A serious bit of my thought is devoted to pondering questions of space. I have been lucky enough to have had the resources to install sound and projection into really magical places. My first site-based installation Inhabitants was installed into a fountain outside/inside the Mills music building. I noticed this location when I first visited Mills and knew I would create something there. This space was forgotten and unused but contained so much mystique and detail I felt there were inhabitants there. I attempted to recreate these inhabitants. Certainly to really understand you had to be there, that’s really both the magic and problem of doing site-based work. Documentation can be tricky and sometimes not worth showing (as in this case). I do have the video and sound from it and have actually submitted it to festivals like the Streaming Festival and been show in that context. This piece was also shown at the Electronic Music Midwest festival. I went there and projected it onto the front of the building. I also showed it at Hyponogia in 2009. I used a small room in the theatre and projected onto three layers of transparent fabric. I felt that was a successful re-install.
I experimented with other small projects after this but the next really big project was Shadows. I wanted to create an interactive environment in a space that would normally not have any visitors. This was a hallway that went nowhere. In this hallway you were confronted by projected shadows, pitches that matched your depth in the hallway and then the playback of your own shadows next to your real time shadow. This piece pointed to the futility of space but also brought linear temporality to question. Shadows themselves encompass a huge amount of aesthetic and temporal qualities. It was fun to try to highlight some of those, but I feel like this piece has not been fully realized yet.
My installation piece man-made weather tackled a number of issues that are important to me but mainly questioned the use of electronic, consumptive media as a form of self expression. It was also an ode to the historical Mills Concert Hall as it was about to be renovated (I sonically burned it to the ground). Again, the event was documented but I think seeing the actual footage is more interesting.
The installation The Exchange was a collaboration with The Norman Conquest. This piece was designed for the Brava Theatre Entrance Hall, but could be installed in any reverberant space. This time I wanted to work with sculptures rather than video and use analogue gear in both my process and the presentation of the piece, rather than a computer.
Illuminated Forest (2010) was a large scale project involving four main artists – Jorge Bachmann, Ben Bracken, Alan So and myself, and and array of other media artists with installations housed inside of ours. The project had residency at THE LAB in SF for a month and was an interactive environment using sound, video, and sculptedfabric. We used a camera to map out the space as well as motion sensors. We wanted to create an immersive environment that emulated an ecosystem where all actions have some sort of consequence.
Another LED project, I co-created Phasolume with Jonas Gruska, a Slovakian sound artist. It is a moble piece that can be installed in any dark environment. We used old cellphone motors, jars, LEDs, and built and programmed a chip similar to arduino to run the sequences. What’s nice and clean about this piece is that there’s no computer running the installation.
Fireflies (or Lamyridea) lose no heat producing their light and together create sequences that eventually sync with each other. Phasolume sonifies these patterns as well as creating an opportunity for a participant to play with the mystery of illuminating darkness.