Stand in the corner is an installation consisting of a two channel video and a slide show, each composed of excerpts from The Blair Witch Project. This 1999 horror film is notable for several factors: its reinvigoration of the shaky-camera work/found footage horror genre (see Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2, Cloverfield, and the upcoming Blair Witch follow- up); its insanely small budget to profit ratio; and its integration of a website into it's advertising campaign. In fact, most of the ads for the film consisting of nothing but a white-on-black faux-rune, and a website. Using a combination of lack of informative content, and the internet's ability to quickly satiate the info-lust inspired by that lack, the Blair Witch advertising campaign was at least as important as the film. Stand in the corner is a formal investigation of the one aspect of the film that most closely resembles its advertising campaign: the refusal of information as a technique of scintillation.

 

The majority of the terror-sequences in Blair Witch are not visible; either they are poorly lit, or the camera is too jerky (while still being poorly lit), or the screen is virtually black. For the video component of Stand in the corner, I have extracted each of the scenes in which nothing is visible but pixilated black-on-black gradients and slight flickers along the frame (doubtless left in place to assure audiences they were, in fact, watching something). The quality of these scenes is further degraded by the fact that my copy is from a highly compressed, torrented AVI file. Mirroring the division of labor within the film, in which two characters shoot footage, this single video is doubled. The slide projection continues the formal parallel to the Blair Witch advertising campaign (no information + indiscernible rune), consisting of stills just before and after the black scenes in Blair Witch, as well as the occasional tree or shrub picked out by one of the actor/cinematographers' flashlights. Balancing these two components, Stand in the corner is a stubbornly close reading of the parallels between the autonomous functioning of a film, and the formal elements of the incitement to its consumption and distribution.