When we approached Kurt Hentschlager to re-present his hallucinogenic installation ZEE for FuturePerfect’s 2009 inaugural event in New York City, the challenges were so profound it was almost like inventing and building a new work. ZEE had already been shown in Europe and Wood Street Galleries had brought the work to Pittsburgh. The work’s physical, emotional and aesthetic risks perfectly aligned with FuturePerfect’s artistic goals.
Entering ZEE, the visitor was immediately absorbed in a vortex of dense, odorless fog that completely obscured the walls, floor and ceiling. Individuals freely roamed this environment with the help of ropes, while flickering light filtered through the haze, inducing spatial disorientation and visual “distortions”. All the usual cues that contributed to depth perception—texture, shadow, size, perspective—were erased, returning each spectator, as it were, to a state of “tabula rasa”, where one’s perceptual framework is reset and then recalibrated. A droning soundscape creates an almost tactile aural field, intensifying the experience and shifting dynamically according to changes in the color, light and frequency.
Curated and Produced by FuturePerfect Productions with 3LD Art and Technology Center in Association with Performance Space 122