Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Flooded, a visual arts installation for the Indie Grits Film Festival

(Above:  Detail of the sculptural piece in Flooded, a multi-media installation by Jordan Young for whom I worked as a fabricator.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Over a month ago I posted a photo of myself ... painting a 4' x 8' pegboard with white paint.  That was the begging of a unique project with Jordan Young, a multi-media artist who was working on a visual arts installation for the upcoming Indie Grits Film Festival here in Columbia.

This is Jordan Young ... in my living room ... on the day he came to inspect the 800 strands of mono-filament that I'd strung through the pegboard holes.  They weren't placed randomly!  They were very carefully cut to precise measurements and positioned into holes based on an X and Y axis.  This piece is a visual representation of the social media videos posted during last Octobers flooding here in Columbia.  One axis is divided into the days of October.  The other axis shows the popularity of each video.  The length of the individual strands coordinates with the length of the video clips.  From the Indie Grits' website: Jordan Young represents data from the Waterlines Flood Archive sculpturally, discovering hidden patterns underlying the collective experience. Visitors will be able to interactively navigate among first-hand video accounts of the events while exploring the macro perspective of the social media maelstrom in three-dimensional space.

At this time I was installing the mono-filaments, I didn't understand the matrix or the math.  (I'm not sure I understand it yet! LOL!)  I was simply relieved when Jordan attached some very complicated electronics to the LED strips ... and IT WORKED!  He can control the amount of light, the colors, and all sorts of other things.

Last Friday (after delivering my Cabinet of Curiosities to ArtFields, a nine-day art competition in Lake City), Jordan, his friend Chris Tollack, my husband Steve and I used the rental cargo van to transport the wired pegboard to Anastasia & Friends Gallery on Main Street.  It took three ladders to suspend the pegboard.

Again ... I was definitely relieved when Jordan attached the electronic hardware, plugged the piece into an outlet ...


In fact, it is pretty great looking ... very high-tech ... but it was not quite finished.

This afternoon Jordan and I continued to work on the piece.  Collected empty water bottles (a staple in Columbia for about nine October days when tap water was deemed unfit for human consumption) were carefully glued to the perimeter of the pegboard ... as if a giant rain cloud.

It was necessary to do the work while on a ladder but also necessary to consider the fact that viewers will only see the bottles from the floor.

Some height was needed to block the view to the electronics plugged into the LED strips near one corner.

Mostly, the empty bottles needed to hang over the edge.

The final task was to hot glue cut pieces of film to the ends of various strands of mono-filament.  It was hard to capture a good photo of these tiny squares.

Yet, this final touch made a huge difference.  The contrast with the mono-filament lends the entire piece a sense of structure, a suggestion of space.  It makes the mono-filaments subtly more obvious.

Plus ... some of the images are quite outstanding.  

These pieces of film came from Joshua Yates, the Nickelodeon Theater's Filmmaker-in-Residence and 2015 Experimental Grit award winner who is creating an autobiographical film and oral history project documenting the October flood.  Tomorrow is "First Thursday" on Main Street.  Along with Jordan's multi-media installation, Joshua Yates is showing portraits of various flood victims interviewed for his project.  I'll be going ... a the "fabricator" ... and to congratulate the young artist who envisioned this project and asked for my involvement.


Vicki W said...

What a fun collaboration!

Sandy said...

Wow! Sounds fun. And you will use that knowledge in the future I am sure. Well, maybe not complicated maths!