In Concert (detail)
2010 - 2011
Motion-based sound installation, specific to
Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery & Reno/Sparks
click image for link to documentation
Constellated Space (detail)
Collaborative, surface-responsive mural spanning the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, Walter McNamara Gallery, & the Front Door Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno
click image for link to documentation
FOLLOWING: Master of Fine Arts
March 7 - 11, 2011
Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery
Walter McNamara Gallery
Front Door Gallery
University of Nevada, Reno
"The lit floor, painted gallery walls, your movement, and sounds from throughout the Truckee Meadows comprise the elements on view in Following. My work reframes an existing situation, idea, or object so that the meaning reflects through the materials as well as the subject matter. I often use maps as a touchstone to discuss how we form a sense of place through a personal experience of geography. I find it difficult to avoid a discussion of how art, and therefore the art world, frames and mediates that experience.
To address this within the show, the Front Door Gallery, the Walter McNamara Gallery, and the current Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, are unified by the muralized walls, whose “stars” are the visible history of the normally invisible 51-year history of their collective walls (Constellated Space, 2010 – 2011). With lights on the grid of the gallery floor, your movement will reflect in the semi-gloss wall paint, connecting the dots through your viewership. Evocative of the Celestial Sphere, which travelers have used for centuries both to guide their passage and their myths, the walls of the gallery hold a history normally meant to be invisible, repaired clean for the next show. The moving silhouettes are a reminder that this history is most connected by the continued involvement of a curious audience, who carries the narrative of the gallery space forward through their open spirit of participation and learning.
By moving across the gallery’s floor, whose grid is transposed to scale onto a common Rand McNally road map, visitors will alter the composition of sounds made site-specific to the Truckee Meadows in which Reno sits (In Concert, 2010 – 2011). Inspired by an Instructables.com design of software developer Steve Struebing, we collaborated to make a number of devices that register and activate sound using photo-based sensors, Arduino microcontrollers and mp3 players. A second system, EyeCon, uses the Sheppard Gallery's in-house security system to monitor movement and play back site-specific recordings through the Gallery's sound system. Visitor movement both triggers sounds from the Rand-McNally-mapped region and alters volumes of major individual elements, such as the flows of traffic and the Truckee River itself. These sound designs explore the challenges of this digital transition by removing visual identification of place, and ask that visitors explore first-hand, with their full body movements, the distortions that all maps create.
The romance of all that we dream of achieving through the personal integration of technology with our perception of lived experience is mediated by the vast gaps in first-hand experience that integration creates. In Following, we pay close attention to the full scope of our actions, embodied here in the acts of listening carefully and moving slowly. By doing so we achieve the technology-based, social and ecological balance that seems to be the democratized hope of the increased availability of information to a general public. The work here rides a delicate line of embodying these ideals and the clash of distortion that it might also create.
This exhibition would not be possible without the generous help of volunteers and collaborators, listed on the reverse side of this sheet, many of whom contributed several days worth of their time over the two week installation period. THANK YOU!"
March 6, 2011