The hallucinating visual diary of an 8 month journey through the USA is projected onto the windscreens of a real Chevy truck and contains Coenen's own video-fragments, paper traces, and animations, and a soundscape by dj Dione (Solid Rocket
This installation is the result of an 8 month residency in LA and a
roadtrip through the USA. Coenen working as a techno-nomad with a laptop
and videorecorder kept a visual diary. Mixing video-fragments, paper
traces and animations, the work satirises the system '...and all that
other crap that inevitably surrounds you in America'. The critical and
hallucinogenic report is projected on the windscreens of a real Chevy
Music: dj Dione, Video: Klaartje Pander,
Editing: Rene Bosma, Additional animators: Rene Bosma, curated and
hosted by Jeroen Everaert@Mama.
Text by Boris van Berkum @ mama
The Last Roadtrip simulates a hallucinogenic drive through Real-Virtuality and through the hyperreal landscape of signs of the Far West, equally tasteless as colourful. The virtual camera immersed in the symbols of the America's lowest white trash, Ronald Mc D., suburb paranoia, domestic violence -. Is this ketchup that engulfs the screen or is this blood from our grease filled veins? This nightmare scenario was produced on the road by Dutchy Arno Coenen - working as a techno-nomad with a laptop and video-recorder he modelled a 'Digital Road Movie' while actually driving down the trash littered roads of West Coast America. Coenen satirises the system 'and all that other trash that inevitably surrounds you in America'.
Arno: "It was so simple I hired a car, took my digital camera and laptop and started driving around the country. All the impressions I captured in the digital video clips and in 3D models. I modelled using a laptop like a 3D sketchbook. This movie is the counterpoint of the installation in MAMA. The movie is projected on the windshields of a real Chevrolet. You get in the driver-seat you watch the American landscape slide by, in the rear-mirror you see my road-movie. The hypnotic techno soundscape by DJ Dione completes the full sensation.
In the west part of the States all dimensions of public space is based on the car and is new. New drive-inns, new motels, people don't walk, they drive. The only older, historical phenomenon you encounter is funny enough the car. It's also a kind of escape medium. In American movies you see this all the time, the moment when people get into the cars they go mad, the strangest things start to happen.
You can clearly see I have had a similar experiences during my roadtrip.
The only folklore in America is the car, it's about the only thing that is authentic about America. I could maybe have also projected it onto hamburgers, come to think of it."
The work of the omni-artist Arno Coenen you can find in centres for contemporary art, at electronic art festivals or in clubs. Coenen intensely worked with Rene Bosma from 1994 till 1999. Besides their loud performances often speeded up by the tracks of DJ Dione, this duo produced during this period some remarkable artwork. Some depicting contemporary popular imagery executed in old traditional media. There are a test-image in stained glass (Footprint 1999), dancing 'gabbers' painted in Delft blue (Update-Folklore & Landscape 1997) or they 'materialise' cyber-babe Lara Croft in a huge mosaic (Output 1998). Others are installations where they mix all media together.
In his recent work Coenen keeps succeeding to confront us with the darker side of contemporary society.