The Book of the Record of the Time Capsule of Cupaloy Made to Withstand the Effects of Time (2012)
made in collaboration with Huong Ngo
three-channel video installation
black & white with sound
This three-channel video re-stages two events: the 1947 UN debates over Resolution 181, the decision that partitioned Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state; and scenes from a fictional film, The Middleton Family, made for the 1939 World’s Fair. The Middleton Family pits an anti-capitalist artist boyfriend against an all-American engineer who believes in improving society through corporations. The video takes place in an abandoned building at Flushing Meadow, New York, the original site of both events. The Middleton Family eerily foreshadows the ultimately destructive force of Western diplomacy based on power and capital. While they took place over 50 years ago, the UN debates around the partition of Palestine chillingly contextualize today’s Mid-East conflicts. What does it mean to utter these speeches again today? By re-performing parts of the UN debate, and the Middleton Family drama, the video acts as a kind of excavation of this historical site, exploring the concept of ruins as a relevant allegory for understanding today’s present around questions of diplomacy, the economy, and technology.