G.I. Final Weekend

July 27, 2010 · Posted in Documentation, Governor's Island, Media Art, Pure Data, seesaw · Comment 
LMCC Governor's island, See /Saw installation by G.H. Hovagimyan

See / Saw, 2010, G.H. Hovagimyan

I asked to install See / Saw in a larger room at the LMCC artists residencies on Governors Island for the final open studio weekend.  LMCC said sure I could use the dance studio as long as I protected the rubberized dance floor.  This allowed for the piece to be viewed in the proper manner rather than in the studio where it was quite cramped. The piece depends on a certain immersive quality. The larger the projection the more it refers to the cinema experience.   Adding the seesaw controller adds a kinaesthetic immersive quality to the work. What happen is  an odd scramble of sensorial signals. The mind has to deal with the sensations of the seesaw at the same time as it tries to piece together the immersive disjunctive narrative of the deconstructed movie.  Since there are two separate scenes being played/ feed into the projection and turned off and on, there’s also a physical bridge from the motion of the seesaw to the virtuality of the projection.

People would get on the seesaw and then realize their movement controlled the switching off and on of the scenes.  The piece was approachable and accessible to the general public who were excited and intrigued by the seesaw. They immediately got on and started to play. The effect was joy and release. Women especially enjoyed the seesaw. I thought it was a wonderful aspect of the work. I didn’t imagine I could create a piece that would produce so much simple joy.  Some people commented how they didn’t have seesaws anymore in playgrounds.  Many people jumped on and for a moment were transported back to their childhood.  I always thought of the seesaw as a metaphor for memories, especially memories of childhood. I didn’t image that the memories would be manifested in the physical act of getting on the seesaw.

Some people were well versed in filmography and knew the movie was Two for the Seesaw. Others asked about the movie and I when I told them the title they would exclaim, of course!

The general public enjoyed the piece without really going deep into it’s meaning and structure. Often they would get on the seesaw and play and then try to make sense of the movie. Some amusing interactions occurred during the course of the weekend.  A family of Orthodox Jews came into the room. The father was very excited to get on the seesaw. He grabbed his one year old daughter and sat on one end while his two other daughters sat on the other side.  Meanwhile his hugely pregnant wife looked on disapprovingly and scolded him saying,” Bernie you’re going to break it!” This was followed by a group of Japanese high school girls who laughed and giggled and played on the sesaw while their hip teenage boyfriends watched. Finally a Chinese family, the father mother and four children came in and sat on the floor and on the seesaw and began to watch the movie. I had to tell them that the piece was interactive!