Rift / Shake

Rift/Shake – September 2015

Anamorphic Video Installation – Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New Mexico

This video-sculpture projects a mysterious moving image in a light field on the ground coupled with a mirrored pillar that creates a vertiginous sensation of flight.

From a distance, a strange undulating orb appears to pulse and flow on the floor, full of rich color and texture, like a molten asteroid in a clear blue sky. Viewers are encouraged to wander in the swirling , vertiginous projected imagery, slowly finding the view reflected in a mirrored pillar, rewarding their curiosity with a perceptual revelation: the abstraction in constant motion resolves into a dream of flying over a familiar terrestrial landscape.

Presented in context on the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge near Questa, New Mexico, the piece is a journey by air over the stunning and unique rift valley of the gorge from Taos, New Mexico to Alamosa, Colorado. It traces the river course from deep in the geology of the Taos Mesa to the agricultural plains of the San Luis Valley. The journey is transposed through the anamorphic video into an abstract moving puzzle of texture and light with subtle colors and barely recognizable elements that coalesce into the dream of flight when viewed in the mirror.

Rift/Shake was created for and first presented as part of NeoRio Confluence of Art and Environment, an annual outdoor contemporary art and community building event, on September 12, 2015.

Thanks to Bob Johnson, Claire Coté, NeoRio and LEAP