Monovacation, 5th Marrakech Biennale

Monovacation is on view at the 5th Marrakech Biennale, February 26th – March 31st, 2014. The installation is located at the historic Bank Al Maghrib stands on the Jamaa El Fna square of Marrakech.

Monovacation
2013. Custom software, projection, digital print (180×120 cm), video on 42” LCD screen

Monovacation cordially invites you to “the vacation” of vacations… The official tourism commercials of countries in competition with each other have been selected and each film has been divided into the possible tiniest clips. The clips, 3-4 sec long by nature have been coded with tags. Through a network diagram which run as a software simulation, these tags are connected to each other via shared clips have found their positions on the map. Then, a new sequence have been generated through a traversal in the network map, jumping from one node to the closest, following the path of the most central tags. Shores from Egypt to Portugal, woman from Israel to India, mythological figures from Thailand to Turkey here comes an extracted fantasy of “vacation”… Text continues below

Three part installation:

Projection (3 min loop) – Official tourism commercials of countries which are competitors of each other, used as data and presented in grid form (excerpt below)

Digital Print – Network map of tags connected by shared clips, generated by the content analysis of the tourism commercials, where the blue color represents the traversal path used for editing the new film.

Monovacation-en-180x120-Burak-Arikan

Video (6 min loop) – Generic film algorithmically reedited by a traversal on the network map (excerpt below).

Monovacation


Zeynep Gökay Üstün

Monovacation cordially invites you to “the vacation” of vacations… The official tourism commercials of countries in competition with each other have been selected and each film has been divided into the possible tiniest clips. The clips, 3-4 sec long by nature have been coded with tags. Through a network diagram, which run as a software simulation, these tags are connected to each other via shared clips and have found their positions on the map. Then, a new sequence have been generated through a traversal in the network map, jumping from one node to the closest, following the path of the most central tags. Shores from Egypt to Portugal, hospitality from Australia to Ukraine, nature from Spain to New Zealand, woman from Israel to India, mythological figures from Thailand to Turkey here comes an extracted fantasy of “vacation”…

Tourism is a vicious sphere of competition in the world economy. This situation forces the countries possessing touristic values to act like corporations. The 2012-2013 Tourism Report of the World Economic Forum evaluates and ranks 144 countries and assumes a position within the global context. The countries in competition take the pulse of each other and use every trick in the book to impress the visitors; huge investments, airport constructions, chain hotels, loyalty programs, business world, and many other attractions as such. Turkey, in this context is one of the countries that attract tourists. Among its competitors there are countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Egypt, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Morocco, Thailand, China, UAE, Taiwan and India. 144 countries trying to captivate the tourists and ruthless competition… Monovacation uses 20 official tourism TV commercials randomly selected out of these 144 countries as its material.

The image appears in the commercial videos of the countries with tourism value. Each film hails another subjectivity, from place to place employs the same imagery and from time to time idiosyncratic elements. The representative images in visuals do not only show the countries assets also builds an ideal understanding of vacation for the subjects. While they are defining a subjective position for the tourist, they also point to all sorts of “should’s” from how and with whom we should have fun, how we should rest, to which view or historical structure we should admire. While the efforts to shape the vacation through the subjectivity of the tourist render these movies almost the same, the trademark geographical and cultural values seem to be wrapped up and marketed. The countries are being stripped off all other qualities and are being brought to a common ground. These commercials, which usually last one to three minutes summarize the countries real quick and try to catch attention and on the other hand give a promise to satisfy all the vacation needs of the tourist, so they collaboratively construct a fantasy of vacation.

Splitting these commercial films into the tiniest pieces and having another gaze at each separated clip channels us into a much convenient path than breaking the routine, instead it reinforces the routine and make it much apparent. Thus, positioning the tags post-coded and attached to each clip in a network map enables one to read this construct of vacation. Yet above all, such a map allows one to discover the most central concepts and representations and to invent a generic vacation commercial. A fantasy which overrules other fantasies of travelling, a fantasy where the steps of discovering a new place are predetermined and a fantasy where the patterns are being reproduced… Monovacation, this construct that we know is generic, forms an extracted fantasy of travelling not to the countries but to the travel itself.

In this context Monovacation is a work composed of three pieces: (1) Official tourism commercials of Turkey and its competitors on a grid, (2) Network map of representation similarity generated by the content analysis of the tourism commercials, (3) Generic film reedited with network analysis.

This work was prepared for the purpose of VitrA Contemporary Architecture Series: Please Do Not Disturb exhibition realized in 2013.

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