Real-time generative video and sound installation
“The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.” While Yetkin Başarır was showing me his works at his apartment, in particular the one titled “Present,” which you’ll be seeing on the occasion of the third slot at 400x118, this line from “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger popped into my mind. I’ll come to that, but first things first, Yetkin is a well-known designer living in Istanbul. Put this info in your pocket, save it for later use. At 400x118, Yetkin shows a projection screen that changes regularly with a date and time written in red, a white headline, and a large word derived from that headline, as well as a voice in deep reverb, randomly choosing and reading a word from the headline. The background is pitch black. Everything we encounter on this screen is live and happening now, whenever that is. Yetkin is an artist who extracts his material from the flux of life. Take his series of photographs titled “Play-2,” which show views from the third of four floors of an apartment building straight down to the backyard with a zoom-equipped camera. In another series of his photographs titled “Through,” the viewer is exposed to views of the underside of cars. Yetkin must have shot them from ground level with a flashlight. With this series of photographs, we are invited to look at the overlooked in both a literal and a metaphorical way. Usually, design uses the compositional arrangement of imagery to convey ideas, feelings, and attitudes beyond what language alone expresses. There’s a certain feeling attached to these strange photographs, which later on will manifest itself in Yetkin’s most recent work, “Present.” The information on “Present” is streamed live, including the latest breaking news headlines of the day for national and world news. Everything on this screen is temporary as well as relevant and current. The voice that uttered the word randomly chosen from the headline made me feel as if I was hearing an airport announcement. This is because Yetkin designed the whole thing as if the voice occurred in space, sending sound waves out in all directions. 
The term “panning,” which is derived from “panorama,” comes to mind when I try to finalize this writing. The term suggests an expansive view that exceeds the gaze, forcing the viewer to turn their head in order to take everything in. I think Yetkin’s whole practice as an artist and a designer revolves around this term: panning. In his ways of seeing, or more accurately, his ways of choosing to see things in our day-to-day line of sight, he turns his head on his neck from left to right, but he himself does not move, so to speak. Yetkin doesn’t look for his material elsewhere, nor does he spend a tremendous amount of time on the production of works of art or design; rather, his practice more acutely takes place in the pre-production and conceptual phases. After all, one can turn one’s head from right to left and see things that others overlook or evade seeing.
Irem Günaydın, December 2022