For more info go to the project website.
Watch documentary video below.
For 3D paintings created for this installation go to here…
Drainage is an interactive installation with gravity-driven mechanics, sound, sculpture and video. Using building materials such as aluminum flashing and gutters, Drainage is a visually and aurally enticing environment that invites viewer interaction and rewards it with immediate feedback. The drainage process relates to the energy expended in the act of desire and can exist only as long as there is some source that feeds the system at a rate that equals the rate of depletion over time. The drainage process is insatiable and self-fulfilling.
This project was funded in part by Amerimax Home Products, Inc.
The artists have transformed a small space by dividing it into three rooms that burst with color and are visually and aurally interconnected. Curvilinear pieces of the green turf carpeting climb the walls, and in the Drainage room silver aluminum flashing covers the walls and ceiling. Banana Green walls hold 3-dimensional paintings, and Mantione’s music is heard through multiple speakers, some hidden behind hanging sculptures. All flow in harmony with water sculptures, and a continuous complex of aluminum drainage pipes that carry steel ball bearings in the Drainage room. It takes the ball bearings over a minute to reach the end of the pipes, creating a rich aural experience. A monitor plays a video of a dog carrying commands for kibbles dispensed through a drain pipe. Another displays a close-up of an open mouth saying, “Aaaahhhhh” in a chant-like drone.
The use of construction materials in all the individual works is a reference to the suburban life style that many Americans crave. In various ways, every work reinforces the idea of desire. Visually rich, colorful and enticing, one gets a hint of what they might be about by their seductive titles. The glittering bold and bright orange of Gorgeous invites the viewers to move close, in order to view their own reflections in the multiple small round mirrors. party pooper has a subtle resemblance to the American flag. Out of a gutter pipe, a juicy dark blue drip of paint flows upward, defying gravity. The drip defies the norm, staining the happy atmosphere of the colorful confetti-covered stripes. High Hopes, titled the same as the song about the ant, depicts a singular ant on the bright green surface of a modernist-style small painting referencing the much debated question of the failure of an era.
On a superficial level Drainage appears like a carnivalesque arcade, lulling the viewer into a state of craving and expectation for immediate gratification. Every piece is carefully designed to reflect this state of desire and pleasure. Epicurus described man as having a mechanistic nature that leads him to seek pleasure, but he maintained that it is our duty and within our power to regulate our desires. John Stuart Mill believed in the elevated hierarchy of our faculties, in relation to animal appetites. To him, our happiness was dependent on their gratification.
Drainage questions the superiority of human beings when the power of reason is confronted with desire. It allows for and in fact requires interaction from the viewer. Regardless of the degree of interaction, the process remains unchanged…unless fed, it eventually stops. But beyond the sensory gratification, the installation as a whole signifies our intellectual and mental processes. The audience is offered symbols that trigger thought regarding relationships to any and all things. This thought process can be a potentially great source of pleasure. Nietzsche believed that the artist creates lies through art, in order to make life bearable. So perhaps happiness exists somewhere between these lies, our desires and our power of reason.