The Chelsea galleries provided a fascinating breadth of work on our class’ visit in late October. A particular standout was Stephen Wilkes collection titled “Day to Night” in which he digitally stitches together thousands of photos taken over days or weeks in order to create single, day-spanning image. It’s easier just to see it for yourself.
Packed within each shot are scores of details instantly becoming part of a storied lineage including the likes of Peter Brueghel and Martin Handford.
In a separate gallery were the works of and surrounding Duke Riley’s Fly By Night, an incredible multimedia collection revolving around a piece performed by pigeons. Harkening back to the days when these animals would carry messages tethered to their legs, the large flock was instead endowed with LEDs. From May 7th to June 9th, the flock would perform every evening over the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
In conjunction with ephemera from the days of the performances, including the truck used to transport many of the animals which housed a video of the inaugural performance, was a collection of work titled Now Those Days Are Gone. These works draw their inspiration from working so closely with pigeons for a number of years and were for me far more interesting than watching a video of the flock. Of particular interest was a piece titled 'It's Coming Through a Hole in the Air,' which featured a simple line drawn ship dense with figures in any manner of pose or position with pigeons, of course flying in their midst.