Daniel Crooks’ Phantom Ride alludes to cinema history to create a seamless journey through a composite reality. By manipulating digital footage as though it were a physical material, the artist has constructed a collaged landscape that takes us through multiple worlds and shifts our perception of space and time.
Taking as a starting point films such as the Lumiere Brother’s Leaving Jerusalem by Railway (1896), regarded today as the first ever tracking shot, Daniel Crooks’ Phantom Ride is a continuous journey through the natural and constructed landscapes of our contemporary environment.
The work references the phantom rides of early cinema, a genre of film popular in Britain and the United States in the early 1900s. Pre-dating narrative features, these short films showed the progress of a vehicle, usually a train, moving forward by mounting a camera on its front.
By seamlessly stitching together a series of tracks found in urban and country environments (including tram tracks, tram repair depots, and bridges and tunnels along disused country railways), Crooks’ Phantom Ride creates the illusion of a single journey through diverse worlds. Traveling simultaneously forwards and backwards, the work challenges the singular perspective of linear time to suggest a world in which multiple presents could be possible.
Daniel Crooks is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery and Future Perfect, Singapore.
Phantom Ride is the second Ian Potter Moving Image Commission, a ten-year program for new works by mid-career Australian artists.
The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission is a collaboration between ACMI and The Ian Potter Cultural Trust.
Daniel Crooks: Phantom Ride Exhibition
16 February – 29 May 2016
ACMI – Melbourne