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Mark Boulos, Echo, 2015.

Echo (2013)

Echo is a major new video art installation and marks a significant development from Mark Boulos’ documentary video works.

This ambitious commission has been developed using scientific research and innovative video techniques to produce a three-dimensional effect visible to the naked eye.

Step inside the gallery to encounter an uncanny video image of yourself where nothing is as it seems. You are in the centre of London, surrounded by buildings and traffic that seem to break the rules of perspective. Your reflection alters, becoming increasingly strange. Your movements appear delayed and your voice becomes an unsteady echo.

This self-image is intended to create feelings of disembodiment and alienation - the ghost of the ego; the mirror cracked.

Echo uses a technological version of the 19th century stage trick ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ and the camera technique ‘contra zoom’ most famously used in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Vertigo.

The installation was made in collaboration with neuroscientist Professor Olaf Blanke, who has demonstrated ways to manipulate the mind’s perception of the body’s location by using 3D video. This reflects Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory known as ‘The Mirror Stage’, which argues it is only when we recognise our reflection that we can begin to understand ourselves as a single subject.

Echo was commissioned and produced by Forma in partnership with FACT, with development and production supported by The Wellcome Trust.