“The Magnificence” was part of a gentle and immersive media installation created by Jeff Sharpe & Bill Burgess divisionofwonder.com and was viewed by nearly 45,000 people at one of Americas largest new media art shows, Dallas Aurora 2013, Convergence of Light.
"Division of Wonder takes a hard and poignant look at the economic cruelty and environmental disaster of 1930's Dust Bowl America, entirely through the lens of amateur film outtakes and found voices. The result is a rare and compelling glimpse into the joy, innocence and daring that people fighting incomprehensible odds are often capable of." -Carl S. Williams
As featured artists for the show, Division of Wonder were given a prime location, in the middle of Flora Street just adjacent to Meyerson Symphony Center. This unexpected tip of the hat from Dallas Aurora curators Shane Pennington and Joshua King helped spawn a series of decisions that led to Jeff's eventual design, which was a complete transformation of Flora Street into a fully enclosed, ellipse shaped space, defined entirely by hundreds of five foot high, native prairie switch grass plants. The video and music played from within The Cube, vimeo.com/73502074, a four sided rear projection device the pair designed for TEDx Austin 2013. The net effect at distance was that of dust blown black and white images floating on a sea of grass.
DOW used 4 existing streetlights to suspend 1,000 square feet of crumbled wire mesh, which was then up-lit with multiple LED fixtures to create a subtle halo of amber, which further added to a sense of temperature and shimmering heat. The piece was finished with a hand made, undulating multi-tiered couch, that accommodated upwards of 15 adults at a time. The use of light brown industrial felt and cascading form contributed to the feeling of blown and drifting sand and provided a perfect vantage point for the story.
Story by Bill Burgess & Jeff Sharpe
Experience Design by Jeff Sharpe
Video and Music by Bill Burgess
Production Support Greenhat Event Technologies greenhatevents.com
Fabrication & Design Chris Czichos, Eric Standridge blerkindustries.com
Furniture Fabrication Laura Davis butterdesignlab.com
Specialty Native Grasses Mark Ruibal ruibals.com
Fabrication Andy Sturm
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