A Seat at the Table

Single-channel video, audio, custom wood table, transducers, painted tableware

2021

After a period of collective struggle and uncertainty during the Covid 19 lockdown, my interactive work A Seat at the Table is a celebration of life. It invites viewers to re-engage with the world, and to choose life in all of its messiness. The installation resembles a quaint dining room, a table set for dinner, and plants, books, and other knick knacks stacked on end tables along the walls. The table settings are coated in white paint and attached to a white table cloth as though frozen in time, along with the remnants of a dinner party like crumpled napkins and bottle caps. A projector angled downward displays a pre-recorded dinner party, precisely mapped to the blank canvas of the white table settings, creating an eerie combination of 3D objects and 2D projections interacting. Sounds of laughter, conversation, and music are faintly audible in the background, as though from a distant memory or a dream. During daylight hours the voices are ghostlike, inhabiting a static space and invisible to the eye. But at sundown the table comes alive with color and movement -- the narrative meant to evoke memories of dinners with friends and family, and celebrations of lives well lived.

 

Folded into this larger narrative is my ongoing sound work The Fear, which consists of a countdown synced to a track of my recorded heartbeat. A television set in the corner of the room continues the countdown, while the heartbeat resonates inside the table as a stand-in for the diners, creating both a sense of intimacy and urgency. The sound is transmitted via bone conduction, and a viewer can hear it by placing her elbows on the surface of the table and covering her hands over her ears.

'A Seat At The Table' curated by Lance M. Fung for the Art Kiosk in Redwood City, Dec - Feb 2021

Documentation of the work at Terra Gallery as part of the Local Love festival in May 2021

Day to night at Artists' Television Access, San Francisco, November, 2020

Detail and installation images