In his latest solo exhibition, film-maker and artist Pablo Biglang-awa Jr. produces a video time map installation to revisit the August 23, 2010 hostage-taking incident in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. The chaotic standoff, which left both hostage-taker and several captives dead, was broadcast widely in real time and later on through the internet.
Biglang-awa collates data, images and videos from online media over the past two years and presents them as single channel videos, surfing for traces of the tragedy. The process reveals how this unfortunate event is also a phenomenon of mass media and crisis: where the hostage-taker’s frustration with the current system of patronage intersects with the realization that media and modern technology—with their potential to magnify specific events—can be used to disseminate messages and ensure that its recipients are heard.
Going beyond gathering digital documentation, Biglang-awa’s work reflects on how these messages were disseminated to the wider public and how the event was altered by the very intervention of coverage. In the process, he simultaneously exposes how contemporary media and technology have shaped our reception, understanding and even memorialization of this tragedy.
Artworks from the Show
Bus Siege Revisited, Pablo Biglang-awa Jr., 2012, Animation, autoplay loop, 16 min, 9 sec