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Artist Andrew Herzog Examines Empathy and Engagement with New Interactive Art Installation at Race Street Pier

June 8, 2019

Very excited to hear about this new interactive installation, titled Blue Sky or Sky Blue?, by artist Andrew Herzog that’s up now through July 8 at Race Street Pier!

I was (and still am) excited because it was curated by one of our city’s best public arts curators, Ryan Strand Greenberg. Because it was created with support from the Philadelphia Science Festival. And because it seems to me that it’s an installation that’s asking us to investigate what we choose to see in the world and to work to understand that what we choose to see informs what we choose to empathize with, which ultimately informs what we choose to take action on.

Here’s the info I got about the installation from Ryan: “Blue Sky or Sky Blue? contains four large-scale mirrored sculptures. Each mirror is elevated at a different angle to reflect the sky. The mirror’s surface contains a subset of blue dots… As viewers walk through the installation, viewing the sky from different perspectives, the structures are used as instruments of measurement. Ever changing, this public art exhibition offers an opportunity for its visitors to explore the sky changing color dynamically throughout short periods of time. Through this self guided exploration, Blue Sky or Sky Blue? reconnects its visitors with the shifting natural rhythms and dynamism of our inhabited environment.”

On its surface and in that info about the installation, it seems fairly straightforward. But after reading Andrew’s artist bio on the project’s website, it’s hard for me not to interpret this installation as having concurrent observations on our choices as constant observers and how that relates to what we choose to see and the implications that follow those decisions. That artist statement reads: “Andrew Herzog investigates the idea of prioritized sight. Valuable, yet malleable, prioritized sight is how we choose, consciously or unconsciously, the things we see; what we engage or empathize with; and what we understand or misinterpret, with varying degrees of implication.”

Maybe I’m reading into it too much. Maybe that’s what the artist and curator want. Either way, I really enjoyed checking this installation out and learning about it. What do y’all think?!

If you’re just as curious as me, you can meet the artist and curator Saturday, June 8 from 11am-3pm at the installation: more info here!

And P.s.: Yes, a few of y’all have tweeted me about the seemingly smaller versions of this installation that have popped up around town (see photos below.) And yes, they’re from the same artist, installed as an extension of the project!

See previous curation and art from Ryan Strand Greenberg here!

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