The Illusion of Everything
The Illusion of Everything (2014) follows an unseen pedestrian as he navigates the Australian city of Melbourne’s dense and intricate network of laneways. The video begins with the pedestrian traversing a seemingly idyllic ivy lined stone and concrete thoroughfare. As his pace begins to accelerate, the camera follows him with greater urgency, slowly settling and become stable again as his pace decelerates. At various moments, side alleys and apertures appear, inviting the pedestrian to take a turn. But before he can, the camera fades out, dissolving to the image of yet another laneway, near identical to the last. The pedestrian continues his forward march again, traversing the next lane until the fade out/dissolve repeats itself again. The sky overhead begins to transition from day to night as the video progresses, and with each dissolve, time itself seems to fade away. The Illusion of Everything is an intricate work of montage: in order to produce the work, Daniel Crooks filmed nearly 200 laneways throughout Melbourne at various points throughout the day and evening hours, finally editing them into a “singular whole, or new whole”. Crooks plays on durational aesthetics creates an almost meditative and transfixing experience of movement, but he also disorients his viewers by disallowing any obvious indicators of real-life places. By making us aware of the elemental mechanics of how video manipulates our sense of space and time, Crooks effectively gives us keen insight into how moving images, at their best, effectively disorient and transcend our perceptual experiences of inhabiting a body.