A Distant Episode is a video and sound environment, like a movie except that the video is projected on the floor which means that viewers can walk on the art, and through it. When Museum visitors first encounter the exhibit, it sounds like an ordinary day at the beach, except that it’s in a dark empty room with only a pale blue rectangle of light on the floor. Visitors can close their eyes and hear the four speakers in the room play the sounds of waves on a sandy beach and almost feel like they are on their own little desert island. While they are enjoying the peaceful environment, they start to hear a little sound in the background. It blends in at first, is it imaginary? The sound of a boat maybe, it builds slowly until suddenly it transforms into a huge roaring plane passing right through the gallery! Just like they were standing under it, the shadow of a plane flies right through the blue light on the floor. The action unfolds slowly over the course of the 18 minute long video. Visitors may want to slow down to notice the small sounds that might have otherwise gone unnoticed in the mostly visual world.
"We always try to create a space for visitors to have a new experience in the Art Studio, whether it is working with a new material, working with a material in a new way, or learning about artists and their creative processes,” said Alice Vogler, Education Arts Program Manager. “It is great to be able to share more media based art that might not be familiar to visiting families."
The artist, Jesse Kaminsky, created this exhibit with the hope that visitors will have fun and not be afraid to run around and explore every angle of this sound and light environment. What seems like a simple natural setting at first is full of real and imaginary sounds and shapes that make one wonder which is which. It’s a chance to slow down and investigate the world of sound at an imaginary beach – inside!
A Distant Episode will be at Boston Children’s Museum through September 21, 2014. For additional information, visit www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org.