) from his home near Krems/A to the "art.room schreinergasse" gallery in St. Pölten/A. The trip which is about 40 kilometres and took him approx. six hours. The entire recorded video material was shown at the gallery as an interactive installation. The setup consisted of three monitors, one projection and the lawn mower. The monitors and the projection were surrounding the lawn mower, showing the four filmed perspectives. A map next to the installation showed the travelled route. To start and watch the four videos the visitors had to sit down on the lawn mower seat, due a electronic mechanism and computer software the videos started and paused automatically.