Installation by Casey McDonough, “The map is the machine and it has no key”

Publicationson September 10th, 20102 Comments
Casey McDonough and I became close friends during our long hours in the ceramic studio of Eckerd College.  He was recently asked to make his magic in New York City at Hunter College, and naturally I jumped at the opportunity to document his creative process.  This is Casey in action.  Enjoy. 
This shot is one of my favorites. The shape his legs made when stepping towards the sound wall, mimics the shape of the ceramic element in the corner. I am passionately drawn to graphic imagery, and this is a perfect example of the photographic marriage between the 3d and 2d.
I was shooting Casey uncontrollably while he was tweaking the sound frequencies.  I was drawn to his concentration on his work and was sucked into the energy the sounds were making as he passed by the sensors.  It was beautiful to listen to, even when the frequencies were clashing.  Light was the musician…it was brilliant.
Casey can give such a more detailed explanation of the technology of this element of the piece. As a photographer I was particularly attracted to these intricate machines. They were light sensitive sound sensors, and for the first time I could hear light. I could hear my shadow. It was moving, exciting, scary, and beautifully foreign.
It was particularly difficult to showcase the thread element in these photographs. The thread played such a beautiful structural element in this space, as it linked every medium he used in the piece.
The pixelated cloud. Anyone in the digital world can relate to this. As a photographer I feel like I am surrounded by pixels for most of my day.  To see them in their pink and cloudy glory made me fond of their linear relation to Casey’s work.  I now see them in a different light.
The pink vinyl says it all here. The pins and thread break up the organic shape of the cloud perfectly. It was hard to choose an image to display this element of his work as they were all so delicious.
Because of the nature of the space, it was impossible to get all of the walls in one photograph. This was my favorite angle. The overhead lighting played as much of a part in the composition of the shot as much as the art itself. It almost became a part of the map tacks and pins he used, as the lights created playful shadows that were easy for me to relate to.

2 Responses to “Installation by Casey McDonough, “The map is the machine and it has no key””

  1. Cherrie says:

    WOW! You did a great job of capturing Casey at work and bringing out the finer elements that are so hard to see in photos. I wish I could have heard the sounds. Your inspirational writings ( a definite Eckerd skill) brought this show to life. Thank you!

    • lauradante says:

      Cherrie!
      Thank you so much for the kudos! Casey is easily the most talented artist I know–he made it easy to find the best shots. There were so many to choose from! I feel lucky to have been there for the event. The sounds were unreal! I wish I had recorded them to include them in this post, alas. Hopefully there will be many more to come and I will prepare much better next time!!!
      All smiles,
      Laura

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