circular screen
Excerpt from an interview with Stephan Sachs

by Mike Hoolboom
The Independent Eye Vol. 11 No. 2/3 | Spring 1990 | Toronto

[...] SS: I worked for more than a year on a circular screen. The screen hung from the ceiling, with a projector mounted inside on a tripod with a motor on it. if the spectator wants to follow the film they have to walk around with it, on the outside of the screen. Movements in the opposite direction of the projector become still, while stills are set into motion. For example, the first film I made for this screen, the simplest one, was a 360 degree horizontal pan in a landscape. But if you project it from inside, leaving the spectator outside, then the circle is erupted, turned inside out. The turning of the camera and the projector are at the same speeds but in opposite directions. So there’s no movement, there’s only a single scene with a change in light. The moving projector beam scans the landscape. I made several of these. The latest I made showed the inside of the projector apparatus, so finally the installation projects itself, as if the screen were a window.

MH: Is this an ongoing series?

SS: Most were loops. When I began to think about the circular movements in Satourne I thought, “I have to make a circular screen.” The point is that you always stay outside, so when there’s a lot of spectators they’re all running around the outside of the screen, and it’s quite funny to look at. There you see which position the filmmaker takes. He puts people in a dark room, and then sometimes you have to run just to follow the image. This is a dangerous point I think.