Orchid Cloud Mask Portal

Orchid Cloud Mask Portal existed as a video projection within the immersive installation, an Experimental Space for Reconnection with the Natural World, version 1.2.

Upstairs, a chair was positioned in front of a suspended cotton wall with a two-sided cotton mask sewn into it (images below). When guests sat in the chair and peered through the back of the mask, a live performer silently danced toward them, looking into their eyes while swirling to the recorded guttural throat-chants of Tibetan monks.

When the performer was not present, those looking through the mask-wall saw the video projection, Orchid Cloud Mask Portal, which was essentially a mirror reflection (images below). Guests saw what someone looking at them from the other side of the mask would have seen, sort of. The front of the projected mask was alive with clouds and close-ups of orchids, and a blinking third-eye at the center forehead of the mask. The area around the mask originally appeared as the front of the mask-wall, with the chair clearly visible. As the video progressed, the wall and chair dissolved into clouds until the mask alone was floating in space.

The earlier 2014 iteration of the project (v1.1, images below) had a mirror positioned in the hallway on the other side of the mask. When guests looked through the mask, they saw themselves peering into the mirror from behind a mask with live video-mapped projections, including a blinking third-eye in the middle of the/their forehead. This mirror placement (and the subsequent Orchid Cloud Mask Portal projection) was inspired by my personal meditative practice of mirror gazing, in which I frequently experienced my face dissolve into a void.

Orchid Cloud Mask Portal

  • 2015 • spring
  • single channel video, with sound, pico projected at 24" x 40" 5:55