CircumSolar, Migration 1

Submitted by Rebeca Mendez

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Client: City of Santa Monica / Glow Art Event

Location: Santa Monica, CA, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Artist

Rebeca Mendez

Public Art Agent

Malina Moore

City of Santa Monica

Other

Adam Eeuwens, Research / Project Manager

Rebeca Méndez Studio

Art Consultant

Marc Pally, Artistic Director

Overview

Temporal Public Artwork / Video Art Installation. 16mm film screened as single channel HD video. Duration: 26 minutes. Sound by Icelandic Composer Ben Frost. Screen diameter: 25 feet. Total height: 32 feet. The installation was placed on the north side of the pier, as far as possible from the bright lights, so when you look at the work it appeared as a setting sun or a rising moon, glowing, with the waves constantly crashing behind it, which became it’s natural ambient sound. The duration will be about 26 minutes, set in continuous loop for the duration of the event.

Goals

Glow, the first all-night arts event in the United States to emphasize the commissioning of new work, transformed the beach in Santa Monica on September 28, 2013 into a world of interactive and engaging contemporary art. Every three years, for just one night, Glow features an extraordinary array of original, site-specific installations by local and international artists. The first Glow event had 250,000 visitors, so in creating CircumSolar, Migration 1, I considered that the work needed to be seen from multiple locations and distances. The content of the film focuses on issues of migration, and specifically on the migration of the arctic tern, a small sea bird that has the longest migration of all living beings on earth, flying from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again each year. Santa Monica Bay is a busy intersection for migrating animals and humans, offering welcome respite to feed and rest across a very diverse spectrum of species. Los Angeles is a city of immigrants. So, for Glow, I’ve chosen ‘migration’ as the focus of my installation.

Process

Glow is an initiative of artistic director Marc Pally, who was wonderful to work with. As well as Malina Moore from the City of Santa Monica, who produced the event with incredible grace. Projects like this require collaboration with multiple parties, and I loved each one of them. From Eddie Diaz of Branam Enterprises who constructed and installed the truss, to Rosebrand who custom made the screen, to my brilliant projectionist of a 20,000 lumen HD projector. Coordination and collaboration with GLOW and with the city of Santa Monica was essential for the success of the temporal public artwork. I worked with an engineer to make sure the structure would remain erect under all possible climate conditions—like Santa Ana winds, which were showing their force the night of the event. I collaborated with Icelandic composer Ben Frost for the sound of my video, where I gave him my field recordings as base for the composition.

Additional Information

My intention is to create work that emerges from the experience of the physical encounter with the natural forces that govern our planet in order to better understand our place within it. See more images here: http://rebecamendezstudio.com/CircumSolar-Migration-1