An interactive video installation by Ulrich Fischer.

An interactive video installation by Ulrich Fischer
on display in a public space in Geneva (la Rôtisserie)
Inauguration: 28th of June, 2003
Dismantled on the: 23rd of September, 2003



Using two not-so-new half-cars, passers-by can project themselves onto their surroundings (at night) and use a steering wheel to travel, quite harmlessly, across nearby constructions (during the day). A first person mans the steering wheel and drives a “lighthouse car” hoisted at 3 meters above ground level, while a second participant, sitting in the other half-car parked at ground level, sees him/herself projected onto the footage taken by the “lighthouse car”…
Surrounded by lush greenery on one side, and commercial buildings on the other, this urban space provides a sort of valley that is essentially populated by cars. When traffic and cars are banned from this section, the area can then become a space where people relax, sheltered from the hot summer sun and oblivious to the throngs of cars converging towards major shopping centres. At night, the massive wall of green leaves conveys a sense of mystery, the silence and dim lighting will entice you to indulge in a vague reverie and other projections…
The project is based on existing elements (the cars), which it tries to transform into “mobiles”, elements that no longer fulfil their original role and have taken on a more “interactive” and fun meaning. Working with architects Angélique Horsten and Claudine Romer, we’re creating a metallic and technological universe that will invite passers-by and local residents to enjoy a break and take part in a projection that they can influence through their presence and actions.
Sitting atop a pivoting mast, a front end of a car serves as a rotating projection booth: the two headlights have been replaced by projectors. At night they project images on the walls and façades, while a steering wheel at the base of the mast can be used to rotate the car. The mobile is halfway between the wall and the façades, aligned with a row of trees, and becomes a sort of lighthouse for the area. The projected images “travel” sideways halfway up the buildings and structures, blending in with the various items they encounter (clinging ivy, shopping centres, etc.). In addition to acting as a projector, the mast also serves as a “periscope”: a camera placed between the projectors is linked to a LCD screen located under the steering wheel. The operator can perform rotating travelling shots of the surroundings (during the day), or film his/her own projections (at night).
Next to the “lighthouse car”, the front end of a car is parked facing the square. It serves as a video booth: a video camera is placed next to the rear-view mirror, which has been replaced by a LCD screen. You can see yourself on screen, overlaid onto the footage taken by the lighthouse car – and when the driver of the lighthouse car turns the steering wheel, you look as if you’re in motion…


The video presentation of the project