Portland, Ore – Working in his medium of choice, interactive video, artist Paul Clay will present his interpretation of the classic “Leda and the Swan” story in the lobby of the Portland Building. The project, which draws on the long artistic tradition of interpreting the Greek myth, consists of a real-time digital projection that responds to the audience through the use of body motion sensors installed in space. Visitors first engage with the image of a swan that appears on the wall of the space and reacts to their body movements—feathered wings spread as arms are moved, feet step, the neck sways, etc. Persistent visitors discover that vigorous movements cause the feathers to fall and reveal the figure of a woman, Leda; a return to slower movements transforms Leda back into the swan once again. As the artist describes it, “The cycle continues on as long as there are participants willing to move.”
Clay’s works are designed to not only provide a sense of wonder and playfulness, but also to provoke critical thought, about pop culture, gender, and issues of race: “I seek to exploit the absurdities and beauty present in our reactionary pop mainstream and carve out new territory in digital experiences.” The installation, situated in the lobby of the Portland Building, runs through February 7th.
About the Artist: Paul Clay describes himself as a digital creator in 3D and 2D, he received his BA in Visual Arts (concentration in Interactive Media and Computer Science) from Reed College in 2010 and often creates work that draws on his reverence of the natural world and his experiences in and around Hispanic culture. Clay currently lives and works in Portland, but has also worked and studied in Spain, Mexico, and Chile.
Viewing Hours, Location, Meet the Artist: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. A “Meet the Artist” event will be held on Friday the 24th of January at 4pm in the space.
For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.