Billed as a spatial-political research think-tank, Operative Agency has designed a directed artwork that relies on the movement of the SkyTrain to generate a rollage effect like a rotating billboard, where a projected image suddenly merges with another. For the artists behind this public-space project, the pairing of images is derived from past and present biological and geological imagery.
In describing how the two types of images differ, the artists define the biological as the flow of organic mass and energy and the geological as encrustations of matter. Examples of the biological include the rustling of a cornfield and the movement of the transit passengers. Examples of the geological: a landscaped lawn and the SkyTrain track.
Although rollage is not new to artists (Czech painter Jiri Kolár employed it in his Baudelaire, fleur du mal series in 1972), Operative Agency shot its images within the everyday environment of its viewing public. But rather than supply the specific content of these images and spoil the effect, the artists use images from the present to provide the initial projection, and then let the introduction of the SkyTrain provide viewers with a subjugated past. Somewhere in that space is the beginning of the difference.