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watching time go by my bedroom window

Pilar Ortiz

An exercise on objectivity and surveillance in Williamsburg.


In Pilar Ortiz's work video is a keen device for the analysis of the effects of the continuous transformations on the New York City urban and social fabric. In this short movie the window view cuts up a fixed perspective above Williamsburg (Brooklyn). At the time of the shooting, this lively neighborhood is about to be involved in the process of the urban redevelopment.


The Chilean architect and visual artist uses an objective and yet critical perspective. The quadripartite view resembles the impersonal and detached shooting from a camera surveillance network placed at the corner of the street. On the other hand, the choice of a very specific subject such as Brooklyn's changing and the suggested intimacy of a bedroom window as the observation point refer to a critical approach. Furthermore the artist chooses a people-oriented perspective over the clean, sharp city skyline, since she relates about the "public space as a terrain for cultural expressions and social interactions".

In this film Ortiz's research above the city explores the social issues connected to the urban redevelopment and the destruction of the urban preexistence, as well as the everyday relationships between the place and its inhabitants. The brutal changes that will sweep away this small corner of the metropolis and its local habits are played out by means of underlining the contrast between the domestic scale of its everyday life and the larger scale of the newly built skyline.

Authors icon Credits


Chile 2008
Duration: 5'16''

Selected for VISIONS, the 2009 edition of BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.