SOFTlab and The Living produced the exhibition design for ReGeneration at the New York Hall of science. ReGeneration includes ten installations produced by various artists that explore immigration, urbanization, and sustainability through art, science and technology. Our brief was for the exhibition design to not only be a platform for the other installations, but to also be an installation in and of itself making it one of the ten artist installations.
The New York Hall of Science is located in Queens, NYC, the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. The exhibition framed the idea of sustainability as a system that is exothermic. That New York City is an exothermic system that thrives on the infusion of energy through immigration and generates energy through ideas and knowledge. We looked at this idea at various scales: global, national, city, borough, etc. We found that it is not simply the infusion of various groups or energies into a system, but the mixing and tangencies of these energies and mixing that produces a “melting pot” of ideas. It is through this mixing and turbulence of many ideas that a larger community forms—one that can be seen as a larger whole while still retaining the ability to show a “finer grain,” much like the interconnected loops of an ecosystem, or like many local “weathers” within a regional or global weather system. We treated the overall exhibition as an opportunity for the mixing of various artists responding to the community in many ways, in hopes to create a critical mass of tangencies that extend an influence outside of the museum into the larger community.
We inverted the typical exhibition design of white walls and subdivisions and created a floating cloud that not only marked the zones of each artist installation but connected them under a common roof. More specifically, the “cloud” consists of multiple interconnected “weathers” at the multiple scales of the artwork, the community, Queens, New York City, the country, and the world. While each “weather” has its own features and identity, they have many overlapping, “common” themes, and there are many threads that tie them together into one “common” ecosystem. In other words, the cloud is a kind of weather for the Regeneration exhibition–but rather than a single weather, it is really several common weathers. Read the rest of this entry »