Celestial, Terrestrial (2018) was a two night event that took place at the Maryland Space Grant Observatory at Johns Hopkins University. The exhibition sought to bridge the gap between Baltimore’s art and science communities while providing a platform for critical discussion of our relationship to, and place within the cosmos. The two-part exhibition was host to a group show I curated on the deck and a solo show of my work within the observatory. Inside the Observation dome I spun an immersive installation that celebrates the space and its telescope as a surreal juncture of Earth and cosmos; where we can experience out there and right here directly and concurrently.
Inside the space objects behave strangely, scales shift unexpectedly and Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea” plays sluggishly, slowed from 136 to 18 BPM. The concept of an “observatory” is stretched, kneaded and inverted. A halloween decoration is recontextualized into the dome — now acting as a readymade reverse telescope; projecting a "spooky lady” wriggling above the crowd. Viewers can reflect while watching live crickets lounge dumbly on a couch in Cricket Observatory; miniature elements from the cricket’s tank repeat large scale throughout the installation.
The Morris W. Offit telescope stays trained on the quarter moon; periodically adjusting itself, causing the telescope to slew and the domed roof to rotate sporadically. The telescope is mimicked and mocked by two decoy telescopes; leveling the playing fields by presenting Earth objects and celestial bodies in the same viewing plane. The viewers are encouraged to dose a mouthful of Pop Rocks — activating an unexpected sense. The candy’s crackling sensation combined with the granular detail of the lunar surface creates a feeling akin to licking the moon — claiming the moon as a material by experiencing it on my tongue.