Peter Campus, Kiva, 1971
I feel like the worst security camera in the world is surveilling me. Sure, it caught my deer-in-headlights reaction as I walked by for the first time, but now I’m sitting directly in its path and it can barely pick up the top of my head. If this thing were in a 7-11, I could literally rob an entire shelf of Chex Mix and it would be none the wiser.
It is a sneaky little camera though. For a while, I didn’t understand how the three parts worked together. The camera. The mirror with a perfect hole through the center. Another perfectly square mirror. They’re all moving in unison with each other—the camera’s spinning reflected in the image on the TV under it.
I don’t know, I’m a little jealous of this camera. He’s pretty sneaky and gets to take a video of the Andy Warhol and Mark Bradford while I can’t even take a picture. It’s outdated, and has an extremely distorted sightline, but it’s seeing things I could not on my own. The mirrors play off of each other, each reflecting a piece in another part of the gallery. With this, the camera is not a work standing alone. To succeed, it has to interact with other works and people in the space.
Now I’m nauseous. Not because I’m nervous that I’m going to get caught by this 1970s contraption stealing the Andy Warhol across the room, but because this thing won’t stop spinning. The mirrors are speeding up and slowing down, the image on the screen acting parallel. And my stomach and brain are spinning in suit.