Installation View No. 2
Future Forest: Stump, 2012, a collaborative artwork by Iole Alessandrini, Hannah Viano and Vaughn Bell appeared August 31- September 3 as part of the Jana Brevick-curated Bumbershoot Visual Arts exhibit Skyward. Brevick and Shelly Leavens organized this year's Bumbershoot offering to be narrated by artwork that reference the Seattle Center's 50th Anniversary, and the future to come. As impossible as this might seem, a story with art being told about a 50-year old Seattle landmark, given the short aggregate history of presence in the Northwest of the participating artists, the exhibit was thoughtful and had visual impact across a variety of mediums and disciplines.
Particularly, Future Forest: Stump, 2012 does what it can to emphasize going forward, rather than attempting to understand a Seattle past that very few practicing Seattle artists can tell from personal experience. Going forward is what Future Forest: Stump, 2012 does impressively.
One is transported to a place of austere future-era sterility, gazing at the stainless-steel cabling draping languidly a fathom above the installation deck. At the top of these cold cables, a blue-kelvin lamp interrogates the viewer with inhumane vigilance. Some solar system's yellow dwarf will become a blue dwarf, by and by, an eventuality millions of lifetimes in the future. The unblinking azure lights, blue eyes in the sky, beam several omniscient oculus over this installation. The crowning glory of each lighted cable tree is an adornment of what one must assume is the handiwork of paper artist Hannah Viano. A three-person art collaboration often has trouble saying what it means, a garble of conjoined dialects. Not so with this shining glory of sculptural installation with light. Each contribution by the three participating artists creates a unified magnificence and an awe-inspiring majesty of creative expression.
To coin a Native American phrase, when the tide is out, the table is set. This might be a metaphor for the easily found artistic sustenance present in Future Forest: Stump. The overall shape and sweep of the installation is a forest of obelisks. And the most regionally-famous of these obelisks is the Space Needle. It begs the question whether the artists are foretelling a time when there will be more than one, a plenitude of Space Needles to accommodate an unabated, ever-burgeoning appetite for groves of steel timber.
As a final homage to light beam suspended tree-like objects, triggering an ET similacrum, Nazca Plain lines are bestrewn with arcane mathematical ordination over the installation deck. The UFO chickens have come home to roost in a Future Forest: Stump tomorrow. We are not alone, and with every new development breaking ground throughout the once-quiet city, more aliens proliferate in wave after wave after wave after wave after wave.