Foley Square looks like an island – situated amid a see of tightly packed cars and serious buildings.
Foley Square was an island – situated in an unlikely urban pond.
Foley Square is an island of water – situated in an unlikely urban landscape?
Foley Square was a slum home to brutal gangs
Foley Square was the site of the Brideshead prison, and has been the site of carriages and miscarriages of justice.
Foley Square was the site of a graveyard holding the remains of 10,000 people.
“This bronze medallion is one of five that commemorate various epochs in the life of Foley Square and its environs. This particular relief sculpture acknowledges the presence underfoot of the so-called Negro Burial Ground, in which the remains of as many as 10,000 men, women, and children were interred between 1712 and 1794. Its central image consists of a skeleton and broken shackles.” (New York Parks Department NYC Parks Department Website)
I propose a project designed for two senses that caters to audiences of differing levels of involvement.
The first part of the proposal is an installation or sculptural element that anyone passing through, or spending time in the park would interact with. It should evoke a peaceful anxiety. A feeling of momentarily intersecting with coexisting but, for the most part, invisible worlds. It should be an interesting object that a passerby would notice and possibly be intrigued by.
The second piece of the proposal requires a more intentional participation. Signs near the installations would direct interested viewers to a url, or smart phone app that would allow them to explore the sonic landscape of these overlapping invisible worlds.
The installation could be:
Subterranean projections situated in large holes covered by opaque projection medium (thick, frosted plexiglass?)
Perhaps the projection is water – a window to the pond that was there.
Perhaps the projection is a skeleton, or human figure (signs of living still?), enveloped by roots.
Perhaps the projection is cobblestone, human and animal paths pass through it.
The installation could be:
Similar opaque projection materials oriented vertically. With the right orientation to the screen, the passerby sees the architecture and landscape that existed in that spot match up with the architecture today. My feeling is this would be more immediately legible as a window to another time - not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
The sonic environment could be mapped to a larger area of lower manhattan. Using frequent gps calls, in conjunction with data from the accelerometer and compass built in to the smart phone, a fairly exact real time orientation and trajectory through space could be determined (this will be difficult). The sonic landscape would be designed to evoke the feeling of being in different places, and of traveling through time. It would be more evocative, and interpretive than representative, as archival recordings of this place and these moments in time would be impossible to come by. I’m interested in creating a mood that is wistful and otherworldly, and to as great an extent as possible, dictates how audience members think about and perceive their surroundings.
This idea is related to the project I presented at the spring show, that I’m now calling Paths. (video on vimeo) also in the post below this one.