COLD WAR

Permanent media installation for civic arena

Sunrise, FL

1997

Tactics, strategy, power, force, capture, occupation, victory, defeat, enemy—these words may seem like a description of a war zone, but they also make up the basic vocabulary of many board games and field sports. Like institutionalized warfare, these activities are part of the culture of conquest with highly developed codes of propriety and hostility. The Civic Arena in Sunrise—home to the NHL Panthers— is the site for a permanent public art installation to be seen by a mass audience for which art is not a high priority. The project appropriates as its site the guaranteed location of interest, the focal point on which all eyes naturally converge: the ice rink. The 85’ wide by 200’ long rink is used as a giant projection screen fed by a system of networked video projectors lodged in the lighting grid overhead. Video programs about “play” modeled on institutionalized warfare are projected on the ice during the pre-game show and at game intervals, exploiting the unusual size and orientation of the screen. The project foils the expectations of a captive audience perched to witness a sporting event, and introduces instead a cultural framework of battle within which to consider the event to follow. The video system is patched into the broadcast booth, allowing for the intermittent projection of play-by-play analysis and game highlights. (unrealized)

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