Anna and the Tower : Multi Screen Video Installation
School of Creative Arts
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
Art and Design
Research into Practice
"Anna and the Tower" is a multi screen video installation co-commission with Toronto International Film Festival and the Goethe. "Anna and the Tower" is a fable of isolation and imaginative affect. Conflating documentary and performance, it stages an encounter with Anna, a young air traffic controller, during her working hours in the air traffic control tower at Magdeburg-Cochstedt International. The video is filmed on location in the tower of this refurbished airport, newly opened in 2010. Dating from 1957, the airport is a former soviet airbase located in the middle of the Eastern German countryside. Although it is now a fully operational and technologically updated airport, there are very rarely any scheduled flights. The airport and tower lie quiet and still awaiting air traffic, speculating on an economy to come at some point in the near future. The work can be read as a meditation on the former ‘west’ in the European context and aspiring economic experiments in the former ‘east’. In the absence of any real air traffic to control, Anna’s ‘speech acts’ point to a desire to ‘will’ events into being. The video suspends ordinary time through models of projection and prediction, setting productive forces into motion with the desire to shape reality. Her persistence speaks to this anticipation for an optimistic futurity that may or may not arrive.