Peripheral Panorama was a video installation built specifically for the Project space, Zaal 5, in The Filmhouse in The Hague. As winner of the annual prize competetion, Workspace07, I adapted an idea from an earlier work to fit the specific setting of both The Hague and the space itself. The installation consisted of a large maze-like structure which the viewer had to enter and walk through in order to view the main video screens. The two screens were set at an angle to each other and the viewer so that they corresponded with the viewer’s peripheral vision. Standing at the right spot, he could encompass both screens within his peripheral vision. However, when doing so, he found himself staring into the darkness between the two screens, which corresponded with his central vision, the visual field where we normally see things in detail. The movies shown on the two screens were shot at a similar angle to each other while walking through the areas in The Hague which had been painted by Mesdag for the Panorama Mesdag in the late 1800’s. The footage had been altered to resemble an estimation of how the peripheral vision is ‘seen’ by our eyes. Only movement, colour and contrast remained.
The steady walking movement and the shifting scenery created the experience of moving forward through something but not being able to discern what or where. Some viewers described it as ‘seeing through someone else’s eyes’. Others found the lack of central vision disturbing because they felt a loss of control.
Once the viewer exited the maze, he was offered a view of the original, unedited footage used in the Panorama. On a single monitor, the two movies were played sequentially and with sound. Here the viewer could see in detail what my peripheral vision had ‘seen’ while filming, but he lost the overview of the Panorama.

The installation in Zaal5, The Hague.

For technical details please
download proposal for Workspace07 .pdf

Rune Peitersen