LINDROTH + NEWICKInstallations
The Highboy Project
Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowship in sculpture, 1998
HIGH BOY PROJECT
metal screen, PVC, Maple, Polycarbonate, Steel.
The Highboy project proposes an ensemble of furniture and objects, which can be arranged about a room depending on the necessities of use or the desires of emotion. When the pieces are not needed, they are hung on the wall in a puzzle-like assemblage the size of an armoire. At the discretion of the person living with the piece, a chair or a table or a lamp or a computer, or a mirror is taken down off the wall, unfolded and placed in space. The artwork is intermingled with its surround so that the tableau is occupiable: an array of elements. The pieces can be recombined - hung on the wall so that the nature of individual pieces is negated as they are folded into a multi-layered whole. The translucent pieces fit together-puzzle like. In this state, the piece is all surface and depth. The combination forms a faceted cabinet, hanging on the wall like fog. Taking the pieces down, the viewer can arrange them around the room or hang them on the walls. The viewer must make decisions and hypothesize about the place of these objects in the room. The story told or interpreted changes. Over time, the piece develops a narrative history of its own. The project moves between objects of use individually considered to more complicated meanings derived from their interactions with each other and with visitors.
The potential for this installation is that it becomes inhabitable. The viewer is not left on the outside, but rather is invited in. The edge between what is intended to provoke and what is intended to accommodate is obscured. One simply uses art and when done, puts the puzzle pieces back up on the wall.
This search for the final piece is also an exploration of material. The aluminum affords the possibility of working the forms at full scale with fairly low key tools. The metal is soft and pliable. The translucency allows the overlapping layers produced by the folding of the pieces to recombine in new unexpected forms. The act of folding is not one of "putting away", but becomes a generative act, bringing out the deep structure of each piece.
This installation of the High Boy Project represents a stage in the development of the idea. It is a window into a process, which has involved all manner of exploratory media. It has been in drawing and in model, now in full scale in translucent aluminum screen. The next iteration will be back in drawing and detailed models in order to test the forms and folding mechanisms.
THE ASPECT, WHICH I FIND MOST INTERESTING ABOUT INSTALLATION, IS CONTEXT. A VIEWER ENTERS A SPACE FOR ART EXPECTING TO LOOK. THERE IS AN OPENNESS, A WILLINGNESS TO CONSIDER A WORK BECAUSE ITS POSITION AS ART. THESE INSTALLATIONS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO INVITE A VIEWER IN, TO SUPPORT AN INTIMACY WITH THE WORK SIMILAR TO ONE'S EXPERIENCE WITH A BOOK. BUT THE WORKS HAVE ALSO REACHED OUT TO GRAB THEIR SPACES - TO SAY TO THE VIEWER "LOOK AT THIS AS WELL". THIS NEW PIECE OPERATES IN TWO WAYS: THE INVITATION TO TOUCH THE PIECES AND ARRANGE THE COMPOSITION AS ONE SEES FIT AND THE MANIPULATION OF CONTEXT SO THAT OUR ASSUMPTIONS OF WELL KNOWN FORMS REALIGN ONES GAZE TO A MORE FOCUSSED AND CONSIDERED VIEW OF A WORK AND ITS SURROUND.
PROJECT PROPOSED TO EXPLORE THE IMPLICATIONS OF A ROOM-SIZED INSTALLATION INTENDED TO BE OCCUPIED AND INTERACTED WITH BY A VIEWER.
THE HIGHBOY PROJECT DERIVES FROM A PROPOSITION THAT OBJECTS ARE PERCEIVABLE AS ART OR ARCHITECTURE OR DESIGN DEPENDING ON THE INTELLECTUAL POSITION OF THE VIEWER.
, WHICH IS RECORDED
IN THE JOURNAL INCLUDED WITH THE PIECE.