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Look at me

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Let me add this little post-ito to Libby’s First Friday roundup. While in Gallery Siano Vince Romaniello introduced us to Nexus member and inliquid artist Jody Sweitzer who told us she had a piece in Bird Park that was fun and that Becky Kerlin loved. Well, I was in town to see the show at Kerlin’s Gallery Joe (next to Bird Park, Kerlin is in charge of the outdoor park/project space) and took this snapshot of the audio/visual piece by Sweitzer and Chris Vecchio (also a Nexus member and inliquid artist.) “Now that we have your attention” is a motion-sensitive piece: The playpen crew talk at you when you pass by. It’s a cacophanous chorus of “Look at me, look at me. Don’t go. Good bye. Have a nice day. Oh, you’re going.” And the like. There may be more snarky stuff but that’s all I could make out. I thought it was great, with all kinds of references to street side altars to slain children and to the idea of children (and adults — and cities, too for that matter, eg NOLA) abandoned for one reason and another. (picture is from my flickr site. click it to see it bigger)

Kerlin told me she did love the piece. And she witnessed children laughing and enjoying it as well. My experience observing passersby was that, like with all public art, some people like it and some don’t. A couple of moms came by and were surprised and couldn’t wait for their trailing kids to catch up and look. When the two little boys (maybe age 7) arrived they seemed underwhelmed. And then a group of adults came by, slowed to a stop, and when one of them said “I don’t get it,” they quickly moved on.

Sweitzer and Vecchio have both made motion-sensitive works that I’ve seen at Nexus. They’ve also both done public interactive works. It’s great to see the collaboration and I think it’s a successful piece. Part of its success is in the decay factor. I’m trying to imagine what the little street urchins will look like a month from now and I think the piece will be quite different and will evoke a kind of disgust — disgust at the dirty toys; disgust with the idea of chirpy little voices coming out of objects that look beaten down and unloved.

sweitzer, jody and chris vecchio