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PVN – Stadtcenter Rolletreppe

live video installation within a shopping mall
Related to Parasitic Video Network

Link to Flickr collection


Parasitic Video Network was installed for 10 days in the Stadtcentre Rolltreppe shopping mall in Halle, Germany.

About the location

Halle, a small city in the former East Germany, experienced a decrease of around 25% of its population following German reunification. This occurred due to the first wave of migration to the west following the collapse of the region’s industrial base and rise in unemployment combined with an increasing suburbanization and decline in birth rate. Around 20% of houses are abandoned and completely empty within the city centre. Attempts to revitalize the area have been made by promoting economic diversification within the IT, media and communications sectors as well as education and culture. 

The Stadtcenter Rolltreppe, opened in the fall of 2000, is located in the city centre. The name Rolltreppe, or escalator in German, is derived from its history of being the site to one of the first escalators in the GDR. The building consists of three levels, a 10,000 m2 shopping mall containing approximately 30 shops, a floor of offices and apartments on the top floors. The price and quality of the products is aimed for a clientele within the medium to upper range. However the shops are not frequently visited and most people can be found sitting in the glass-walled, open area around the Italian Eis Cafe drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. The shop owners spend their days either standing in the stores waiting or talking with each other in the passageways. Giovanni, the owner of the Italian Eis Cafe, informed me that he can tell when it’s the end of the month because most of his clientele are on government support and stop coming.  

view of shopping center from above

For 10 days I worked from an empty store front within the center. Each morning the cameras were laid out and an info booth was installed in the main passageway by the coffee drinkers, where people could find me either to experience the installation or engage with me directly in whatever issues they wanted to discuss.

On the fourth day, people working in the mall started to suggest how the cameras should be set up. After this I started distributing the cameras to the shop owners and asked them to set up their own video network. The cameras’ roles moved between surveillance device, advertising channel and artistic tool for capturing the everyday.

Parastic Video Network was curated into the ‘Escalators’ programme, a series of interventions by media artists and choreographers on the theme of movement and control in public space within the Theater der Welt Festival.

cameras are laid down in the shopping mall
two visitors prepare to explore the video installation

Link for Flickr collection of more portraits

video stills from the cameras
walks through the shopping mall

Link for Flickr stream of more video stills