Pastoral Universe


The multifaceted nature of this immersive installation explores biological processes, intuitive relationships, the environment, the body and art history. In its original incarnation shown here, in an approximate 25’x35’x15’ room, Pastoral Universe consists of 2 suspended projectors looping the same 1 channel video with sound projecting down onto a sculptural mirrored terrain. The projected loop is of leaves on trees blowing in the wind on a crisp, autumn day (intense blue sky and orange/yellow/green leaves) and a highly processed water sound that is at once familiar and not. The images are thrown around the entire room, broken up into bits of fluttering leaf and sky. Despite its cold, hard materials (mirrored glass), the installation terrain seems soft, referencing a marshy environment and/or a reflecting pool with an ever-changing fluid surface. It also references the body of the tree absent from the space. And a viewer becomes participant, in essence a stand-in for that body – the trunk – as they look outward through it’s branches and leaves. This is one way that the installation begins to connect audience to the natural world that encompasses us. Simultaneously, Pastoral Universe references the universe as a whole. The viewer is also looking out into space; planets, stars, moving/living orbs, everything outside of us, an unknown world that twinkles or flutters around us in the night sky; infinity – it surrounds us. Switch now to contemplating it from the micro view rather than the macro point of view and the installation shifts again and begins to reference cellular activity, molecules and atoms; the fact that the ‘space’ around us is not empty or devoid but alive with activity. This is the stuff of life; in every tree, in every person, on every planet. This is what we share and what connects us all. This is what is within and without us. That ‘activated’ space I refer to as ‘particle’ space, and particle space relates formally to art through dots, the circle, or any stand-in for the ‘figure’. It relates directly to decorative, charged space in medieval and renaissance painting. It’s been motif and symbol for centuries. As such, it implies everything that surrounds us.