This Heavy Load
2011, computer controlled installation
Networked computers, custom computer applications, video projection, motors, paper, string, mobile devices, speakers, police scanner radio, Plexiglas, cameras, sensors, lights
At the center of the show is a small shack built from paper, the legs of a trapped mother duck protruding from one end and pacing in place. This is the control center of the environment, and it tries to keep order and calm among the rest of the show: a possessed cat floating above the floor, tossed around helplessly by an unseen force; a mouse on a windowsill, struggling to escape; a collapsing wall of debris...
The shack/mother monitors a constant stream of chatter from a live police scanner radio, becoming increasingly agitated as worries pour in. She communicates with stations around the room, the call and report beginning as a quiet lullaby of pipe organ chords, ticking clockwork, and chimes. Visitors disrupt the system while wandering through the gallery, and as communication becomes more scrambled, disorganized and overloaded with information, she loses control of her environment. As communication and logic break down, the lullaby degenerates into a cacophony of sound, the environment frantic and disjointed.
The installation is controlled by custom computer applications running on multiple networked computers and mobile devices. Each of the elements in the show are programmed to work interdependently. The environment influences their behavior and the performance of the installation, a function of their successful (or unsuccessful) communications.
Gallery4Culture, Seattle, WA
"The Police Call The Tune," Jen Graves, The Stranger
"Two Seattle exhibitions cover strange terrain," Michael Upchurch, The SeattleTimes
Residency: The MacDowell Colony
Videographer: Valerie Vozza