Forty-two swings are attached with chains to the incredibly high ceiling of the armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall; each is also rigged by wire and pulley to a lightweight, silk curtain at the center of the hall, which oscillates as participants thrust themselves higher and higher on the swings. Overhead lights punctuate all the action. Situated above each swing, they create dramatic shadows below. Even though Hamilton’s installation defies strict genre-casting, it’s clear that the work is concerned with the ephemeral moment, and with the work of art being put into motion—made real—only with the participation of the visitor who mounts a swing and pushes off.
A Reagan-era Ed Kienholz installation is mounted again with a different president, and the same political message
Across the eyes of each of the large figures were blindfolds with the word ‘NO’ scrawled across them. It’s part of the piece’s operational rules. The country in which it’s displayed determines the color of the flashing lights and the flag held by the vice president, while a poll determines if the blindfolds read “YES” or “NO.” Pace had held a poll in the weeks leading up to the show asking art “Are you satisfied with your government?” I asked Kienholz how she felt about politics today. “Same as I felt about it then,” she replied swiftly.
"I wondered, What's the ultimate brand. And I thought, NASA represents our destiny in the stars and ... the mutation of man growing wings using his super-powerful mind," Sachs said. It's this celebration of the human mind that is the through-line connecting all the pieces in Space Program: Mars, from the modified Winnebago (Mobile Quarantine Facility) to the exercise unit (Space Camp) to the bike-repair shop to Mission Control Center—a huge array that includes a boombox, an iPad, turntables, bottles of vodka, and monitors that can show dozens of locations around the Armory, from miniature sets of splashdown to the intimate moments the astronauts share inside the Lunar Module—most of the things constructed from plywood, fiberglass, and Con-Edison's familiar white-and-orange wood pedestrian barriers.(1)
The art world appears to be having a memento mori moment: transience, collapse, erosion, and entropy are all themes that have recently been cropping up in shows across the city. Now we have Swept Away: Dust, Ashes and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design at the Museum of Art and Design (on through August 12), which takes detritus as a broad metaphor for ephemerality, effacement, memory, and mass consumption.
Superflex, the three-man Danish art collective, once tried to hypnotize a million and half British TV viewers. They spent six months in the Brazilian Amazon making soda from caffeinated guarana berries. And last fall, as part of Creative Time’s Living as Form exhibition, they installed a replica of the executive bathroom at JPMorgan Chase’s New York office inside a Greek diner on the Lower East Side.
Sun King: Craig Colorusso's weird solar-powered boxes turn a Brooklyn housewares store into a sound-art orchestra chamber
Sound artist and inventor Craig Colorusso calls Sun Boxes “a solar-powered sound installation” on the project’s website. Put simply, Sun Boxes emit sound when light hits them—the level of heat, and the angle and breadth of exposure (as well as other atmospheric conditions), determines the output. Spread 20 or 25 of them around an area, as Colorusso does for his installations, and you get a subtly shifting overtone overdose, as changeable as the weather.