The site is an unoccupied concrete grain silo. It is a complex of interconnected circular chambers, each about 30’ in diameter by 150’ high.
There are two spaces. They are connected by a passageway, but barely visible to each other.
In a dark room there is a rectangle of beige carpet, a floor vent, a lamp, and an unmoving door; the room is dark. The lamp suddenly illuminates and I see photographs scattered on the floor. The pictures don’t appear connected by any continuous narrative, style or common subject, except that they are all taken outdoors. They seem to be from lawns and neighborhoods. I begin to look for photos to take with me. The light turns off again without apparent cause.
In a dark room there is a rectangle of green turf, a stone step, and an unmoving door with a porch light mounted next to it. The lamp suddenly illuminates and I see photographs scattered on the floor. The pictures don’t appear connected by any continuous narrative, style, or common subject, except that they are all taken indoors. They seem to be from rooms in houses. I begin to look for photos to take with me. The light turns off again without apparent cause.
In fact, the temporary illumination of each space is caused by movement in the other space. In order to see the living room, someone must be moving on the lawn. In order to see the lawn, there must be movement in the living room.
The experience appears as a riddle and as a treasure hunt. The locations are thin, synthetic, like ad-hoc stage sets. The photos are warm, but incomplete, they are excerpts, fragments, shadows.
As the lights turn on we survey the photos. Attractions to images quickly form or repeat. As the lights turn out, we are annoyed, anxious, as if our phones have been taken away.
This installation alludes to the feedback loop, the two-way dreaming of photo imagery in social media (especially Instagram—the photographs on the floor are square). Our present space is only the space where we are invited to look away. And without the activity elsewhere, and the photographs that seem to reflect it, our space is void, unfulfilled, moot. Our words and steps echo in the chamber of the concrete silo chambers, there is a din, the real dimensions of the space we occupy is unclear and we feel it.
Like Pokemon Go, this is a moebius strip of augmented reality, our present situation is illuminated and given purpose only by another, digitally-mediated representation, in this case the image of simultaneous action elsewhere. And yet at the moment our situation is illuminated we are transported away to the dream of the other. And when we leave to find the other, the only memory we carry with us is the memory of looking out away from where we actually were.
This work was conceived as a companion to my work “The Grammar of Your Question (about white houses)”, itself a response to Dan Graham’s “Homes for America.” As in my work Dreamhouse, this work proposes that photography is no longer a means of “capturing a moment” (and therefore a record of the past), but rather the photograph is—and arguably always has been—a way of recording simultaneous realities over unspecified physical space (“this is how things are right now somewhere else”) and the future (“this is how things will be in the future when we get there.”).