Weight of History

The temporality of urban change as experienced by the individual is at once fast-paced and slow-moving. Standing still at times and moving ceaselessly at other times, the numerous construction cranes that dot the post-unification Berlin skyline seems to exemplify precisely that paradox. Indeed, more than anywhere else, the construction cranes along the former Berlin Wall convey powerful stories of destruction and rebirth. As such, these cranes carry more than just construction materials, but also the weight of history. As for the historian, the absence and emptiness inhabited by these machines also invokes a profound sense of loss, responsibility, and burden. This video installation is therefore a meditation on time, disappearance, anticipation, and the transformation of the city. – Tong Lam

The music is based on original recordings, taken in Berlin alongside the video, from which they have been edited and manipulated to create the accompanying soundtrack. Focusing on the two sides of the imagery – history and construction/destruction – the music explores the interaction between these, alongside the changing urban landscape.

Video recorded and edited by Tong Lam