Cloud, Gentle and Drifting

Video, Sound, Laser, Mist Installation
H 8' W 30' D 60'
12. 17. 98 - 01. 16.99
Commencement Art Gallery, Tacoma, WA

H 11' W 11' D 30'
07. 09. 99 - 08. 22. 99
Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

Summary

Two separate rooms filled with haze are visually linked by a red laser and the sound of my voice mimicking the wind. Images of clouds projected onto the floor act like a window open to the sky. Standing as if suspended, and looking through a large open window, people walk above the clouds.

Project Description

Cloud, gentle and drifting is a manipulation of the original Latin inscription Little Soul Gentle and Drifting by the Roman Emperor P. Aelius Hadrianus. To Emperor Hadrianus is attributed the design of Rome's Pantheon, the circular temple with an oculus at the top of the dome. The permanently open window at the top of the dome allows light, haze, rain, wind, and snow to enter the space. Temporary, luminous patterns cast by the oculus in the form of cylinders and circles appear inside the austere architecture of the temple. At noon, they become apparent through the floor and slowly migrate towards the ceiling in the evening. Time has made the building's architecture appear old, yet its light within remains ageless.

From this understanding of the Pantheon comes the inspiration of Cloud, gentle and drifting, a site specific installation that interpreted, on one side, the Lobby of the Commencement Art Gallery, where the journey through the exhibition begins and, on the other side, its relationship to the Video Room, the installation's destination point. As in the Pantheon, the gallery confines the smoke and gives it shape. Shifting between multiple and simultaneous media – light, laser, sound, and video – the work alludes to a space which stimulates people's senses and gives them illusions.

A flowing haze mixed with blue and red light fills the gallery. Particles of dust reflecting light and colors sparkle before the visitor's eyes while above their head a red, thin line made with a laser traces a linear yet zig-zag path from the Lobby to the Video Room. Here the floor, which glows of reflected light from two video projectors hanging from the ceiling, shows projections of the sky and moving clouds. Standing as if suspended, people walk over the sky. It is an unusual sight creating unfamiliar feelings of equilibrium and a pretext to alter the perception of gravity because the sky appears below people's feet.

Acknowledgements

Commencement Art Gallery
Bellevue Art Museum:
Mike McDonald
Barry Went
Tim Coulter
Rico Chiarelli
Jeff Lincoln
Paul Richards
Jim Ragland
Penelope Loucas
Brian Wallace
Miriam Sternberg

Special Thanks

Howard T. Howlett
Howard Meeks