Multi-channel video and sound installation with monitors and projections, 2007
Zoo is a complex sound and video environment comprised of material gathered in nine different zoos over an eight year period. The footage features details of animal bodies that are not immediately identifiable; sounds that seem to come out of the wrong animal body; vistas that appear to be outdoors but prove to be part of an indoor diorama. There are moments of expectation that give way to boredom, but also moments of boredom suddenly broken by spectacular drama. The animals are in a strange kind of proximity to one another, and we are in a strange proximity to them. Most zoos place the viewer in a relationship to the animal that presupposes that we can know something about it by looking at it and learning about it. In this Zoo, we never feel secure about what we are seeing, how big it is, how close we are to it, and even how safe we are from it.
The most recent version of the piece, shown in 2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, consisted of fifteen monitors on pedestals and four wall projections (installation shots below). There was no single vantage point from which to view the installation. Instead, the viewer snaked through the space, provoked by the enigmatic sounds and images to explore the room.
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Below, a grid of video stills.