Diesel Wall

birgitte moos chalcraft

DIESEL Wall - Open Call for Public Art in NYC 2009

Proposal for a giant 90 feet tall mural to be painted on the side of a building at 220 West 19th Street on 19th and Seventh Ave. Chelsea, NYC. The decision-making committee included Sarah Schiller from The Wooster Collective and Nicola Vassell, Director at Deitch Projects.

This mural proposal, titled ‘Main-Stream' visualizes the river surrounding Manhattan, and the wires and a scaffold painted in perspective refer to NYC as a hybrid Metropol under constant change, ‘wired up,’ and populated by multiple ethnicities.

The wires, scaffold, and river are meant to be painted directly onto the wall, whereas people should be ‘painted = projected’ onto the wall executed as motion capture images of foot passengers in the streets below. Hence it becomes interactive. The building becomes a stage, and a ’performing body’ inhabited by site-specific set design, created through cross-disciplinary artforms: Fine art, experimental theatre and performance art, architecture, and set design.

This moving mural installation is a free theatrical investigation of Futurism's complex relationship to the modern body, as it is based on the ideas of futurist performances, such as mathematically designed set elements – the grid and scaffolding, created in perspective - and transformative, floating performers that can interact with the objects, in a manner so that law of gravity is annulled. It experiments with avant-garde ideas on how to nullify the separation between audience, actors, and the stage in an interdisciplinary manner, and how to involve spectators in the performances. Like a futurist theatre changing the dynamics between performers and audience with the technological fusion of audience and stage in a new kind of street art. I call this Synthetic Realism.                                                                                  

This combination creates a variety of new real-time performances connecting & integrating events with it’s surrounding city, people, and social space.

`Of course`, there’s a double-entendre within the title ‘Main-Stream’. Due to its location, it comments on Westen culture, with reference to how to portray a ‘new human’. What the new human is interested in has become the center of life: The body. The body as a universal image where the body is refined, exposed as humans' identity, on the cost of a paradigm shift from a previous culture expressing the connection from soul, heart, and spirit to the focus on the biological body.

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