KANDAHAR, 10 March — Light and space artist Betty Tureaud and performance artist Vaneeesa Blaylock collaborated for the first time today on Net / Work a massive installation of Wagnerian ambition. In dramatic contrast to Gallery Xue / London’s closet-sized 165 square-meter facility, the Gallery Xue / Kandahar mountain site occupies over 6 hectares of rocky terrain. Utilizing a seemingly limitless budget, Tureaud created visual splendor with myriad optical contrivances that somehow managed to feel organically one with the arid landscape. To this spectacle Blaylock added avatars clad in reflective unitards: some as statues in a mountainside tableaux vivant, some like opal miners popping out of flaming wells, and as a centerpiece, a human tetrahedron where avatars exhibited remarkable, gymnast-like strength in holding the entire configuration together, at some points by the grip of a single hand on the next person’s ankle.
It’s funny that VB33 – Sugar Mountain, and VB35 – Like a Prayer are such simple, sincere, perhaps sublime works. VB34 – Net / Work is not. Net / Work is a grandiose cornucopia of a human tower of babel erected in a cosmic-scaled light and space installation evoking imagery and spectacle as far-flung as our emergent global brain and the primordial cradle of creation.
VB34 – Net / Work
Gallery Xue / Kandahar
10 March 2012
what if we were entering into a new time?
a time when the very systems of control and commerce
that we had believed to be the status quo
were somehow no longer relevant?
what we were faced with
a new medium,
a new network,
a new system that connected the people and places of the world in a new way?
what if that system is here,
what if that time is now?
– Colin Mulcher, 1999
Colin Mulcher’s oft remixed spoken word piece A New System was the starting point for Betty Tureaud and I to collaborate on this work. His voice and ideas have inspired me for several years, and it was nice to finally bring them into a performance work.
Soundtrack via CCMixter
• Mind Field by DJ Blue
VB34 – Net / Work
VB34 – Participants
Marky Mark Zackerly
VB34 – Visitors (partial)
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