Mel Chin: Wake & UnmooredJuly 11, 2018 - September 5, 2018
Wake & Unmoored are co-presented by No Longer Empty, Times Square Arts, and the Queens Museum as part of Mel Chin: All Over the Place.
Commissioned by Times Square Arts, Wake is a 24-foot-tall installation that evokes the hull of a shipwreck crossed with the skeletal remains of a marine mammal. #WakeNYC #MelChin
The structure is linked with a carved, 21-foot tall animatronic female sculpture, accurately derived from a figurehead of the opera star Jenny Lind, that was once mounted on the 19th Century clipper ship, the USS Nightingale.
The artwork calls forth both the city’s triumphs and the complicated layers of its past. New York City has become a center of trade, commerce, finance, entertainment, and tourism, but also has a complex history that included the shipping (by the USS Nightingale, among others) of guns and slaves, that augmented this burgeoning city’s economy. The expanding past economies are prologue to our current environmental dilemma.
Wake has been fabricated by the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s STEAM Studio, and is a collaboration between the Engineering and Art & Art History, and Drama Departments with assistance from faculty, staff, other students, and community members, all under the direction of Mel Chin Studio.
Look up at the sky through your phone for Unmoored: an ambitious 21st Century mixed-reality public art project that explores a potential future where global warming has gone unchecked. #UnmooredNYC #MelChin
Viewers can experience Times Square underwater during the fusion of physical and digital worlds in Unmoored through September 5 on their mobile devices (free app at www.unmoored.nyc) or for three days through a Microsoft HoloLens headset (July 11-13).
Through mixed reality, guests will experience an unprecedented phenomena in the heart of Times Square. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, Unmoored allows guests to explore this surrealistic spectacle, creating an experience that blends the physical world with the digital world.
With Wake and Unmoored, Chin hopes to spark deeper personal investigations through digital devices, and provoke an enlightened stewardship of human actions in relation to global warming realities.
Wake was produced in collaboration with faculty, staff and students at UNC Asheville’s STEAM Studio. Unmoored was developed in collaboration with Microsoft. Mel Chin: All Over the Place, including Wake and Unmoored, received lead support from the Henry Luce Foundation, Ford Foundation, Agnes Gund, Ann & James Harithas, and Ellen & Bill Taubman; with additional support from Sarah Arison, Surdna Foundation, Suzanne Deal Booth, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Annette Blum, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Red Bull Arts New York, and The David Rockefeller Fund. Special thanks to Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Silman; and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.