Ghostcoaster reconstruction | Claire Hentschker

Ghostcoaster Reconstruction is a video work that uses found footage of the now destroyed Star Jet roller-coaster to digitally reconstruct an experience that is no longer available: Star Jet was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and thrown completely into the sea like all the surrounding built-up area. Star Jet was beloved by New Jersey citizens and many of them filmed themselves riding it and that archived it on YouTube prior to 2012.

The artist thus reconstructs a trip on Star Jet from this archival material in an atmosphere that closely resembles the settings of war videogames. Characteristic of videogames aesthetics is also the frontal view with which the space is shown, and the post natural disaster atmosphere created also by the absence of other characters or human figures.

This 360 ° navigation of a three-dimensional space is created by the artist Claire Hentschker using photogrammetry, a 3D modeling technique that uses images of real objects and spaces – in this case YouTube videos – to create dreamlike representations of reality: Hentschker’s roller-coaster does not exist (or, better, doesn’t exist anymore) but arises from the fragmented and distorted superimposition of pre-existing images. This shift form archive to re-writing is also made evident by the progressive loss of sharpness that underlines the beginning of the Reconstruction.

In Ghostcoaster Reconstruction Hentschker questions the concepts of realism and objectivity in photography by presenting a complex and articulated structure of meticulously unraveled and recomposed data, in an assembly that is not only made up of images but also of experiences and experiences that belong to those places, and where human intervention is limited to the collection and manipulation of data.

Claire Hentschker is a digital artist who considers the virtual and the physical to traditionally be in opposition to one another. Now more than ever, a real envy and power struggle between the two categories. Entities with power or that take up space in the virtual world seem to long for validation from the physical world, while those that are rooted more in the physical world seem alienated and drained by a virtual one.


@Claire Hentschker, Ghostcoaster Reconstruction, 2021, video, still