Mirror II : Distance

March 18, 2016
Inspired by observations of the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad, a heavily gated expat community.


Developed in Lahore Pakistan and commissioned for the exhibition, Seeing at the Science Museum, Dublin.


Custom built collimated displays, two channel HD video, 5.1 sound, macminis and associated hardware.

1/1 Mirror II installed at Danielle Arnaud gallery, London.

Mirror II : Distance is part of the ‘Mirror’ project, a series of two-screen works devised to provide insight into global communities that experience distancing and objectification.

‘Mirror’ experiments with perspective in order to challenge common human assumptions and provide insight into nuanced personal and collective narratives. Mirror II : Distance, examines the distances between individuals who occupy, protect and work in worlds that they may not own or belong to.

It is inspired by observations of the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad – a heavily gated ex-pat community living in the capital city of Pakistan. This enclave is cut off from the rest of the country by high walls and heavy security. Inside the enclave is a network of country and organisational compounds further barricaded from each other. Entry into the enclave and then, within the enclave, entry into the various demarcated territories inside is monitored by local Pakistani guards. These men are privy to the culture, conversations, and experiences of the international communities that they are responsible to protect. In this piece, two such Pakistani guards stand watch over the ex-pat compounds they are stationed over. The two men observe each other across a distance as they listen to the visitors, the experts, and the specialists discuss Pakistan, its people, and its future.

Mirror II : Distance uses a cable mounted camera system that films both forward and rear views simultaneously. Central to this installation is the experimental filming format “Collimation” which manipulates perception to provide an illusion of depth and an experience of the sublime.


  • Artists: David Cotterrell & Ruwanthie de Chickera
  • Simulation Engineers: Geoff Blackham, Dan Blackham (GBVI Ltd)
  • Actor: Akbar Merchant,
  • Voice Actors: Dominic Campbell, Luis Gallo, Holger Hille, Simon Kunz, Caroline Loncq, Jessica Rhodes, Deborah Rigby and Anna Versteeg.
  • Sound Recordings: Fasi Zaka
  • Research Support: British Council, Pakistan
  • Sponsor: Science Gallery, Dublin