the “confetti” piece2015-2018, double channel video projection, 3D animation, silent, color, 18 min. 25 sec.
The confetti piece captures a singular moment extracted from what appears to be a local election in the United States. Thousands of confetti descend from the sky, as guests start applauding. Set against the backdrop of a neo-classical building, the falling confetti draws all eyes upwards. The particles, descending delicately like transparent flower petals, appear as an index of lightness.
Through this material, Claerbout, in a quest for remnants of tactility within the digital realm, unites seemingly irreconcilable aspects in the physical world: weightlessness and heaviness. At the heart of the work lies a detail within the scene: the panic reflex of a young boy. Like a gravitational force, his muted scream counteracts the upward movement and pulls the objects in the picture back down.
Both the qualities of lightness and weight co-exist in their enduring opposition, producing a new, third dimension that truly reveals itself over time (as minutes unfold). For Claerbout digital materiality won't be confined to virtual reality alone; instead, it aspires to permeate numerous aspects of life, altering both optical and material habits. Consequently, lens-based images are already a part of the past, making way to be replaced by dark optics.