Video

Amsterdam CS

Robert Hamilton

2000, 03:50 minutes, colour, english/dutch

TAPECODE 066.13

Amsterdam CS is a study of the Amsterdam Central Train Station. Shot over a period of one month, the video is a study of human traffic. Amsterdam CS, a railroad station purpose-built for the movement of commuters and tourists. The station is amazingly efficient as a speedy conveyer of humans, large numbers of people flow in and out the structure daily. Other than a few cafes, the Station is not a social experience. People keep to themselves. It’s a relatively small structure sandwiched between a harbour on one side and a super dense city centre on the other. The Central Station manages its space well; nothing is superfluous. The time-lapse photography clearly demonstrates that people rarely linger: there is a constant flow of people only pausing to wait for a train or to collect themselves. Interestingly, the time-lapse results also suggest an odd contradiction, that human movement in these circumstances seems somewhat mechanical, while the building, escalators and trains move smoothly, seemingly organic. The video is also an exploration of representing the dynamic nature of the Station in an expressive and experimental manner.

This work has grown out of a trajectory of animation & time-lapse studies which I began doing a few years ago. It started with a GameBoy Camera and scanning the
stickers it creates, then a Web Cam connected to a laptop, and more recently a digital still camera. The idea has always been to be mobile and discreet, collect images from real life, and to string the images together in to some sort of animated and cohesive whole. I’ve chosen a tool, a digital still camera that is somewhat intimate or at least does not invade privacy in the same way as a person carrying around a video camera does. The audio is recorded separately and has a contrapuntal relationship with the images.

The technique used in all of my recent work is pixillation animation or time-lapse animation. Which in this case means it is shot frame by frame with a digital still camera on a tripod. The shooting is a laborious process: a day shoot typically results in one minute of video.
This work can be displayed either as single channel or as an installation.

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