A Video Installation with Model Railroad

GaGe is an installation of a ‘de-constructed’ model railroad that generates video projections and sound. The video is produced by live streaming cameras embedded in a model railway (including cameras on the trains) and through 3D images generated by a game engine that is linked to the movement of the trains.

The piece includes stories about Phineas Gage, the American Railway worker who survived a bizarre accident in 1848 where a 2-meter-long tamping rod passed clean through his head (a case that influenced the development of Neurobiology). It discusses “Railway Spine”, an early version of shock resulting from 19th Century Railway accidents. It also involves the story of Germanium (Ga) and Gallium (Ge), two chemical elements discovered in the 1870s, named after France and Germany during the time of the Franco-Prussian War (the first war where railroads played a major role). These discoveries proved Russian Chemist Mendeleev’s proposal of his Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

These images are from a two-channel video installation version at the Digital Culture Center (CCD) in Mexico City, Mexico as part of the 404 Festival in October of 2023.
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