Lamentation: installation plans

Hello art lovers! Our Kickstarter* launches a week from tomorrow. Thank you all for supporting the Thunderclap, if that felt right to you. We are planning a big ole Launch Party and Exhibition, to which all art lovers are invited, at the Embodiment Center, on Friday 3/23/18, 5-9pm. We’ll be celebrating grief and loss, transformation and growth, and of course the launch of our wee book into the wild world we live in. 

I’m planning to build an installation for the event, entitled “Lamentations.”

“What are you grieving?
What happened?
Who did you share your grief with?
Has grief changed you?
You are welcome here.

Inside Lamentations, you’ll find a comfortable, quiet place in which you can share your grief anonymously. There’s a microphone in there, and a friendly AI who will record anything you’d like to say. If you are willing, share your name with the recording, and the artists will find a way to respectfully share your story with the world. If you’d like to remain anonymous, your wish will be respected.

Take as long as you’d like.”

These words will be on a placard affixed to a dark, forbidding hut, built into the Embodiment Center. 

In plainer language: What I’m planning on building is a little hut, set in the “breakfast nook” part of our front-ish room. It will be short–to get in, you’ll have to duck a little–and will be dark, brooding even. I’m beginning with an inspiration for an Old World feeling–as if the house were made of wood, with mock mouldings around the windows, and scale-like shingles on the steep roof. I hope that it will feel like an imaginary place AND a real place, and thus be a little disorienting. Atop it roof I plan to have a blackened serpent, like a weathervane. I have an idea that it should have gingerbread-style details.

On the inside, a member of the Mad Unicorns** has volunteered to make a very cool thing: a Raspberry Pi-based AI that will be able to tell when a person has entered Lamentation, and having done so, initiate a recording when the person is ready. There will be a button for them to push to stop the recording, which will be digital, and stored on a laptop (most likely)
I imagine that the inside is lit with purple or blue light, and only dimly; that in front of the chair in there, there will be a human-shaped absence, a pitch-black emptiness, in front of which a microphone will dangle. I also imagine that the inside is lined with mylar atop towels or tapestry, making it super reflective and also quiet inside. My belief is that the switch from Old World exterior to Newfangled interior will be jarring, in a good way.

Below are pages from my sketchbook in which I was moving towards the idea described above. Each drawing has a fragment of the whole I’ve got in my head. By this Friday I’ll have a much more practical set of plans for us to follow.

*”Our” refers to the company my sister and I have started, Chimera Projects. Our Kickstarter, launching on Wednesday 3/21/18, is in support of the printing and distribution of our new book, O! Relentless Death! Celebrity, Loss and Mourning. Please back our campaign!

**The Mad Unicorns are a rag-tag group of rebel souls, artists all, who have come together to make immersive art experiences. They’re awesome. And sparkly!

Sketchbook images of a budding Lamentation hut.

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