Last week’s All That Jazz Phillips after 5 was action-packed! Here are some of our favorite visitor photos from the activities all over the museum, including craft cocktails, tours, jazz from The Pete Muldoon Sextet, and a one-night-only interactive exhibition by DC-based artist Dan Steinhilber.
In preparation for tonight’s Phillips after 5, DC-based artist Dan Steinhilber visited the museum yesterday to test out his interactive Interface artwork in the galleries. Steinhilber’s work, which was recently featured at G Fine Art, invites visitors to enter into the piece and create a unique experience for themselves and other participants. Comprising five inflatable, bag-like sculptures (made from plastic stretch wrap, wood, and computer fans), Interface is a riff on our addiction to the Internet, instant yet remote communication, and virtual reality. The wearable aspect of these works—visitors insert their “talking-heads” inside the sculptures while their hands remain outside—offers an estranged and disembodied experience.
The last person I observed in the gallery with Franz Erhard Walther’s Red Song read the directions, admired the work, became very familiar with the piece, but walked away without engaging with it. I couldn’t help but wonder, why? When I asked her, she simply told me, “I didn’t participate because I felt I was too old. If I had my kids with me I would have loved to have seen them engage with the art work.” I wonder, does interactive art have an age limit? Art is created for people of all ages and walks of life to enjoy. When it comes to viewing art from a distance, everyone experiences it. When it comes to engaging with art, it becomes difficult to accept. Is it only difficult to accept because the rules associated with a museum setting? In a world where change occurs daily, how do museums maintain their traditional standards while still evolving with the times?
Although not all visitors choose to interact with Red Song, the existence of this piece fosters curiosity and conversation. Red Song is still on view, and you’re invited to join in the interaction (visitors are invited to activate this piece between 2-3 PM daily). Create your own personal experience through your senses of vision and TOUCH.
Gina Cashia, Marketing & Communications Intern