Nancy Paterson: The Meadow

  • ©1996, Nancy Paterson



    The Meadow


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    The Meadow explores and manifests the metaphorical space that lies between the simulated and the real — a space to which artists are inevitably drawn. Ambiguity and irony also share this space, and it is here that new mythologies and realities may be imagined. This space is particularly appropriate to artists working with new electronic technologies to bridge the gap between science and fiction.

    Stepping into the installation space, the visitor is surrounded by four large color monitors, each displaying real-time, full­-motion video of a different view of a meadow as seen from a central vantage point. It is winter in the meadow, then suddenly the season shifts. The views remain the same, but a certain motion or sequence of movements has triggered a transformation. Suddenly, it is spring. The visitor discovers, moving within the installation space, how to trigger these seasonal changes and finds it is possible to move backward in time, from winter to fall, or across seasons, from fall to spring.

    Other effects may also be triggered: the sound of a flock of geese, which suddenly materializes, flies overhead, and disappears; the persistent and annoying buzz of a mosquito; children laughing or playing just out of sight. A child whispers on your left and is answered by another child whispering on your right. A momentary freezing or speed­ing up of the video imagery, a sudden change of perspective or shifting of location, may seem to be random. As in real life, the relationship between cause and effect is sometimes blurred.

    Ultrasonic transducers, a centralized microprocessor unit, and a custom-designed micro-controller for four laserdisc players engage the visitor in an interactive simulation of a small, intimate meadow. The microprocessor and controller perform two functions: detection of visitor location/movement and mul­tiple laserdisc control.

Other Information:

    Technical Support

    Financial Support
    Canada Council
    Ontario Arts Council