Acclaimed, Miami-based artist Jillian Mayer’s multimedia projects span the spectrum of tangible sculpture to viral video. BLA & YAA have partnered with Mayer to realize several physical and digital works within the Young at Art Museum and beyond. For Mayer’s experimental, Sundance selected film #PostModem both organizations assisted in the creation of portions of the project which were filmed in the Young At Art Museum’s Knight Gallery with BLA members and the help of eager volunteers. YAA’s facilities were turned into a screen-saver swathed, pixelated portal of collaged sky which participants were asked to swing into by Mayer and co-director and writer Lucas Leyva, who also coordinated scenes involving an elaborate slumber party under projected dream catchers.
Applause Box is an interactive and permanent fixture of the Young At Art Museum facilitated in mid 2011 by both organizations as part of Salutations at the Project Space in Fort Lauderdale’s Fat Village. The piece, which is activated by actual applause from viewers, can be seen in conjunction with Mayer’s video Scenic Jogging in the city area of the museum.
In January of 2013 Jillian Mayer’s tongue-in-cheek Windchimes were installed as part of No.1 outside the museum’s Knight Gallery and have since become part of YAA’s permanent collection.
Ben Morey’s FunVision is an invitation to adults and children alike to question their relationship to escapism and the willingness to loose one’s self in manufactured fantasy worlds of instant gratification. The installation, commissioned by the Young At Art Museum and facilitated by the Bedlam Lorenz Assembly to premier at the exhibition No.1 in early 2013, is also a means of transformation (from viewer to contestant and visa versa, and from 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions) as well as a reflection of the ways in which we seek transformation whether through modern medicine, spirituality or self-medication. FunVision requires audience participation to activate its three parts:
1. The game show set upon which participants can interact with the space or each other using a variety of props ranging from toy-like to comically oversized medical equipment.
2. A video camera streaming the “show” as it takes place in front of the “studio audience”
3. A living room in which a TV set receives a live feed from the camera located in front of the stage displaying a contextually disconnected stream of “the show” which viewers can watch within the semi-removed environment.
Once each element is activated by audience involvement the “show” is produced, broadcast and witnessed live within the closed circuit of the piece. What is generally aired over the course of a meager 22 to 24 minutes, with commercial breaks, is extended into an endless, fully immersive experience for all ages. Participants interacting with the objects provided and inhabiting the stage will also appear to be acting out the ideas explored within Morey’s previous work, most notably that which examines the way in we must simultaneously inhabit the role of doctor and patient in order to diagnose, discover solutions and “cure” ourselves and others, as well as society as a whole, whether out of altruistic pragmatism or purely selfish motives. Ultimately FunVision is a rejection of the notion that gameshows and the medical world should be polarized into the squeaky-clean categories of “frivolous entertainment” and “life preservation”. By combining the visual languages of these two seemingly opposite realms of modern life the installation aims to force a tension between them while placing viewers and participants in a situation that requires their interaction to create an ongoing “televised” exploration and celebration of the resulting absurdity.
Read the accompanying essay here.
TINA LA PORTA
Chasing Rabbits, 2013
Tina La Porta uses a variety of very specific media to explore mental illness and her own experiences after being diagnosed schizophrenic. Chasing Rabbits addresses the auditory hallucinations that can accompany schizophrenia. The sound installation, recorded in YAA’s fully equipped recording studio, La Porta reads the words of Alice (from Disney’s adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland”) speaking to other characters, primarily a hookah-smoking caterpillar. Meanwhile, the voice of a male medical practitioner defines conditions of hallucinations, while yet another voice whispers the size, color and shape of various pills. “I wanted to add another layer of my own voice attempting to stave off the intensity of the experience by obsessively describing each pill in my cabinet as a way to alleviate the symptoms of the illness,” La Porta says. The finished work was broadcast over the museum’s PA system during 2013’s No.1.