"Signlanguage"
Track 16 Gallery
February 2 - March 30, 2002
Signlanguage: The Experience > Track 16 Gallery
So this was it. The night I could pull the cover off the Barchetta - with fear and hope, I've got a desperate plan. I would hop the fence and shed my corporate identity - leaving behind talk of URLs and dots and slashes, of architectures and databases and interfaces, and indulge in something far too neglected. Art: photographs and mixed media - captured moments and captured emotions. I was here to admire, to drop my defenses, and to let the artist murmur his visions and dreams to me. So here I write of my impressions and thoughts, mostly though of my joy. Perhaps by this I can return the favor ...

The focus was the labor of a man - poet, artist, photographer, musician, and lately, slayer of orcs. That's what seemed to be the focus of the crowd when we jopin the crush of people entering Track 16 - I heard bits and pieces of conversations: "Where is he?", "Do you think he'll come through the front door?" "Will the others show?." There was a buzz of anticipation - they awaited the ranger and king. We pressed forward and squeezed into the entrance, and bore right into the gallery. Alan Rath's Stereo exhibit was throbbing with music to the left, but was quickly lost in the sea of voices as we journeyed further into the first room. There were clumps of people engaged in conversations - and the pieces seemed to serve as backdrops while they kept a watchful eye on the entrance. Threads of conversations intertwined, clashed, weaved - continuing experiences from a moment, a day, a memory ago. We headed to the last room, and I stood against a closed door. I cracked open a new journal, and pressed a new pen to it's pristine pages (bought earlier in the day just for this). With a smile on my face, I observed and wrote.

People would point at the Lord of the Ring's photographs and excitedly exclaim - cries of "Frodo!" and "Legolas!" were heard often. People would skim their attention across the pieces, waiting for some meaning or revelation to strike hot. "What does it mean?" came from a woman pondering one of collages. "It's the meaning that we choose" I silently thought. The artist merely offered his suggestion, it is up to us to reach the conclusion. You may not like it, you may not appreciate it, but did it make you stop to think?, did it remind you of some lost childhood memory?, did it ...

I relocate to the next room, secluding myself in a corner, and continue writing and watching the crowd. John quietly informs me that Elijah is to our right. I can't see him, but the crowd begins to swirl. Then Dominic (who looks totally surprised by the reaction) enters the room, followed by Viggo a moment later. I pause - the Fellowship seems to be reuniting, though they are all in different parts of the room. They are their own gravitational forces, crowds of admirers swirl and pulsate, contracting and extracting - a rhythmic dance beyond my comprehension. Suddenly the inflow of people is much greater than the outflow, and the vibes and buzz of the crowd increases dramatically. I become uncomfortable, and so head for calmer waters. It takes awhile to progress against the flow - and so I'm able to notice that the stars are friendly, patient, and constantly saying sincere thank you's to the myriad of compliments.

Time to cool from Viggo's sunshine, and head for the funk of Alan Rath.

I stand across from Chinese Stereo, a tie for my favorite "Stereo" piece. John heads to the bar to get some drinks, and I again open my journal - writing of the sounds (the stereos really work), the dynamics of the crowd, the cascade of conversation.

NEXT » Track 16 Gallery, Part 2

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