The difference comes when the ball is hit. Then nothing is the same. The men are moving, coming out of their crouches, and everything submits to the pebble-skip of the ball, to rotations and backspins and airstreams. There are drag coefficients. There are trailing vortices. There are things that apply unrepeatably, muscle memory and pumping blood and jots of dust, the narrative that lives in the spaces of the play-by-play.

And the crowd is also in this lost space, the crowd made over in that one-thousandth of a second when the bat and the baseball are in contact.

—Don DeLillo, Pafko at the Wall

At the Wall is designed to fit various installation environments, both public and private. Each element is presented and titled separately and plays on a continuous loop. The project offers various versions of a single television broadcast: a championship baseball game that took place on Wednesday, October 9, 1996, in which a fan intervened and influenced the outcome of the game. 56,495 were in attendance and 11,263,000 watched on television, and participated in a shared experience.

All audio and video versions are sequential, with particular elements subtracted. This labor of subtraction accentuates the camera angles and editing decisions that shape the narrative of the live broadcast. By subtracting the gameʼs “action” (the pitch, the swing of the bat, the sprint to first base), the imagery is experienced without the burden of intended narrative, and new associations evolve out of the distilled images. The intended narrative remains available under scrutiny, however, and can be found by sequencing shots from various screens, following the occasional box-score graphics, or mapping the rhythmic ebb and flow of the crowd sounds.

The new shot transitions have been hidden within those of the original production, which results in odd jump cuts and false continuity of action. Transition decisions have been made for fluidity; therefore statistical graphics (such as player names and batting averages) and awkward cuts (pan-left into pan-right, for instance) have been avoided.

As Jeffrey, an eleven-year-old fan, reaches over the wall he instantly transitions from spectator (one of eleven million) to object of spectacle. The audio and video distillations set the stage for this transition, place the imagery within an analytical context, and accentuate the methods used in the original broadcast to construct dramatic narrative.

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