Spin the world

Spin the world

Video installation - 2000


According to the theory of entropy, everything tends towards chaos. More complex combinations hold more energy. An object's degree of entropy can be measured in terms of energetic value. This principle causes many spontaneous reactions. A top spins regularly until it tips over, i.e. when entropy prevails, rendering the motion chaotic. The top stops at last. Entropy is maximal. Its molecules are moving in greater disorder for want of a predictable global motion. They are coming and going but never really leaving where they are. The participant, however, by turning the top one more time, locally reverses the entropy by his will, know-how and energy. The game is not over yet. Commutors' transits on moving walkways, escalators or elevators, through corridors and gangways, show best how well-ordered our everyday lives are: The same routes connect day after day our domestic rotes to our office routines. Upon leaving these pre-ordained paths passengers once again choose their own directions, which may also become an opportunity to give free course to their desires, to question themselves, to break free, to escape or perhaps even to give way to some kind of rebellious or subversive impulse.

Description of the installation

In a dark room the spectator can see a lighted table with a toy top upon it. When he goes towards it he is silhouetted on the screen opposite and then duplicated by a multiple feedback effect. As soon as he turns the top his silhouette on the screen is replaced with a picture of the revolving top filmed from above and surrounded by eight pictures of forward moving crowds. The human masses and the top move at the same speed and undergo the same speed changes. As soon as the top tips over, the people go their own ways again and the previously separate visual fields melt together. Each time another revolving sound collage accompanies the pictures (random generator) and fades out towards the end. When the top stands still the picture is once again replaced by the spectator's silhouette. He can now be the creator of his own world. Each time another world will be generated depending on how the top is turned...


  • Author(s) and Director(s)

    Lilian Franck
  • Producer(s)

    David Georges-François
  • Camera

    Alexandre Bon
  • Sound

    Jacques Labarrière