Dec 7 to Jan 12
Kamen Stoyanov (BG)

Bingo Topologie


In his book The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord writes about the omnipresent importance of territory and urbanism in capitalist society: “A society that molds its entire surroundings has necessarily evolved its own technique for working on the material basis of this set of tasks. That material basis is the society’s actual territory. Urbanism is the mode of appropriation of the natural and human environment by capitalism, which, true to its logical development toward absolute domination, can (and now must) refashion the totality of space into its own peculiar decor.” The decor is the space and everything is decor. My project deals with a concrete place in Sofia, namely, a bingo room and its surroundings. I am interested in the great dynamism of this city, which finds itself in the process of a brutal transformation from a socialist society and spatial layout to a capitalist one, in which the decor of the space is no longer shaped exclusively by the state, but rather almost completely by the rapid spread of capital. One ideological order is replaced by another, which promises to function. The heart of the project is made up of two videos. One shows an image of a loudspeaker rising up crookedly over an underpass in which a bingo room is located, and acoustically transmitting the numbers that have been picked to the surface above. One hears the voice of a woman counting monotonously and incessantly: 3, 25, 49 and so on. If you spend some time there, you will hear now and then “Bingo!” and instructions on how to play the game. After a short musical interlude, it continues: 9, 36, 18 … While the static camera records the scene, day turns into night. The chaotic counting seems to act as a clock, which on the one hand measures the time, and on the other endlessly redistributes capital. The second video shows a performance that took place in front of the entrance to the same bingo hall. During a half hour’s time, a man records in a notebook the numbers of all of the balls drawn, which appear on a monitor mounted in front of the door. The results of this activity are the two documents—a video and a notebook—which examine the factor of time and how it is measured in two different media. What is the significance of this activity, and is it more meaningful than the events it records? (K.S.)