La Région Linéaire approaches traditional and art historical concepts—the landscape, time, space, distance, scale—and readdresses them using contemporary visual and sonic technologies. The project localizes this reconfiguration of abstract ideas through an exhaustive attachment to a particularly familiar icon of the Canadian landscape: the Trans-Canada Highway.
Our proposed reconfiguration of the landscape is primarily one of ‘collapsing’ the expansive physical and aural qualities of the highway environment and then engineering this visual and sonic array into an artificially compressed package. In this way, we construct the impossible: a ‘road trip’ across the country that takes as much time to experience as a double feature at a drive-in theatre.
A digital video camera is employed to produce ‘moving stills’ that exist somewhere between a documentary film and stop-action animation. One second of video is captured for every one kilometre of highway traversed. The shifting sounds and signals of the electromagnetic spectrum simultaneously provide material for audio field-recordings.
Once completed, La Région Linéaire will have merged thousands of one-second excerpts from field recordings into a feature-length digital video composed of a mesmerizing succession of ‘blink-like’ images and oscillating audio samples. Through this method, over 7,000 distinct and yet anonymous moments in space and time will be compressed.
This project is a collaborative effort with Douglas Moffat