“THE DUE RETURN” at Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM

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The Muñoz Waxman Gallery of the Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Arts currently houses a giant child's dream.  Once you walk past the reception desk, imagine walking into a cave and as you come out the other side, you discover a huge sail boat anchored in the main space. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="First view of the THE DUE RETURN upon exiting cavernous entrance portal"]THE DUE RETURN[/caption] My wife took our nearly three year old son to the installation last week and he went nuts.  I didn't get to see it, so  I decided to take him back today, it was a lot of fun - a rich imaginative space for young children and just cool for everyone else. The installation was executed by a collaborative group called Meow Wolf and apparently over a 100 artists contributed to the installation.  If you spend enough time in it, it's easy to see how over a hundred people could have a hand in it, because it's so detailed and rich.  Although I eventually found at least three ways to get into the second level of the "inter-dimensional ship", initially it appears that steps carved into stone and dirt are the way in... here's an image from behind the ship picturing the steps and bridge onto the ship: [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Image from behind Inter-Dimensional Ship"]THE DUE RETURN[/caption] Once we were on the deck, my son headed straight to the navigational bridge which is filled with monitors, buttons, switches, leds... The monitor's present Processing sketches that allow for interaction via a variety of switches.  Two slightly older kids, perhaps 4, 5 or 6 were already at the helm and navigating the ship into a battle.  Iggy jumped right in, though he immediately started calling himself the captain. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Navigational bridge of THE DUE RETURN"]THE DUE RETURN[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Close up of main monitor in the Bridge, a fun Processing sketch."]THE DUE RETURN[/caption] At the back of the bridge, there are stacked televisions with single channel camera feeds, so that you have a view of other parts of the ship. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Security Monitors on THE DUE RETURN, as in most of the ship, some things function others adorn."]THE DUE RETURN[/caption]
 A couple swinging doors behind the bridge lead to the Captain's private quarters, where you'll find his bed and a small dinning table and a work desk.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Captain's Quarters"]THE DUE RETURN[/caption]
Immediately below the deck is this room, I'm not sure what to call it... the first aid area or the torture chamber... at the center is an old dentist chair with abstract projections behind it.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Chamber below the boat's bridge, might be the clinic"]THE DUE RETURN[/caption]
Beyond the clinic and below the main deck are several sleeping quarters.  They are small stacked crawl chambers and all differently decorated with private belongings of crew members.  Each crawl space presents plenty of material to investigate and play with.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Single sleeping chamber, stacked above another sleeping chamber."]THE DUE RETURN[/caption]
Behind the ship, it leaves some floating, glowing material.  As well as several other sculptural elements not pictured.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Behind the ship as it escapes some floating glow things."]THE DUE RETURN[/caption] Throughout the ship you can find 2D barcodes that lead you to webpages that tell the story of the ship and it's crew.  You can learn more about it at THE DUE RETURN'S web site and apparently there's a link to a related iPhone app... every media available is part of this ship!  It was also a performance space from end of May through June.  But ultimately, it's a child's dream come true.

Written by ricardo

July 16th, 2011 at 1:02 am

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