Piece of WestFAILia

Piece of WestFAILia is a mixed media installation about the need for solidarity in the face of neoliberalism. The Greek word for metaphor is "transporter." The VW transporter is not just-a-bus; it is an oracle proclaiming that there is a roadmap connecting past with future. Referencing the Peace of Westphalia (1648), it reminds us that the way to peace is to respect diversity and put aside differences in the interest of a common good. It points to Beuys The Pack (1969) but emphasizes solidarity and the need to move past myths of the centered, heroic individual. It models the mechanisms whereby power is maintained through tactics of distraction, misdirection, fragmentation, and diffusion.


A 60s era VW bus, clad in gold foil reminiscent of the thermal blankets used by NASA, is suspended from the ceiling of the Lockheed Martin Gallery in the Orlando Museum of Art. From its internals spills a bundle of wires feeding a network of flashlights arrayed in a grid below. A computer algorithmically drives a series of animations that choreograph the movements of the flashlights: distracted-mode, misdirected-mode, fragmented-mode, etc. Each animation state is paired with a looping video emitted from the rear of the bus. Lighting is configured to bounce a golden glow along with fractured shadows on the surrounding walls. The shadows are randomly punctuated with the blue glow of the flashlights.



Medium: mixed media installation, 60s Volkswagen Transporter, vintage Eveready Commander flashlights, stepper motors, microcontroller, custom circuits and programming, computer, video projector, digital cinematography
Dimensions: variable, approximately 20' x 30' x 16'
Collaborators: Florida Research Ensemble [Greg Ulmer, Chris Bianchi, Devlin Caldwell]
Florida Prize 2018, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL Jun 1 - Aug 19, 2018