Installation / 2-channel video projection / Speakers / HD / 25’15’’ / 2017-2018
This video installation is based on an audio recording of a conference speech presented by the CTO of a homeland security company. I made the recording during an international security industry trade fair.
During the last 15 years, globally, the security industry has undergone wide-ranging promotion and expansion, and this development of industries and services in the domain of homeland security could possibly be read as an economic reflection of politics. In national budgets and likewise the performance on the stock markets, the security industry constantly generates both keen interest and high revenues. Politicised, the term „security“ is turned into discourse and increasingly finds its way into everyday public and private events, but often without allowing any consistent and highly necessary discussion of its definition to take place.
The content of the recorded conference presentation raises several questions concerning economic and political interests, and at the same time the use of language and rhetoric appears into focus.
In order to examine this speech more closely, to work with what it says and how it says it, I commissioned the optimisation of the recording of it by a coach for public speaking. Speech coach Amy Carroll, together with the speaker, Rudi van der Merwe, reprocesses the speech on stage in an empty conference hall in front of my camera. The perfecting which the recorded speech undergoes at the hands of the coach involves adapting both body language and spoken language specifically to its function. This process of optimisation and appropriation by a public-speaking specialist allows me to subject the spoken language and the content of the speech to sustained scrutiny. The production of efficient language that serves, as in this speech, to convey economic and political interests, should become visible here.
I filmed this performative moment of speech coach Amy Carroll and speaker Rudi van der Merwe with two cameras and from different perspectives.
The filming location, the EPFL conference centre, serves as an aesthetically symbolic setting and space for, likewise, posing the questions concerning language and re-presentation.
The installation comprises two video projections and stereo sound through speakers.
Filmed at the Swiss Tech Convention Center / EPFL Lausanne.
With support from the City of Bern Cultural Department, Canton of Bern Cultural Office, the Masé Studio in Geneva and the Swiss Tech Convention Center / EPFL Lausanne.