the interactive gambit (do not run! we are your friends!)

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We chose to incorporate movie trailers, just like we chose to incorporate hockey highlights in "Cold War," as a means to break down the autonomy of pubic art from the complex cultural issues of site specificity. Unlike the margins, the center is a site in which critical work can have an insidious effect. The trailers allow us to equate the spectacle of the movies with the spectacle of moving bodies on parade -- live bodies in deep space seen through the curtain wall and the their live video counterparts, flattened, reconfigured, and broadcast to the street. The traditional marquee seduced by exposing a bit of what was hidden from view. Given the full exposure of glass here, this marquee seduces by turning vision off, or, rather, by toggling between two forms of visual access.

IN THE 20TH CENTURY, the ubiquity of glass architecture and video surveillance produced a transparent world which, over time, has prompted new tactics of secrecy. But the paranoia may have shifted: the fear that someone is watching into the fear that no one may be watching, yesterday's pathologies may have turned into today's signs of good health. Rather than secrecy, one could speculate that the visual availability of glass architecture and video surveillance has led to new tactics of display.


The juxtaposition of the glass wall and video surveillance was the basis of the "Slow House," an older work, and a bit of a detour from the issues of public space, but it, perhaps better than any of our projects, puts into question the opposition between mediated and unmediated experience.

Per the request of the client, the "Slow House," a vacation retreat in Long Island, was to be perched at the edge of a bluff facing the sea, engaging the view. This forced us to consider, what is a view? A "view" is normally the prized asset of the vacation home, the object of optical desire, usually constituted from scenery which exceeds the legal boundaries of one's property. Of course, the view cannot exist without the picture window. The picture window frames "nature" and collapses depth into the surface of glass, in effect, turning the exterior into a representation and turning nature into a living room trophy. In the real estate market, the ocean view is most highly valued. Because there is nothing to see but the horizon, the edge of the earth, the ocean view evokes simultaneous feelings of mastery and feebleness.

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