suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
clark THENHAUS: The Star Gardens are abandoned agrarian silos across dotting the American mid-west landscape which have been re-conceptualized as empty vessels for star gazing and simple contemplation.
Liberated from their once singular, functional occupation of the land as structures of utility, they are re-activated as gardens of light and dark. Left abandoned for a variety of reasons and from a variety of causes, the abandoned silos (many still smelling of grain) are fitted with perforated domes at their tops and a hydraulic ‘bed’ within their empty interiors. Each bed ascends high into the hollow belly of the silo, some nearly 300 feet tall. The domes are a calibrating device, coordinating the relative fixity of the stars with the rotational/orbital dynamism of Earth. Thus, the domes perforation patterns are derived from discrete night sky constellations and act to individuate constellation stars (not the connecting lines between the star dots) depending on the time of year and relative position of the silo. The discrete constellation points are then collectively mapped onto a half sphere as center points and variable radii circles in which the radius of circles pertain to both duration of constellation visibility (seasonally dependant) and popularity of/ certain constellations. By day, the perforations in the dome illuminate the cylindrical walls of the silo, creating an array of patterned light that washes over the suspended body inside. Additionally the hollow tubes may be augmented with the application of color to the interior walls, shown here in purple, to enhance certain perceptual or sensate qualities or desires. The astrological connection aims to invoke emotions or contemplations that cannot be predicted or steered through symbols and agreed upon cultural meanings, which are more prevalent in urban settings. Rather, the thickened atmospheres of light and color mixed in the hollow silence of empty tubes standing vast fields attempt to initiate non-cognitive responses to simple stimuli of light and cosmo.