Empire, 2010
4 Channel 3D Animation Installation

Empire features a four-screen continuous surround animation of a virtual monument running the "course of empire." It is inspired by the 1836 paintings of Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole's series. Empire slowly decays and molds as it transits from sunrise to sunset. This piece uses a cenotaph drawn by Étienne-Louis Boullée the 18th-century French visionary architect as its source. It slowly decays and morphs from pink to blue, from sunrise to sunset. Camera motion is a slow zoom, direction z.

For the opening, Hart has created a performance featuring the composer Ella Buckley as an extension of her world. Buckley composed the music for the animation, which also serves as the basis for a live improvisatory “performance object,” on view during the installation opening.

A box made from crude stage scrim hangs in the center of the installation space. Every half hour it is lowered to reveal the performer, suspended from wires, hovering 18-inches above the ground. The performer wears a dress designed by Kristin Mariani Frieman, made from plastic screen material. A rose is projected on the dress.

The cyborg Buckley wears jewelry consisting of miniaturized electronic instruments of her own design, complimented by an array of contact microphones attached to her skin. She performs for 10 minutes by stroking her body and rubbing her legs together.

At the end of this cycle, Buckley is lowered and the scrim box raised. The performance is repeated throughout the course of the evening.