Chris Basmajian / Work /

Interactive video (custom software, computer, display, video camera, mirror box, NASA photograph of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion)

On January 28, 1986, the main fuel tank of the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger exploded mid flight, causing the breakup of the shuttle and the deaths of all seven astronauts aboard. In the following weeks there was a growing public unease with TV news entities' repetitive broadcasts of the explosion. This discomfort reflected both a distaste for the gratuitous nature of the broadcasts, and an awareness that they were sustained by viewers' horrified fascination.

In this piece, the pixels of an image of the shuttle’s explosion are displaced horizontally and vertically, line by line, devolving the image into a noisy and undulating cloud of light and dark. A video camera captures the movements of the viewer. As the viewer's movements continue, the lines of pixels return to their original positions, reconstituting the image of the disaster. A mirrored box surrounding the screen repeats the image infinitely.