steel pipe, nylon webbing, cameras, projectors, computer, existing heavy rail
121 x 204 x 360 inches
Commissioned by Northern Lights.mn, Minneapolis, MN
Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers of Dream The Combine (artists); Clayton Binkley (engineering consultant); Bo Jacobsson at Discount Steel (steel fabrication); Murphy Rigging and Erecting (steel shipping and rigging); Matt Visionquest - Yatta (A/V consultant); Alicia Wold (screen fabrication); Installation volunteers - Kamren Kubesh, Madeline Lenaburg, Laurel Nee, and Griffin Pemberton.
THE WORLD IS RATED X
Northern Spark Festival, St. Paul, MN. Exhibited June 8, 2013.
In The World Is Rated X, audience members looking head-on at the outside of the structure see and can respond to what is happening at the other end of the work. This is achieved by utilizing two cameras that record outward from each end of the piece. These live-stream images are then rear-projected onto fabric screens stretched tautly at each opposing end.
A dynamic public space results, activated by people communicating across distance. As the audience plays, they form new relationships and have unexpected conversations, as though the interior of the structure has been disappeared. We use image-making to collapse space, bridging the distance between the two displays.
But in so doing, we questioned: what is the region created between these two images? In a transformation of Panofsky’s Perspective as Symbolic Form into perspective as actual form, we used tangible materials of steel and nylon to express this delicate zone.
We altered spatial tropes that have typically been presented solely in elevation (Velazquez’s Las Meninas, Jeff Wall’s Image for Women, Veronese’ murals at Villa Maser, and Borromini’s forced perspective gallery at Palazzo Spada) and looked at their sectional implications in order to make an architecturally inhabitable volume.
It is a space that is expanding and collapsing simultaneously, at a rate infinitely beyond the racing of a piston. If image collapses space, the tangible reality of material (the structure’s “presentness”) expands it at the same time. It is this complex oscillation that appears to torsionally move the enclosure inward and outward. You have to take one as a given to understand the other.
This gives the people inside freedom to act, in a locale divorced from the dominant gaze. Our audience performs by climbing, stretching, playing, laughing, and loving, using their bodies to explore a new idea, a new place. We heard reactions such as, “It’s so inviting; I want to be IN there.” From a choreographer, “can’t you see dancers in that space?” In an age where wholehearted fun is approached with cynicism, we remain open to what our audience brings to the experience - no velvet ropes hold people back.
This is core to us - that art and architecture are activated by people. Public space is a conceptual material that can bear loads, contain memories, provoke new performances, and exist provocatively for our collective enjoyment. In a riff on Marvin Gaye, it might take an illusion to reveal truths.
- with special thanks to Clayton Binkley (engineering consultant); Bo, Katie, Phil, and the team at Discount Steel Supply (steel fabrication); Murphy Rigging and Erecting (steel shipping and rigging); Matt Visionquest - Yatta (A/V consultant); Alicia Wold (screen fabrication); and our installation volunteers: Kamren Kubesh, Madeline Lenaburg, Laurel Nee, and Griffin Pemberton.