To the Moon

LAURIE ANDERSON/HSIN-CHIEN HUANG
To the Moon (2018)
, Virtual Reality Installation

JULY - SEPTEMBER, 2020
OPEN TUESDAY-SUNDAY, 10AM-5PM
HERBERT F. JOHNSON MUSEUM, PICKET FAMILY VIDEO GALLERY

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The pioneering American performance artist, Laurie Anderson, again collaborates with the creative Taiwanese technology artist, Hsin-Chien to provide an immersive artistic experience. The artists developed this virtual reality installation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Viewers are invited to become astronauts through VR goggles that provide an intimate experience with this 3-D imaginary trip into space. To the Moon uses images and tropes from Greek mythology, literature, science, space sci fi movies and politics to create an imaginary and fabulous new moon. During the 15-minute VR experience, the viewer is shot out from earth, walks on the surface of the moon, glides through space debris, flies through DNA skeletons and is lifted up the side and then tossed off of a lunar mountain. While referencing lunar calendars and nineteenth-century paintings of night scenes bathed in romantic moonlight, the artists take their audience across the ethereal spectrum of the moon and its imaginary, from romantic scenes to dystopias, from lunar beauty to a hideous future vision of the moon transformed into the dumping ground for the Earth’s radioactive material.  

To the Moon is dedicated to the ancient Chinese painter who made a huge vertical landscape painting of a mountain with groves of pine trees, a steep road winding up to the top, waterfalls, tiny hikers with walking sticks, thatched bamboo huts, and fishermen casting their nets in the sea far below. The painting was very intricate and it took many years to make. When the painter finally finished the painting he walked into it. This is what the artists aim to do with To The Moon, allow the viewer to literally walk into a work of art.

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PROJECT BY: Laurie Anderson (US) & Hsin-Chien Huang (Taiwan)

BIOGRAPHIES:

Laurie Anderson is a world renowned artist, composer, musician and film director whose work spans performance artpop music, and multimedia projects. Initially trained in violin and sculpting, Anderson pursued a variety of performance art projects in New York during the 1970s, focusing particularly on language, technology, and visual imagery.[3] She became more widely known outside the art world when her single "O Superman" reached number two on the UK singles chart in 1981. She also starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave. Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows. Her work has been exhibited and performed globally. Her earlier VR installations with Hsin-Chien Huang are currently on view at Mass MOCA.

Hsin-Chien Huang is a Taiwanese new media creator with backgrounds in art, design, engineer and digital entertainment. His career endeavor explores cutting edge technologies in art, literature, design and stage performing. A longtime collaborator with Laurie Anderson, his own technological art, his technological artworks have received the grand prize of "New Voices, New Vision" new media competition in 1994, the Muse Award of America Association of Museum in 2009, and the Light of Taiwan's Honor from Taiwan's President Ma in 2011, the Fifth Public Art Award from the Ministry of Culture Taiwan in 2016, Best VR Experience in 2017 Venice Film Festival. Huang has also been a researcher on interactive music in Interval Research Corporation. Afterward worked as Art Director at Sega and Sony Computer Entertainment and developed the game titles "Geist Force" and "Kinetica.”