Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg: Particular Heights

July 30 – October 23, 2010
Artspace/The Lot
New Haven, CT

Particular Heights is a site-specific, participatory electronic installation that activates the outdoor courtyard of Chapel and Orange Streets, otherwise known as The Lot, and the front lobby window of Artspace. Conceived and constructed by NY- and CT-based artists, Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg, Particular Heights is composed of a swing set, LED counter, and a web camera; audiences are invited to swing on the counting swing–each swing on the set that reaches a certain height, triggers an electronic switch which will perform two operations.

The first operation adds one digit to the counter. Over the course of the exhibit, the counter continues to add to itself and serves as a quantitative documentation of collective time spent on the swing. Additionally, a webcam embedded in a rustic birdhouse across from the set captures an image of the swinger in flight. A computer located nearby uploads this image to a web server that collects the images over time. The resulting image of this operation bank is then presented and indexed on an accompanying website. At Artspace, an LCD monitor hangs from similar swing chains in the gallery window and continuously displays the captured images in an ever-expanding, looping animation that depicts all captured frames of swingers in flight–seemingly still–as the visible counter ticks away at timelapse speed.