"This is a Window"
by Harris Allen
About the Work
I live full-time in Sag Harbor, New York.
“Windows,” are video-sculptures that capture the emotionally-profound, and infinitely varied movement and texture of water. They are a love letter to the transcendent bodies of water throughout the Hamptons that drew me from rural Illinois to the east end of Long Island.
Each “Window” consists of a moving portrait displayed on custom-cut digital screens. They are clad in brushed aluminum and vertically oriented. Just like a real glass window, I've found that they completely transform the space they're in and prompt the bodies biophilic response when humans interact with nature. My intention is to instill deep natural familiarity in each viewer despite the digital components at play.
While water is present, the true subject of my work is the emotion felt from our own experiences with water. Each person's connection is different. For me it's my summer sunset swims in the bay, Wednesday afternoon sails, or winter plunges in the ocean.
In my work I want to show you something you wouldn't otherwise see, so you feel something you wouldn't otherwise feel.
About the Show
A show is a precious opportunity to bring the works life off of the wall for the viewer.
Accompanying visual and sonic elements were produced specifically for the opening reception on February 22, 2022 to fulfill this ideal. Together, they created an immersive experience.
See the Transformation
A single window transforms a space by breathing live into a room. With the tryptichs, three Windows display different sections of the same perspective as water weaves its way through the wall. I used projection mapping to visualize the missing water. Then I removed wall.
Hear the Hybrid
My work is a hybrid of natural and digital. A music piece was created from scratch with acoustic instruments (piano, guitar), digital synths (drums, strings, 808's) in a similar merger of digital and natural elements. Local ocean recordings were interwoven throughout the piece and synchronized with the projection mapping sequence.
Walk on Water
What happens if you were to step through the windows? I water-proofed and flooded the studio bathroom with a layer water, added 25 lbs of dry ice, and projected a moving isolated water vignette on the resulting fog to answer this question.
"Read" the work
The best way to capture water? Video.
The best way to show video? Video.
Show booklet turned limited edition art object.
Wear the work
Also, there were hats.