Astronomy by Day (and Other Oxymorons)

Photo by Lynn Thompson. Posted September 2018.
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Artist
Year
2004
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From the artist: “A permanent commission for the Seattle Central Public Library in Seattle, Washington, Astronomy by Day (and other oxymorons) is a two-channel video installation projected on the 40 x 40 ft. east wall of the atrium, between levels 6 – 9. 

Conceptually, the work consists of a series of computer-generated 3D objects viewed from a continuous forward tracking shot that moves almost imperceptibly forward.  Hundreds of objects - encyclopedic in nature - form a vast, almost infinite, landscape that the viewer drifts through. The objects have been placed on an imaginary spherical plane that is large enough to make the curve of the “horizon” barely visible. The sense is of one going around the world passing through things—a kind of memory of the object world in which coming, going, future and past are möbius and present. The video is a seamless loop, approximately 30 minutes in length, that is rendered entirely in wireframe mode and looks suspiciously like architectural drawings but with distinct differences.

Various rendering filters produce subtle shades of gray, lending a strange dimensionality to the lines themselves, which are suggestive of ancient and hyper-futuristic visions. The image, being black and white and diagrammatical in nature, suggests more of a textual idiomatic space of “things” than an imagistic one per say. The image plane continuously fluctuates between very flat and deep space.”

Location

Central Library, east wall atrium, 1000 4th Ave
Seattle

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