David Haines and Joyce Hinterding

Standing before a dazzling projected image of a placid alpine scene disrupted by an avalanche, I am aware of two mysterious presences above me to the left and the right, spotlit to cast elaborate linear shadows on the floor. Looking up, I see two very large television antennae that seem perfectly capable of pulling in live signals from a camera trained on a distant mountain to cover this newsworthy event.

This isn’t what was really going on, of course. The “photorealist” image in David Haines and Joyce Hinterding’s installation Purple Rain, 2004, first shown at that year’s Bienal de São Paulo, is a computer-generated fiction based on video of a real mountain in New Zealand. The antennae pull in analog television broad- casting signals from the local environment and a complicated computer system uses those signals to trigger events in the video. Although what happens on the screen is always

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