“Clerestory, Transitory” was an invited, site-specific artwork installed in the SomArts gallery in San Francisco. The project, done in collaboration with Dale MacDonald, probed issues of how suggestions of enclosure and lighting can reshape space and, in turn, affect behavior. Designed for the vaulting, sixty-foot-tall rear gallery in this former-XXX, the piece consisted of a dozen or so strips of silk suspended in the gallery. The attachment points at the quarter, half, and three-quarter points we motorized, and could be raised and lowered in response to sensors.
The installed piece, with its dramatic catenaries of draped cloth, lit with cross-cutting beams of colored wash, was striking even when stationary. When in motion, it took on an even more-dynamic quality. The piece could radically reshape the gallery space – with a vocabulary that ranged from cathedral, to circus tent, to harem. Transitions ranged from sudden to subtle – it was not unusual to hear visitor comments like “were those here before?” or “have those changed color or something?”