The full moon that crossed the sky overnight from July 31, 2015 to August 1 was technically “blue” because it was the second full moon in a calendar month. In the color I observed as the moonlight landed on the white walls and oak floor of the Riverside Art Center, however, I was surprised to note a distinct, warm yellow-gold cast. In contrast, the white walls took on a distinctly bluish tone beyond the angled polygons of light, which entered through a large, south-facing picture window, a smaller window on a curved wall that faces east, and the open door of the gallery, that also faces south. “Crescent”, the site specific installation in the main space of the gallery, shows the moonlight as it entered the space at 9:20 PM, and then at about every half hour thereafter, crossing the space in an elegant arc before setting at 5:30 AM. The title comes not from the phase of the moon but from the cumulative shape formed by tracking it’s entire transit across the space in spray paint.
I’m more accustomed to tracking daylight- cold in temperature except during sunrise, sunset, and certain atmospheric conditions. A month-long residency at the RAC gave me the opportunity to consider the moonlight- the main, generous, luminous “actor” in a space also influenced by two other significant experiential factors: the nearby train tracks and the Des Plaines river. In response to these, I created a two channel video installation that was projected along the baseboards of two adjacent walls in the smaller, north gallery of the art center.
To create the first one, a cell phone camera was pointed at the train tracks seen from the vantage point of the BNSF commuter train from downtown Union Station to Riverside. Video clips that were each one minute in length, but which were shot at different times of day, were placed in chronological order side by side to create a long, horizontal projected video. For the second one, an HD video camera was pointed down at the Des Plaines river for a minute at a time during each hour of daylight, from the vantage point of a pedestrian bridge that crosses the river one block from the Riverside Art Center. These clips were then set side by side in chronological order to offer viewers the experience of every hour of daylight at once on the Des Plaines river. The two-channel piece is titled “To and From”.
Finally, and also in the smaller gallery alongside “To and From”, I recreated the sunlight from 7:00 PM and 7:15 PM as it entered the gallery at sunset, filtered through the leaves of the trees from the back garden space. This piece was titled “Last Light”.