IN THE UPPER ROOM

IN THE UPPER ROOM

Proposal for Art Prize festival, Grand Rapids, MI. June 2013.

Five mirrored towers along Gillette Bridge with interior projections mapping the water below onto the sky above. Overall dimensions 10‘x400‘x30’.

In The Upper Room consists of five vertical theaters arrayed along Gillette Bridge in Grand Rapids, MI during Art Prize. These spectral towers of river and sky will be wrapped with mylar mirror film on the outside, ripplingly reflecting the city of Grand Rapids and the bustling life of the festival. Internally, the audience will enter a chamber where down is up and sky is water. The sky is usually reflected off of the water under a bridge - we propose instead to project the water onto the sky. We hope to make a transporting experience that binds heaven and earth.

Our piece has both a horizontal and a vertical axis. One axis consists of people walking over the bridge and through the piece, and the other axis goes vertically through the work from water to sky.

Horizon - A bridge is a connector between two extremities. A horizon of pos- sibility, its breadth narrows the density and intensity of people gathered on either side. A condensed parade walks over the thin band, a mere throughway for later dispersion once you’ve reached the opposite shore. We question, What if people were like light, passing through a bridge prism, and dispersed on the other side? Our towers will be a condensing space, a volume of projected light that you can pass through.

Impluvium - Along the vertical axis, a bridge is a boundary between river and sky. The water is mirrored across the plane of the bridge into our viewing chambers. Thus where you might begin - peering over the edge of the bridge as you traverse it, seeing the sky reflected off the water - is also where you end - looking upwards in this case, towards a sky that has water overlaid upon it. Using live-video of the rippling water underneath Gillette Bridge, we will project these water images up- wards and on the interior walls of the chamber.

This impluvium for viewing the sky is also a mirror that people can enter. We will make the towers out of rented scaffolding parts. Highly modular, safe, and reuse- able, the latticework structure will be straightforward and economical to erect. (They will be weighted down with sandbags concealed in the base.) We will clad the towers with mirrored mylar. We are interested in exploiting the unevenness of this material, its ability to flex in the wind, and its fun-house mirror associations. We like that images on its surface will appear slippery, watery, and like oscillations of reality and an impossible, time-warped space.

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