Drop Car
Martin Ebner
Artist Statement
Drop Car was conceived as a video installation piece, and blends photographic street views of nocturnal Tokyo, encapsulated in an artificial glass drop shape, with images of blanket-covered cars, as they are often visible in the quiet neighbourhoods of Sumida-ku district. The work is about a changing psychological relationship of society towards the car, at a moment in time when cars are becoming "intelligent" technological extensions of the human body and psyche. The final scene (titled "One less") is different, like a "small film within the film", showing a SUV car picked by giant chopsticks from a crowded highway and lifted up into the sky. This absurd, but minimalist gesture points towards a certain aspect of positive self-restriction, perceivable in Japanese culture, but maybe is applicable to everywhere.
The work is certainly inspired by the encounter with Japanese avant-garde art and experimental film from the period between 1960 till 1990. Having walked urban areas in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima and other cities, I also experienced a special joy in recognizing the inventiveness and beauty at the intersections of quickly changing public and private spaces. If "artificial intelligence" is something mostly invisible, also incorporated in cars, then Japan's animistic tradition might give a clue towards a future correlation of man and machine.
Artist Bio
Martin Ebner is an Austrian artist living and working in Berlin. His work for the past decade has focused film and video, while working with installation, sculpture and images. He is also a publisher and editor of Starship Magazine. Ebner’s work has been exhibited and screened at public and private institutions including: ICA London, CAC Vilnius, Berlinale Film Festival, KW Berlin, Mumok Vienna, Secession Vienna, Kunstverein Hamburg, Kunsthaus Graz, Künstlerhaus, Graz, Artists Space, New York, Ludlow 38, New York, Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York, MoMA Library, New York, Salvador Allende Museum Santiago, Extra City Antwerp.