I finished my midterm projects for Physical Computing and Intro to Computational Media on Friday, so I decided to get out and get some “culture” by attending the ArtOut with Marina Zurkow at PS1 in Queens. Elizabeth, who I worked with to make the Herbivores animation, has an in-depth post about the visit. I don’t have a whole lot more to add to what she said. I also thought the Børre Sæthre piece was incredibly immersive, especially the part with the unicorn in the partially fogged up glass and the “bathroom” installation with the gun and balls. I can definitely identify with his boyish sense of humor and mischief. I don’t want to give away too much, just go and see it for yourself – it’s only a few minutes from Midtown Manhattan, and admission is only $5 or $2 for students (a lot cheaper than the main branch of the MoMa which charges $20). I found Olafur Eliassons’ Take Your Time stunningly imersive as well. The photo doesn’t really do it justice because it can’t really capture the size of the installation nor the interactive effect of the mirror.
Lest you think that PS1 has been totally taken over by the Scandinavians, I also highly recommend the NeoHooDoo exhibit for a defiantly New World perspective.
While I was a little burned out with working with physical materials after the struggle to build the Electric Chair Bear, my trip to PS1 has injected me with a bit more inspiration and a renewed desire to work with different materials and to create works on a large scale.
As part of Communications Lab at ITP, we were asked to visit and comment on the New York City Waterfalls. I went with my classmate, Catherine to observe the Waterfalls from the South Street Seaport on September 7.
Living in New York, one often forgets that Manhattan is an island. Access to the waterfront areas are cut off by highways, so it feels that New York faces inward and upward, rather than outward towards its maritime surroundings. The topography of NYC is known more for its urban peaks and valleys created by skyscrapers and the artificial oasis that is Central Park, rather than for its maritime orientation and island nature.
Even when I am by the rivers in New York, I feel like the water is just something I look past or through, concentrating my eye on the view of Brooklyn, Queens or New Jersey across the water. That is to say that the built environment dominates ones perception of the city.
The Waterfalls draw attention to the qualities of the water itself. By elevating the water and dropping it down as waterfalls, Danish-Icelandic artist and creator of the Waterfalls Olafur Eliasson reminds us of the vast force and volume of the water.
The Waterfalls are clearly fake, you can see the scaffolding, and maybe that is the point. Nobody would mistaken them for Niagara falls or anything like that. But man-made structures still have the ability to evoke the beauty of the natural world. Or at least that is the theory behind landscape architecture and garden design. A garden or a park is not a forest or a meadow, but they evoke these natural environments and demonstrate the beauty of nature.
My favorite Waterfall is the one under the Brooklyn Bridge. It plays with the sillouette of an iconic fixture of the NY skyline. It invites us to look down and over at the river that the Bridge traverses, and not just the Bridge as a part of the terrestrial built environment.