michael naimark

Displacements 1980-84 / 2005

Displacements is an immersive film installation. An archetypal Americana living room was installed in an exhibition space. Then two performers were filmed in the space using a 16mm motion picture camera on a slowly rotating turntable in the room’s center. After filming, the camera was replaced with a film loop projector and the entire contents of the room were spray-painted white. The reason was to make a projection screen the right shape for projecting everything back onto itself. The result was that everything appears strikingly 3D, except for the people, who of course weren’t spray-paint white, and consequently appeared very ghostlike and unreal.

Displacements was produced three times between 1980 and 1984. By the third time, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1984, it was done.

Twenty-one years later, in 2005, my long-time friend and colleague Brenda Laurel cajoled me into a redux. The young couple in the original living room are now middle age with a teenage daughter. Mom is still pensive, Dad still watches TV, and the daugther is curious. Displacements 2005 was shot and projected in digital video rather than 16mm film, which, it turns out, was much more challenging.

See also:

"Two Unusual Projection Spaces"
Presence journal, Special Issue on Projection, MIT Press, 14.5, October 2005.

"Spatial Correspondence in Motion Picture Display"
SPIE Proceedings, vol. 462, Optics and Entertainment, Los Angeles, 1984


Naimark 1977-1997 Exhibition, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, 2005

"Displacements," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 1984

"Movie Room," Center for Advanced Visual Studies, M.I.T., 1980

"Beyond Object," Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 1980

Original Credits

Concept and Production: Michael Naimark
Special Advisors: Patty Graves and Bob Armstrong
Performers: Madelyn Morton and JC Garrett
Photography: Scott Fisher

Supported by the MIT Council for the Arts, the NEA Media Arts Fellowships, the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Arts of the SF MOMA, and Austin Conckey.

2005 Credits

Thanks to Stephen Nowlin, Julian Goldwhite, Peter Lunenfeld, Nikolaus Hafermaas, and Nate Young; Peter Di Sabatino, Brenda Laurel, and Katelyn McDougle; Matthew Biederman, Bernie Lubell, Matt McKissick, and Ludmil Trenkov; and Mark Bolas, Paul Debevec, and special thanks to Perry Hoberman

Related Work

Marshmallow Laser Feast, "Sony Realtime Projection Mapping" (3 "Insane" videos), 2011

Mr. Beam, "Living Room" (installation), 2011

Toben Seymour, "Prince Charmant" and "In the Mood for L'Amour" (music videos) for Claire Denamur, 2009

Droga5, "Lift" (ad) for Puma, 2009

HC Gilje, "Shift v.2" (installation) for Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, Denmark, 2008

Michel Gondry, "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" (music video) for the White Stripes, 2002



Displacements 1984
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