Friday, March 27, 2009

A Visual Conversation and Personal Conversion

Here are two dears altering the "For the Birds" at The Art Center Highland Park- and a statement in response to seeing invited viewer engagement, instead of just accidental.
Photo courtesy of "fabu" photographer Kimberly Strom.

I'm loving the overlap of my renewed interest in giving over authority of the work to the audience and the close etymological ties between conversation and conversion...
con·ver·sion n.
2. A change in which one adopts a new religion, faith, or belief.
3. Something that is changed from one use, function, or purpose to another.
4. Law
a. The unlawful appropriation of another's property.
b. The changing of real property to personal property or vice versa.
5. The exchange of one type of security or currency for another.
8. Psychiatry A psychological defense mechanism by which repressed ideas, conflicts, or impulses are manifested by various bodily symptoms, such as paralysis or sensory deficits, that have no physical cause.

From a new statement about the work:

Gallery visitors are invited to alter the birdseed drawings and to take a handful of birdseed as they leave the gallery space and disperse it outside.

Gallery visitors activate the work by walking across it, altering the configuration, and dispersing the seed by the handful. The interactive drawing becomes a visual conversation. The responsibility for removing the work during the run of the show falls into the hands of those who enter the space. Once outdoors, the seeds feed wildlife, insects and are carried by wind and rain. The visual and literal disintegration of the works is not a statement of futility, but a reference to the acceptance of the porous architecture of our own bodies and the beauty in use and entropy. The alteration of the work speaks of the risk and thrill of engaging with others.

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