Sean Dower: Artworks and information


No Room in Hell (Absent Qualia) 1997

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No Room in Hell (Absent Qualia) 1997. Polarized 3D video installation, 17 mins, dimensions variable.

Exhibited at Matt's Gallery, London 1997.

No room in Hell (Absent Qualia) was probably the first 3D film to be entirely shot, edited and publicly presented in the digital video format. It may have been the first 3D zombie film ever made and was certainly the first 3D, site-specific zombie film.

The video was shot in and around Matt’s Gallery in East London, where it was also exhibited. In the darkened gallery, the stereo video was projected in colour onto a purpose built reflective screen and the 3D effect was acheived using polarizing filters and glasses. The installation had a physical presence, the sculptural presentation and the fact that the viewer was embedded 'on-set', meant that this work extended beyond the normal flatness of screen-based video. As well as funtioning within the tradition of horror and kitsch associated with 3D film, No Room in Hell also invoked ideas inherent in expanded cinema. The effect, was described in Frieze magazine (issue 39, review by Neal Brown), as being 'unpleasantly consciousness raising' and 'enjoyably silly and appropriate... the scale is impressive'.

In the video, a group of young ‘zombies’ descend on the gallery via the surrounding derelict urbanity. They gain access to the building and set about exploring and searching for some purpose. The audience took the same route to the gallery as the zombies had and watched the film in the same space where the action concludes. ‘No Room in Hell’ had multiple references revolving around the numerous manifestations of ‘zombies’ in history and culture. The film alluded to the perrenial stigmatisation of youth culture (and it's projected relationship with drugs), as well as the process of making and consuming art. The subtitle (Absent Qualia) also pointed to a particular philosophical debate, which uses zombies as a metaphor for an exploration of human concsiousness in relation to artificial intelligence and learnt behavour.

Technical details: 2 x synchronised (L&R) videos, 2 x video projectors with polarizing filters, aluminium coated screen, polarizing glasses. Originally exhibited using synchronised Laserdisc players and twin CRT projectors.

See also: No Room in Hell photographs

For an overview of works in sterescopic 3D, please see: Selected stereo (3D) projects