“Wade in the Water” John Duckworth’s Large-Scale Art Installation Involving Smartphone Activated Locative-audio Opens at Redux May 18

Posted on 05/16/17 No Comments

CHARLESTON, SC –  Known for creating art shows that spark conversation and push the envelope of artistic possibilities, artist John Duckworth took on leading edge smartphone activated locative audio technology to create an art installation titled “Wade in the Water.” This large-scale, site-specific art installation is presented by Enough Pie and housed in a 16,000 warehouse at 1056 King Street (2nd floor) in downtown Charleston, South Carolina – the new home of Redux. The installation will consist of three distinctly unique audio zones intended to highlight humankind’s intimate and interdependent relationship with the natural world – linking the flooded streets of Charleston SC with the melting glaciers of Antarctica through an audio-visual time-based experience. The opening is on Thursday, May 18th at 7pm, and the installation will be on display through June 11th, 2017. Each attendee needs to download the app (Wade in the Water) before entering the space, bring a charged smartphone and headphones.

Working with 4-time Grammy nominated jazz musician/producer Quentin Baxter, and composer Lee Barbour, the empty space will come alive with the sound of a gospel choir singing “Wade in the Water.” Visitors will be able to ‘walk within and around the sounds,’ as if walking directly into the choir.  A central diamond shaped room with dual-projections of glaciers and flooded Charleston streets provides an inner sanctum for contemplation and bearing witness.  In an effort to spark conversation, visitors are then able to directly participate by ‘leaving their voice’ in the final section of the room, lending commentary and feedback to create an ever-evolving space representing the pulse of the community.

The installation incorporates groundbreaking smartphone technology and custom computer programming to place audio files in specific locations that are triggered by each individual’s movement through the space – resulting in a deeply interactive and immersive participatory experience.  This smartphone locative audio technology has never-before been used in this manner.

The idea for the show was born out of meeting Rob Swan, a polar explorer, environmentalist and the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the North and South Poles.

“In late 2015, Ben Towill mentioned that his friend Rob Swan would be coming to town to talk about Antarctica, and in particular about the protective treaty which runs out in 2041 and how this relates to Charleston via sea-level rise. I decided to help amplify his message while he was in Charleston – and along with Ben Towill and Alex Opoulos we helped arrange multiple speaking opportunities, created a mini-documentary, and interviewed him for my “Call to Adventure” radio show / podcast.  Rob is pretty amazing ambassador for the message of interconnectivity – that our actions have consequences all the way around the globe – and he’s just a positive force for inspiring others to move and take action,” says John Duckworth.

“We then took it one step further and helped raise funds to send Garrett Budds to Antarctica with Rob Swan and his 2041 Mission as our “Ambassador to Charleston”.  Garrett returned, altered by the experience, and with some beautiful photographs of Antarctica – and when Cathryn Zommer from Enough Pie asked me to be on the steering committee for this year’s AWAKENING V: King Tide, an idea formed:  I could direct a creative experience that might provide some insight into our intimate and interdependent relationship with the rest of the natural world.  We are so disconnected from nature that we forgot that we are nature. Once seen clearly, people view the world differently and by consequence begin to behave differently,” continues Duckworth.

The art installation is part of AWAKENING V: King Tide which is annually presented by Enough Pie. This year’s theme is changing coastlines, rising waters, and our flooding streets. AWAKENING V: King Tide is based on key scientific data to inform and inspire creative installations beginning with April’s King Tide (April 29) to awaken each of us to facts and scientifically-based projections about water in Charleston in the 21st century. Local artists and scientists came together to envision one month of creative installations and programming.

“Wade in the Water” is a collaborative community effort, including: Quentin Baxter, Lee Barbour, John Gaulden, Garrett Budds, Leigh Webber, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, Kevin Harrison and Nameless Numberhead.  The app was designed by Josh Kopeck from ECHOES from England. Digital mapping was done by Austin Schulz, lighting and layout by Technical Event Company. For more information, visit www.wadeinthewater.org.

About the Artist:

John Duckworth (b.1972, San Diego, California) lives and works between Johns Island, South Carolina and New York City. He moved to Charleston in 1994 and earned a BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston. Duckworth’s artistic practice extends across many roles, from filmmaker and graphic designer, to photographer and painter. Duckworth has had solo exhibitions at cueB Gallery, London; City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC; Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta; Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC; and Jennifer Hunt Gallery, Birmingham, AL. Duckworth has exhibited at Art Basel Miami and has been featured in group shows in Charleston at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and The Gibbes Museum of Art. For past exhibits and available works, visit www.jduckworth.com.

Media Contact: Vladia Spencer, vladia@styleepr.com

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