Visible Invisible I & II
Fishing line, double projection video and audio
This project came as a response to observation of social interaction in the Washington Square Park in Chicago Illinois. This park houses a variety of wild animals such as squirrels, rabbits and rats. On the other hand it is also a dog park. Residents from the area come to play with their dogs read books or simply relax in the shade of the trees. It comes as no surprise that the social boundaries between animals are less evident or “visible” than those of the humans who share the park. Dogs interact with each other and with the wild animals that live in the park. People however only interact when they are forced to do so by their pets playing with each other. However, they never interact with the homeless people who somehow become invisible. There is an invisible barrier between people yet no barrier between animals.
The Visible Invisible installations consist of materializing this barrier held at human level, but not at animal level. In Visible Invisible I this was done by wrapping fishing line between the trees in the park, creating a visible mesh or web that separates space only for those of adult human height. This allowed dogs, small animals and even children to wonder freely around the park while the adults had to duck or avoid the area in order to get through. The installation was set up for one day. Light played an important part in the piece since the fishing line was visible during daytime while at dawn one could only see it when artificial light hit it in an angle. Since this was an experiment several cameras where set up to record what happened inside the space. Interestingly though, not a lot of people crossed the lines, however, several of them approached me with questions about the piece. Ironically, somehow making a visible barrier broke the invisible one.
Afterwards for Visible Invisible II, the recorded material was edited and projected in loops in opposing corners inside a squared room. The space inside was activated by a mesh of fishing line going from one corner to the other. Whoever stepped inside the room became a screen reflecting the projection becoming a part of the park themselves. However the experience of the second installation is quite different from the first one since the fishing line can only be seen at certain angles. Therefore people are forced to interact with the fishing line and rely on other senses to move around. As they do so the lines of the physical mesh and the virtual mesh become blurred. The darkness of the room calls upon silence allowing the sound of the park in the projections to resonate louder. The virtual footsteps of people walking around the first installation are more audible than the footsteps of the people in the second installation. The effect in total is that of a new space, a sort of limbo in between physical and virtual space.
Visible Invisible II view
Photo Credit Anne Lathem
Installation I Night
Installation I Night
Visible Invisible II Documentation
(low resolution - non profesional)