Live Generative Video Installation 2012
In collaboration with Deborah Aschheim & Daragh Byrne
Amazon.com campus, 207 Boren Ave. N., Seattle, WA 2012
In the process, it foregrounds an obsessive attention to the unobserved minutiae of everyday human experience while posing questions about contemporary American values.
Does an atmosphere of hyper-vigilance and loss of privacy actually make us more secure?
Revenge of the Lawn is a durational installation that examines our culture’s estrangement from organic processes and pokes fun at our desire to master the natural world. Revenge of the Lawn presents a typical living room scene made out of furniture that has been reupholstered with soil and seeds. It is a fantasy environment designed to encourage ‘nature’ to reclaim ‘man-made’ objects and permeate the boundary between Indoor and Outdoor, calling attention to the arbitrariness of these binaries. As the tableau of tranquil domesticity is progressively threatened by overgrowth, it calls to mind apocalyptic or science-fiction scenarios. Although the title is campy and the piece’s overall effect is humorous, there is a darker edge that hints at an out-of-balance world in which humans are no longer present.
Revenge of the Lawn was originally created in 2003 but was completely redesigned for the 2008 version. The installation was presented on a public pathway in the heart of Lincoln Park, adjacent to the museum entrance, in a room-like stone courtyard surrounded by native prairie flora and fauna. The sculpture featured hand-sewn panels containing soil and seeds that were upholstered to the surfaces of the furniture. Several other items such as slippers, dishes, and a spoon were seeded as well and contributed to the domesticity and humor of the site. A drip/spray irrigation system was integrated into the installation site. A networked video camera, built into a custom weather- and theft-proof enclosure, took pictures of the growth every 15 minutes and uploaded the images to a remote server, where they were combined into time-lapse video. The resulting videos and live camera feed were viewable on my site revengeofthelawn.com. The whole system – watering, image capture, and video rendering – functioned autonomously with minimal human intervention.
This piece manifests the attraction/ repulsion relationship I have with TV. It provides a hyper-stimulating barrage of fast-paced images and sounds, yet frustrates attempts to actually ‘watch’ it in a conventional sense.
Created as the culmination of my MFA in Art & Technology, this electronic installation is run by a MAX/MSP/Jitter patch that both outputs video samples and talks to a PIC microcontroller. The PIC is programmed in C with my rhythmic pattern algorithms and controls custom video switching electronics.
Located in the backyard of Chicago’s 1926 Exhibition Studies Space/Roger Brown House during the summer of 2003, Revenge Of The Lawn was a living room scene made out of found furniture reupholstered with soil and seeds. It was an environment designed to encourage “nature” to reclaim “man-made” objects and permeate the boundary between Indoor and Outdoor.
During the course of the installation, viewers could visit www.revengeofthelawn.com for a live webcam and ongoing time-lapse video footage of the installation as it sprouted, grew, and ultimately withered and died.
Watch Time-lapse video