Monday, July 3, 2017

Weiwei - All Leave Hansel & Gretel Digital Breadcrumbs

The Chinese artist-activist Ai Weiwei is nothing if not connected. All through the introductory remarks at the press preview for Hansel & Gretel, the giant art installation about electronic surveillance at the Park Avenue Armory in New York (open through August 6), Ai was busy on his phone...

Hansel & Gretel—the latest in the Armory’s series of huge Drill Hall extravaganzas, whose title indicates that we all leave breadcrumb trails, whether we want to or not—is another collaboration among Mr. Ai and Mssrs. Herzog and de Meuron...

Part 1 of this technology-rich dystopian spectacle occupies the whole of the darkened 55,000-square-foot Drill Hall, which the audience enters not from the Armory’s grand, staircased main entrance, but through an inconspicuous rear door on Lexington Avenue.

Once inside, visitors make their way through almost pitchblack corridors to a ramp that takes them up a few feet to the main attraction: a floor on which are projected their surveilled overhead images, which follow them around like digital puppy dogs.

The images come from dozens of overhead cameras, not the tethered drones buzzing around overhead. The phenomenon undoubtedly inspires awe in a few... The Drill Hall gizmopalooza gives everyone a visceral experience of what it’s like to be watched by unseen forces... more