Lindsy Halleckson’s work examines the relationship between human senses and that of our natural physical environment. Her goal for the AOV fellowship is to turn her analog art practice on its head and reimagine it as a vehicle for examining the human role in progressive climate change as a multidisciplinary practice.
You Are Sky
b. 1980, Minneapolis
Lives and works in Minneapolis
My work evokes multisensory experiences heightened in solitude, creating a space that is quiet but also rich with emotion and memory. I’ve been thinking about separations—edges and boundaries that we create for ourselves. Most of us have psychological separations in the social and political realms of our lives, but we also create barriers between ourselves and global ecology.
When we think about the sky, we may think about it as a layer of the Earth way above our heads. But are there any real barriers between us and the sky? What we call the sky reaches right down to the ground that we stand on. We are actually breathing sky. The sky’s molecules fill our lungs and populate each of the cells in our bodies. We are sky.
Conversely, on the top side of our atmosphere, where does the sky end and outer space begin? We have scientific designations for the layers of this paper-thin cover that sustains life on this planet. Each of these layers has a distinct set of temperature, composition, and airflow. But if you were to take the viewpoint of an astronaut in orbit, would you be able to see an edge where space stops and Earth’s atmosphere starts? I imagine that as you approach the atmosphere, the hardness of its edge begins to fall away. It becomes a gradient with space that gradually merges together. The only hard edge is the ground.
Essentially, not only are we breathing sky, we are also in space.
You Are Sky is a site-specific installation comprised of three complementary elements:
- Windshield is composed of sheets of fiberglass screen—the material of window screens. When lit from behind, moiré patterns created by the layered material can be seen more clearly. I choose to work with window screen because it is a barrier that protects the inside spaces from the outside world, but it is easy not to notice it. We look through it, past it.
- I Promise I’ll Make It Up to You is a reflective Mylar structure that viewers enter and are confronted with warmth. Like Windshield, the structure represents a barrier. In both of these works, I aim to bring attention to materials or structures that change how we perceive the world around us.
- Vanishing Point is an installation of low-frequency sound waves that create a pulse in most areas of the room, but at certain points the sound waves mesh to create one solid tone. Patterns emerge within the physical experience of the space, and the wave patterns reference moiré patterns seen in Windshield and compound the sensory experience of I Promise I’ll Make It Up to You.
Together, these three works in You Are Sky explore barriers, patterns, and the tension between infinity and closed space. Sometimes patterns we can use to make sense of the world can be perceived only when we change the scale of time or physical size. Even in spaces that seem vast and void we can seek to gain understanding—we find their value, and we find that they are changing along with us.