Eyesight Surveillance Window
ESW is first and foremost a spectacle. Projected onto the windows of an empty retail space at Block 37, pedestrians from across the street and the surrounding area see a video of giant human eyeball, moving and blinking in real time. The pupil of this eye will serve as a mask for a live feed of small discrete area across the street. When a pedestrian walks through this area, they will see themselves in the center of the Eye. Below the eye, there will be three other video images stacked horizontally each tinted in one of the tri-chromatic colors according to human color vision theory: Red, Green or Blue. As they move with in the surveiled area (wave hand, jump up and down, move left to right) they will immediately notice that there motion causes the three images to become less fragmented and tinted until finally they become whole full fcolor images. Then the viewer may also notice that each of the three videos is actually a recording of others that previously inhabited the surveiled area. ESW was made using Max/MSP with Jitter.
YOUAREMEMONUMENT is an augmented reality temporal identity extender. It follows my work with YOUAREME.Net in findiing ways of multiplying and extending my own identity by absorbing the characteristics of public monumental sculpture and portraiture. In these two instances I am both Abraham Lincoln and George Solti. This is further enhanced through text which is sourced from these men's wikipedia page. The text has been altered so my name replaces there's
To experience it yourself, Download the Aurasma Augmented Reality Browser App on your smart phone and follow the channel Columbia Public Art. Click on either of the two images below to make them full screen. Then while in Aurasma, point your phone at the image. Or go visit the sites and see it in person. Be warned however, that AR technology is extremely finicky on 3d objects in the real world and you may not have success.
Leo Is The Lion
Leo Is The Lion Is an augmented reality work that acts as my first Solo Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Continuing my interest in extending, crowdscourcing, and appropriating identity, I decided to become the famous Lion statue outside of the Institute. With and audio overlay I took the phrase “Leo the Lion" and I ascribed myself the personality characteristics of the astrology sign, Leo, the most common reference of the phrase. Furthermore, Leo Is The Lion also addresses my concerns with the institutionalization of Art, by having my exhibition outside of the institution in a public rather than a privileged space.
To experience it yourself, Download the Aurasma Augmented Reality Browser App on your smart phone and follow the channel Columbia Public Art then while in Aurasma point your phone at the image of the Lion below.
REFLECTIONS, ART IN ODD PLACES: 2011 Ritual Festival
Excerpt by KATHLEEN BESTE
In the midst of diving into his first year at Columbia, MFA student Leonard Selvaggio found himself immersed in the world he reflects on in his latest creative installation work. Selvaggio's interactive public art installation, Reflection, is part of New York's Art in Odd Places 2011: RITUAL. The annual festival (a project of GOH Productions) is held each October along 14th Street in Manhattan, from Avenue C to the Hudson River.
Leonardo's work explores themes of identity in male culture, and how the roles of men are changing in our current society. His site-specific project explores themes of vanity, deindividuation, and the identity of the New York City commuter. In a city where the sheer size of the population promotes a culture of collectivism and anonymity, reflections act as a calming presence reminding us of our existence in an all-too-detached metropolis. As commuters rush to and fro, the surrounding mirrors, windows, water, and other reflective surfaces fulfill a ritualistic need to anchor and distinguish themselves from the surrounding sea of people. In setting up his installation at 215 West 14th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues) for the October 1-10 event, Leonardo found himself inhabiting the whirlwind life of the commuter persona he was exploring.
Excerpt by Allison Meier
Leo Selvaggio has a helpful project called “Reflection,” where he is attaching mirrors to scaffolding. Although the piece is about vanity, I thought it was a nice public service, an improvement over the half glances people give to windows to see how disheveled they’ve become between their apartment and the subway to the street. Oh wait, I guess that constant need for self-realization in reflected surfaces is the point.
Excerpt from Original Proposal
In a city such as New York, where the shear size of the population promotes a culture of collectivism and anonymity, our reflections are a calming presence reminding us of our realities, our place, and our existence. Mirrors, or any kind of reflective surface we rush past during our commute to and fro, become the object of our ritualistic need to anchor and distinguish ourselves from the sea of people around us. In this effort to stand out, we seek acknowledgment from that ocean of strangers through our vanity, our poise, and our “individual” sense of style. As such, our impulse to catch our reflections- to pause and admire our own image all the while hoping that others are admiring us as well- is a manifestation of our need to “exist” in the Big City. REFLECTIONS is an installation that seeks to draw attention to this seemingly unconscious daily ritual.
