RED BALL makes use of the internet as a medium for the exchange of ideas in a virtual space which is, at its purest, conceptual. Marking the conflict between what is real -- a city, its architecture, its structure and culture -- and what is experienced as concept, Lee Walton's placing of a ball becomes an event of acute understanding.
The first virtual project for SILENT GALLERY presents an interactive conceptual art piece grounded in very "real" time and place.
In RED BALL, conceptual artist Lee Walton asks the viewer to participate
in his project of locating an object in space. RED BALL'S anonymous
participants choose by vote the location for the "happening" at hand in a series of steps. In so doing, Walton relinquishes his part in placing the piece, revealing instead the machinations of an internet culture that is at once boundary-less and strongly grounded in physical space.
The territories hazardly mapped out in RED BALL pinpoint the very real
situation of the Bay Area as an epicenter for digital world.
Economically and physically, San Francisco has changed beyond recognition, and the final choice location of the RED BALL itself, in the very new PacBell Stadium in San Francisco's South of Market, or SOMA, gives the work extra poignancy, locating it in the pivotal "Silicon Gulch." At the head of the conflict between the old -- a neighborhood once populated by warehouses and pensioners in residence hotels -- and the New Economy, Red Ball becomes an inadvertent marker in a heated debate.* This stadium embodies both a popular new entertainment destination and a strongly disputed urban project that takes valuable land from an increasingly gentrified city. RED BALL seems to find itself in a physical site that is a metaphor for a larger cultural shift.
Does the internet provide a future of even larger cultural divide, or is it the great democratizer? Walton's work in this medium explores these questions, and with the participation it invites, highlights the very concepts at the core of our current digitized world.
RED BALL makes use of the internet as a medium for the exchange of ideas in a virtual space which is, at its purest, conceptual. Marking the conflict between what is real -- a city, its architecture, its structure and culture -- and what is experienced as concept, Walton's placing of a ball becomes an event of acute understanding.
- [footnote] For an excellent discussion of urban change in the Bay Area and its effect on local culture, see Rebecca Solnit; Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism; London: Verso, 2000.
Written by Ian Alteveer - Editor, Silent Gallery
- Year Created: 2001
- Submitted to ArtBase: Friday Sep 28th, 2001
- Original Url: http://www.silentgallery.com/walton/redball/
- Permalink: http://www.silentgallery.com/walton/redball/
- Bao Vo, creator
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