Aernout Mik b. 1962
Touch, Rise & Fall (2008)
Duration: 53 minutes

Touch, Rise, and Fall (2008), focuses on the social space of airports: lounges, terminals, employee offices, duty-free shops, and airport security areas. The people that occupy the space of the video engage in the mundane activities associated with airports – distraught and fatigued passengers wait in line, endure searches of oddly stuffed plastic bags of goods at security checkpoints, and wander around terminal shops filled with stuffed animals and boxes. The social space is fraught with tension as individuals seem dazed, sometimes behaving without recognition of others around time. At other times they interact but as if the other were alien, such as when one older woman waiting in line begins awkwardly stroking the long dredded hair of a young white woman. There is quiet desperation as what is institutionally a tightly controlled space of the airport is rendered chaotic and inexplicable. Mik’s airport is a surreal point of contact: a place where goods (capital) and individuals (culture) are in awkward transit across time and space in a kind of excess of control as the image from one projection moves disjointedly into the other and back again.