THE LUMINISTS

USA, New York, New York

- 2007
The seating structure on-site at the installation
External and internal construction drawings of seating structure.
The installation
Construction drawings

Design Team

Jordan Parnass, Darrick Borowski, Randy Plemel, Rik Ekstrom, Sean Karns

Consultants

Collaboration with Melanie Crean

Photography

Jordan Parnass

This installation was commissioned by Art in General and designed and fabricated for artist Melanie Crean's "Luminist" sound and video projects. The structure consists of a sculpted "Sound Bed" formed from a CNC plywood base draped with a topographically modeled felt seating surface.

The Luminist sound and video projects explore the nature of vision, based on phone calls artist Melanie Crean recorded with three artists who lost their sight but continue making art: Alice Wingwall, a photographer; Carol Saylor, a painter turned sculptor, and Tara Inmon, a painter turned writer. Topics of discussion ranged from the meaning of vision; how the women continued to visualize the world in their minds eye; how they imaged their work, the process of perception, what they found beautiful; and the effect of a changing sensory palette on consciousness. Often the discussions were very descriptive, detailing imagery that the artists perceived but could not biologically see. In this way, both parties communicated on the same playing field, reconstructing vision and the described art works through sound.

The Luminist sound project is an abstract 5.1 audio installation created with composer Paul Geluso. The immersive aspect of the piece refers to spatial audio cues the women use to visualize their environment. The vivid descriptions of their inner visual lives inspire images in the minds of each listener, creating an implied visual track for the sound work. The Luminist video project is a short experimental video produced in collaboration with three animators: Kuni Chang, Enrique Maitland and Luba Drozd, who each visualize the audio’s content in a different style, inspired by the personality of each artist.