In his children's novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie describes an Ocean of Streams of Story containing currents of narrative in fluid form, "weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity." A swimmer in this ocean would encounter different streams of story, and even cause them to intermingle by the turbulence of his own motion.
March is partly inspired by this image. In the architectural space of the work, a viewer discovers different story fragments, and movement in the space accesses the stories, sometimes causing them to combine or affect one another in other ways. The narratives unfold against a background projection which, mirroring the viewer's movements, lurches and swoops across an image landscape composed of several paintings and photographs, focused around the Rembrandt painting The Sacrifice of Isaac.
The overall theme of the piece is the classical conflict between duty and desire, between obeying an external law and following one's inner impulses-and how this tension is played out in the era of Nintendo and Netscape.
March is an interactive installation work. The interface is a steel and aluminum ramp, designed specifically for the project by architect James Cathcart. Where and how viewers walk on this ramp determines the flow of images on three screens: one projected image and two images on large monitors, one on a tower at the top of the ramp and one underfoot. The monitor underfoot shows a map of the virtual and potential image landscape.
Images in March include dramatic scenes-notably of the angel on his mission to prevent Abraham's sacrifice of his son-footage from the Gulf War Victory Parade in Manhattan, Renaissance paintings, a performance by a professional cantor, and an interview with war, economics and technology expert Manuel de Landa. These are mixed into a grand tapestry by the actions of viewers.
performed by Evert Eden written by Cathy Caplan photographed by Anthony Forma costumes by Prudence Moriarty produced by Roberta Friedman
Manuel de Landa produced by Gwynn MacDonald photographed by Dan Partland
performed by John Trout photographed by Dayoan Daumont
construction by Borrok Inc Sensor Engineering Kevin Centanni and Dayoan Daumont Software John F. Simon Jr. and Todd Marshall