Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stone Blind Interactive Installation


Vicky Kapo and I have been friends for decades, but it wasn't until she visited Las Vegas in early May 2016, that we took the opportunity to collaborate on a project. Although Vicky's background is in dance and choreography and mine in photography and collage, we have each incorporated community interaction in previous projects.

We visited a couple of sites in the Las Vegas 18b Arts District, home to the monthly First Friday Arts Festival. A boarded up home covered in graffiti art spoke to us of transience. This once solid site designed for occupation, has become unhinged, adrift from its mooring due to its lack of function. There are also homeless people in this neighborhood whom many choose not to see. In this context, the stones we found at the site, suggested the title for the work: Stone Blind.

Having first 'tied down' the house, we invite First Friday visitors to respond to the question "Where - or what - is home to you?". Some answer in specifics: "New Jersey", "Sin City", "Mexico", "Germany"... and others are descriptive: "Where my found family are", "Wherever love is reciprocated", "The location of my car".

The responses reflect the diverse cultural mix of First Friday visitors - locals, national and international visitors, toddlers in strollers and grandparents with walking sticks. Although the installation itself was transient, the messages live on as a poignant reminder of the importance of a safe, loving home that in reality, not everyone experiences.

Las Vegas 18b Arts District, May 6, 2016. 
Vicky Kapo ties down the house with stones found on the site.
Collaged "Seeing Stones" are interspersed with the stones on site.
First Friday visitors write or draw their interpretation of "home".
A project participant adds his messages of "home" to the temporary installation.
Participants add their messages of "home" to the temporary installation.
Participants' contributions festoon the ties at the conclusion of the project.

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