January 01, 2018 - December 31, 2023
Aluminum, argon, mercury, glass, copper, 104 transformers, DMX controller, relays, isolator, hardware
SCREENS was commissioned by Bellevue Arts Museum as a new work for the Forum. The Forum space at BAM was designed as a gathering place for the citizens of Bellevue. As such, SCREENS was commissioned as a work that would operate both within and without the Museum, at night and in the gloomy days of a Northwest winter.
The complex interplay of fluorescent tubes of this sculpture is a form of artificial static. In our digital future of man-made ones and zeros, our personal screens have lost access to natural raw static, the faint analogue trace of the immense powers that created the universe billions of years ago. Neuwirth sees this as a loss, since that low buzz of the late-night CRT television screen connected the private and personal to the unimaginable expanses of interstellar space and time.
Neuwirth’ s static is man-made, of course, programmed by him and his collaborators. One of the artist’s influences is the 1982 Ridley Scott tech-noir movie, Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford pursues artificial humans through a depopulated Los Angeles of 2019. Like SCREENS, movies are artificial contracts, rather than reality itself, but this sculpture invites you to pause, reflect, and imagine yourself hunting down replicants on the rain-soaked mean streets of downtown Bellevue. ‘She may not live…but then again, who does?”