Searchstoretrash, 2003

searchstoretrash is a modular installation piece. It incorporates approximately 100 feet of custom fabricated car track, a radio controlled car and remote, wireless video, two custom fabricated race-car chairs, and a video monitor interface.

Searchstoretrash is an exploration of telepresence and mobility. This piece functions primarily as a metaphor for the process that one goes through while surfing the web. This is a process of rapid decision-making where one must continuously choose whether to search, to store, or to trash the information one comes across. While sitting in an office chair, the web navigator’s body remains static. Yet, there is the impression of mobility – even travel – while the solo navigator explores the organic architecture of the web.

Searchstoretrash is a physical, sculptural manifestation inspired by this loose and evolving structure of the web. Visitors are invited to sit in chairs that I designed to look like a hybrid between an office chair, a race car seat, and a helicopter cockpit. In front of them is a video monitor which displays a wireless video feed being broadcast live from a tiny video camera mounted in the front of a radio controlled car.

Gallery visitors are invited to navigate the gallery’s architecture by driving the car via remote control around the sculpted track. The track itself drifts through the gallery space in a series of twists, turns, spirals, bridges and lookout points. Visitors thereby “experience” the gallery space from either a mouse’s or a fly’s eye point of view depending on the car’s location. This is an opportunity for people to explore the gallery environment from odd and unusual vantage points and perhaps – through this process – gain some perspective – both literally and figuratively – on that environment. The piece subtilely begs the question of how much more visitors would feel comfortable navigating a gallery space through a monitor and remote control interface verses by actually, physically moving around it.

Structurally, the track consists of nylon fabric stretched and glued over a steel armature and then covered with a rubber skin. Small armies of miniature trash cans and storage boxes sit inside of domed “holding areas” in the center of the piece. They are the literal manifestations of computer data storage and trash partitions. The viewers experience the storage boxes and trash cans at “life size” through the car\’s tiny camera.

Materials: Steel, rubber, RC car and Remote, custom chairs, dimensions variable

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