SCAN is an experimental and site-specific cine-city installation.
Using the inspired Art Deco futurism of the Mersey Tunnel Air Vent building as a departure point, SCAN explores the building as a breathing organism and cinematic space/structure. The ventilation function of the Air Vent building – the cleansing of air within a system – struck us as a beautiful metaphor for life and the act of breathing. We draw on links between cinema, architecture, urban movement, and two cities on the transmitting and receiving ends of urban migratory history: Liverpool and New York City.
SCAN explores the contemporary cultural reverberations of this vital maritime link: Between 1830 and 1930, more than 9 million emigrants from Britain, Ireland, and mainland Europe set sail from the port city of Liverpool to the USA, Canada, and Australia. The majority of these emigrants from Liverpool to the USA were received through the ports of New York City.
SCAN also visually examines the inside of the Mersey Tunnel Air Vent and optically inverts the building, revealing it’s interior both spatially and historically. Through the artists documentary process of research and urban archeology, and with grateful access to the building, material from the deep vaults result in an experimental look at the inside.
The artists look to early experimental cine-city films - such as Manhatta (1921) - as a link between their own contemporary urban cinematic experiments and the early visions of how film, architecture and the city were explored.
Through the use of manipulated video, pre-produced footage, and architectural mappings, SCAN reveals the city as a living, growing, evolving organism - examines the exchanges of transit, voyage, and migration, and presents a visual bridging of these two linked cultural capitals: a choreography of spatio-visual cinema.