Hammersmith Video Project

From time to time I have wanted to explore themes in media other than paint and print. The following was a proposal for making for a videoproject at Hammersmith LUL station.

It arose from the time when I was working for London Underground and when I found myself observing passengers going through the barrier gates at the station. 

Despite a lot of preparatory work, the project was never realized. The problems of safety and costs could not be resolved. I also had little or no experience of how projects such as this are managed and I was frequently 'out of my depth' when discussing practicalities. Furthermore I didn't really know the requirements when writing out a funding request for a project such as this. Nevertheless below is a brief plan of the funding proposal:

Proposal for a Live Video Event at Hammersmith Underground Station - February 2001

My proposal is to focus four video cameras from a high viewpoint on four entry gates. The cameras would be specifically focused on the hands as they put their ticket in one slot and take it out from the other. The images from the cameras would be relayed to a wall of sixteen 29 inch monitors (configured 4 x 4). each camera relaying its image on four of the monitors. Onlookers would be able to stand or sit to observe the activity on the screens and at the same time to look across at the gates to see the people passing through the mechanical gates.

My recent work has been concerned with aspects of what we experience and reflect in our urban setting. I am interested in the way we move about as part of a crowd in urban spaces and yet still manage to reflect and assert our inner self and individuality.

It is anticipated that the event will be for 15 hours of one day in February 2001. Setting up the installation would take place overnight before the event when the station is closed. De-rigging to take place the following night. The partners in the project would be London Underground limited together with their staff and passengers. Hammersmith Station has a lot of space making it an ideal venue. I am in discussion with the General Station Manager who has responsibility for saying what may or may not be permitted on the premises. He has responded positively to the proposals and has agreed to them in principle. There are still further matters to resolve particularly those concerned with the siting of the fixtures and equipment.

Rowland Jobson of Embryo Films would be the production manager. He has considerable experience of camera work, planning and seeing productions through to completion. He is very enthusiastic about the project and has already put in a considerable amount of time in advising on costs and organization. We have decided to use PSL ( London NW3 6EN) for the hiring, installation and operation of equipment if the proposal were to be approved. They have experience of working both in corporate situations and at large pop concerts. The production team at London Electronic Arts are also prepared to assist in resolving problems were they to arise.

I am aware that the costs are higher than the grants normally offered. For this reason I am discussing with Sony the possibility of their sponsoring the project and of making a free loan of their equipment.

J. D. Lewis