Artist, activist, and curator Lisa Kirk features fog effects created with Look Solutions’ Viper NT fog generator in her latest project, Revolution!, a multimedia installation at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art located in Long Island City, NY. Consistently challenging white box aesthetics and institutional elitism with democratic verve, Kirk’s work has evolved as a series of scripted events and the ephemeral fall-out. Her projects have served to dramatize a shift in focus to the significance of social rituals.
Revolution! began as a fragrance developed in collaboration with Symrise perfumers, based on interviews with journalists, activists, and political radicals who responded to the question, “What is the smell of revolution?” Using the resulting fragrance, which blends the odor of smoke, gasoline, tear gas, burnt rubber, and decaying flesh, Kirk addresses the issue of contemporary luxury branding with interactive perfume displays, ad campaigns, a mock front-page story in The Baltimore Sun and the organization of the Revolutionary Knitting Circle.
The culmination of Revolution! at P.S.1 is a two-room installation in which various components of the fragrance are experienced. The first room, bare and lit by a single light bulb, is scented with the fragrance. The second room, a space turned upside down, reveals the imagined site where the fragrance was created—a cross between an exploded meth lab, perfume laboratory, and revolutionary headquarters—which is shrouded in Viper NT fog effects.
“The room is upside down, everything on the floor is on ceiling,” Kirk explains. “It’s like a smoking meth lab with everything competing against gravity.” She was pleased with the Viper NT’s performance, calling it “a good machine—sturdy and strong.” The system also makes use of a digital timer. The Viper can be programmed and retains its settings when powered down, switching back into timer mode when turned on again.
The Viper NT is easy to operate and features DMX control. Adjustments to the output can achieve any effect from a tiny fog cloud to the thickest fog, in both small and large locations.
Revolution! continues at P.S.1 through January 7, 2008.