Fence In/Out is an interactive installation that works to disrupt the mental space of the commuter/pedestrian, giving them a rare moment to pause and reflect. The viewer will pass by the fence and see on it several reflective tiles, much like mirrors, installed on the fence in the form of a grid in two distinct sizes. On the larger tiles in bold black letters they can see that two questions are being asked. “What do you fence in?” and “What do you fence out?” on the smaller tiles there simple one word suggestions as answers to this question such as “Love”, “Fear”, “Hate”, etc. They also notice a QR code and website sticker on the installation.
The pedestrian now has the opportunity to become a participant by visiting the online component of the installation. They participant will see the questions repeated on the website, however they will now be directed to a comment box, where they can answer the questions via text or image (perhaps the image of loved one) I will then take the submitted text and/or images, and then make more reflective tiles with their submissions as the content and then install said tiles onto the fence, thus the next passer-byer will not only see the initial installation as described above, but then participant’s contributions to the fence. In this way the installation will experience growth and act as a kind of testament to the anonymous confessions of its participants.
This project represents my larger interests in working in the public sphere and engaging with a public. My concerns in such projects are to work within the ecology of the environment of the installation space, and to disrupt the mental space of the commuter/pedestrian, allowing a break from the monotony of routine through discovery.
Reflections Project Chicago
A public installation on the streets of the South Loop that provide passer-byers an opportunity for reflection on such topics as vanity and identity through a visually comparative process, while at the same time interactively measuring their reactions to the project.
I began by paying attention to my own commute to and from school and work, looking for installation opportunities or interesting spaces in the environment. The first thing I reacted to was a government official sign that read “Do Not Feed Pigeons”. This one sign summed up my mixed emotions between basic humanity and social policy concerning the poor beggars lined on the streets of my commute. Using the metaphor of the pigeon and the city’s policy, I created “Or the Poor” which was installed in two locations on Wabash and Van Buren. Playing off the government sign above it, “Or the Poor” tries to extend the “official” text in order to encourage a dialogue about the Poor. While the top and bottom tiles contain text that moves in and out of the pigeon metaphor, the middle tile juxtaposes the typical face of a homeless man onto the face of the viewer, providing a moment of contemplation and the embodiment of an identity outside most of our comfort zones.
“Occupy Roosevelt” developed in a similar way. Frustrated with the “Occupy Chicago”, I had arrived at Roosevelt Station on the Redline and noticed the CTA sign out of the corner of my eye. The combination of seeing “Roosevelt” in bold white letters and thinking about the quasi-political movement, made me think about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. I began thinking about how he went about repairing the country with his “New Deal” and how that compared to the actions of the occupiers. I couldn’t help but wonder what FDR would say about this movement. Would he be proud? From this question I created “Occupy Roosevelt”.
With both of these projects I was interested in creating a dialogue with a public, and as such I considered different methods for going about this. The first was the creation of a website where people could follow my installations and comment on them. The second was the asking of a specific question at the installation and providing them with access to answer the question either via the website, QR code, or voicemail.
The Cost of Coffee These Days
When exactly did a regular cup of joe become a class issue? I lament the $0.75 street vendor prices of youth. Everyone should be able to afford a cup of coffee. The Cost of Coffee These Days is my first attempt to interact with the homeless of chicago by gifting them a QR coded plastic coffee cup. Inside the coffee cup was a $5 Starbuck’s gift card, as well as a five dollar donation. If one were to scan the cup’s QR code, they would be redirected to an animated gif like the one above, imploring the viewer to “Give A Buck". I have appropriated photographer’s Dorthea Lange’s famous image “Migrant Mother" to further compel the viewer. Fun fact, the image, orginally in black and white, was recently colored in 2009, durring the current ecconomic depression. My hope in this work was to create a tool with which the homeless may procure enough money to stay warm with a cup of coffee. However I have halted the project due to my own ethical concerns, which are ambigious to say the least.
Drink Me Fountain
As the inaugural artist for the Fountains Foundation at 916, YouAreMe.Net has created a site specific work, "Drink ME Fountain". This work consists of four beauty mirrors each with a transparent overlay image of me drinking from the fountain. This work considers the juxtaposition and interaction of my own image with your reflection. Each time your face and mine meet, a sort of hybrid is created. How does the shape, color, and qualities of my face change when yours sits on top of it and vise versa. What does this kind of hybridization say about the stability of identity and the icon? Go Ahead, slurp it up, and see what its like to be me taking a swig of some good old H2O. Visit the project here