The 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. Filmed around the construction sites of the Berlin Palace/Humboldt Forum and the U5 (Berlin U-Bahn) extension between November 2013 and February 2015, this video installation is therefore my meditation on time, disappearance, anticipation, and the transformation of the city.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 12.54.06 PMVideo still from The Weight of History (HD Video 16:9 / 14:04 minutes)

Music composed by Aran Browning based on original video recordings.