Battery Tunnel

Luke Barber-Smith

May 15, 2012


Local artist Luke Barber-Smith will be screening a short experimental video loop, Battery Tunnel. A slow pan of a long horizontal still image converted digitally to motion, Battery Tunnel depicts the weathered concrete sidewalls and peeling stalagmites of laurel green paint at the entrance to the titular tunnel. The video begins in complete blackness, the image brightening as the camera rotates closer to the sun. The image lightens until the camera faces the sun fully, ending in a total whiteout. The video then resumes at the beginning in complete darkness. Battery Tunnel is a portrait of New York’s crumbling infrastructure. Rust, cracked paint, and debris form a transcendent abstraction. The video’s trajectory from darkness to light is an analogue to the adjacent Tunnel and, metaphorically, traces the arc of a day’s journey or a human lifetime.

Text by Elizabeth Lovero