Ragdale Residency and a redesign of Prairie

13 Feb 2013

Shawn Decker: Prairie redesign in studio at the Ragdale Foundation

For three weeks in May I had a residency at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, IL - a residency I have done many times in the past, although not so recently.  As usual, this residency was extraordinarily productive - I totally redesigned the piece Prairie (you can see documentation of the original smaller "prototype" version in the works section, here) with the assistant from a Rhizome grant.  The idea was to make the piece easier to break down and ship, and to allow the expansion of the work to a much larger scale.  This residency, and the Rhizome grant, will now lead to  a much larger version of the work - 6 times the size you see here - at the Chicago Cultural Center, in downtown Chicago, filling the Yeats gallery there with a version of the piece which is over 1700 square feet in size, and which has over 400 of the robotic grass stems you see in this photo.  In the final version, each of these frames will be covered in black fabric, enabling you to better see and hear the action of the  robotic grass stems. Check out the video documentation of the prototype version to get a sense of what this piece will look and sound like!  The Chicago Cultural Center show is currently scheduled to open Feburary 1, and run through most of May 2013.