"Tuning #000365" (2000) with Charles Gick
This piece was created for the PianoForte exhibition in Portland for which each team of artists was given a piano as the source material for a new work. I built this piece with painter and installation artist, Charles Gick. Charles and I were given an old player piano whose player mechanism had been removed. We conceived of its interior cavity as the “site” for a video installation. The moving image - views of a sky transforming from stormy to clear and back - was shot and edited as a slow and sustained vertical pan. In the resulting video, clouds rolled down the visual field at the rate similar to that of a player piano scroll. The video was projected against a curved scrim-and-mirror system inside the piano. Consequently, the image was perceived as having an extended depth reminiscent of the sky. Resembling the light on a landscape being filtered through moving cloud cover, the interior of the piano was flushed with a continually varying luminance. From multiple points in the interior - on separated tracks and delivered by independent speaker sets - the viewer heard two sounds: that of a piano being tuned by ear and the intermittent cooing of restless pigeons reclaiming an abandoned space.