Wall of Death



Video Archive

In the carnival act Wall of Death a motorcyclist rides around the inside of a wooden drum, maintaining a delicate state of equilibrium between centrifugal force and gravity. The action is shot with a rotating camera mounted in the center of the drum as well as on a motorcycle tracking behind the rider. The shots were edited into a series of motion loops that become progressively shorter, creating the appearance of continuous motion.

The editing technique was inspired by the Kinetoscope films popular during the time the act was widely performed in the 1930’s. The rider appears caught in a never-ending circle where his ability to remain upright is based on never stopping. Wall of Death explores the relation between time and speed in a world dependent on constant motion.

Single-channel video. Black and white, sound. 2m40s.

sdfExhibitions & screenings

2004 Videodrome, 27 International Artists
Contemporary Arts Forum
Santa Barbara, California

2004 25th Anniversary, The LA Years, Part II
Christopher Grimes Gallery
Santa Monica, California

2001 In Action
Henry Urbach Architecture
New York, New York

2001 La Box
Bourges, France


MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)
New York, New York

New Line Cinema
Los Angeles, California

Selected press

Art In Review: Marco Brambilla - ‘In Action’