White Rain (2006) is the second piece created for the Project X Installation Series, which I developed during my Bachelor of Arts Degree at Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada (2005-2008). The Series is made up of three installations: the Bubble Project (2006), White Rain (2007), and Looking Glass (2008).
With White Rain, a live camera feed merges with two live video feeds and two pre-recorded videos which were three minutes in length and placed on a continuous loop.
The pre-recorded videos had been digitized and stored on my personal computer and interacted with the two live video feeds – one capturing the movements of people in the room, the other, through a camera attached to a plastic container imbued with white light.
All four video feeds were in turn controlled and manipulated via a programmed computer code which I had developed with Max/Msp/Jitter software.
As viewers approach the work, the first camera captures their movement and presence – looping it back through the software program. The program allows certain elements of this first camera’s live video’s imagery to be keyed (blanked) out, causing images from the second camera (attached to the white lightbox), as well as the two prerecorded footage on the computer to overlap or replace those keyed out spaces and elements from the first live camera.
The results were in turn projected onto a translucent vellum screen.
Thoughts on White Rain
The interactive, technological process, I was exploring with White Rain can be understood in context to Jean Baudrillard’s idea of the procession of the simulacra, when he states that “the territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory – procession of simulacra (28).
The overarching and repetitive imagery presented with White Rain is that of a topographical map, one which seems immersed in a sort of white static (white rain). As the keyed images from the live feed come into play, the map becomes fragmented, but then re-configures itself back to its illusory original form – that of the map.
Also adding this simulacrum is how Dan Graham in his book Video-Architecture-Television elaborates that:
“Video is a present-time medium. Its image can be simultaneous with its perception by/of its audience (it can be an image of its audience perceiving). The space/time it presents is continuous, unbroken and congruent to that of the real time, which is the shared time of its perceivers” (p. 62).
Further Related Reading & Articles:
Baudrillard, Jean. Selected Writings . ed. Mark Foster. Stanford University Press. Stanford, CA.1998. PDF (accessed 2005, 2018).
Project X, VS 02 – White Rain, Naccarato, Project X Installation Series, video documentation, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2007,
Certain texts originally published as part of my MFA Thesis, 2010. Specific text segments have been revised, added and updated for this post // John Naccarato, 2018