Generation loss / VHS video / 4'30'' / 2009 by Michele Bressan & Larisa Sitar
Generation loss procedure refers to the loss of quality between subsequent copies or transcodes of data. Anything that reduces the quality of the representation when copying, and would cause further reduction in quality on making a copy of the copy, can be considered a form of generation loss. As a result, the video signal is decayed and the image becomes almost unrecognizable in the last copy, one copy being one generation. The tape was copied 20 times, meaning it has 20 generations.
The video is a comment on one of the important buildings in Bucharest, Ceausescu's palace, which has been continuously raising many moral, political, social and architectural issues since the fall of the Communist regime, twenty years ago.
It must be noted that before the Revolution of 1989, a series of video tapes circulated in a clandestine manner. They contained the latest films from the Western World. However, they had been copied many times before, so they suffered from generation loss themselves. These films were literally worn out.
By placing the image of the House of the People, nowadays the seat of the Parliament and of the Senate into the same context, an attempt is made at disintegrating the enormous power that this architectural object still has over the landscape of Bucharest.
The scale of the building and its central placement in the city makes one easily forget that an area the size of Venice was razed to the ground to erect it. A number of 40000 buildings disappeared overnight, the inhabitants were removed from their homes, and the core of the historical city was completely destroyed in a time of peace. This event has no precedent in the European history of the 20th century. A mausoleum for the Ceausescu couple, the building cost 3 billion Euro at a time when the whole population of the country was close to starvation.
Validated by tourism, current politics and nostalgia, the House of the People is slowly becoming the image that one associates with the capital city of Romania.