PLANET DRAGULON: Through the Bowels of the Glitter Caves | 2009
(Collaboration with Michael McParlane)
four channel video installation
Featuring Veronica Bleaus, S.E. Smith, Michael McParlane, and Karl Sjogren
Synopsis: Captain Cosmo and his sidekick Nelly venture into the insidious Glitter Caves of Planet Dragulon in search of the magical Infinity Crystals. Unbeknownst to them, the crystals have fallen into the fatal clutches of Queen Namby Pamby of the Sissyborgs. Meanwhile, in the far out regions of the Pansyhead Nebula, Princess Anàlamode casts a celestial spell with the aid of her opalescent owls in a fleeting attempt to save our unsuspecting space spelunkers. Will Captain Cosmo and Nelly reach the infinity crystals before Queen Namby Pamby is able to complete her nefarious schemes? Can Princess Anàlamode's enchanted efforts help our hapless heroes? Find out in: PLANET DRAGULON: Through the Bowels of the Glitter Caves!
Description: Planet Dragulon was a public video installation that ran for three weeks in the windows of the Future Tenant gallery in the downtown Pittsburgh cultural district. This project was supported in part by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. This work was a four channel video installation that was displayed in two adjacent store front windows, one meant to represent the glitter caves and the other the Princess' realm. The four video portraits interact with the viewer without the controlled timing of a set loop. Timing is left to chance so that the interplay between characters creates new interactions that differ between viewings. Each video enters into a space where the characters are displaying personal moments of vulnerability and power.
The princess' window held an assortment of objects and materials, representing the character and constructing a personalized interior space for her to inhabit. Artificial fruit and flowers, feathers, painted owl figurines, and tissue paper adorned the dual televisions, obscuring all but the screens, while mirror shards, plastic jewels, ornate wallpaper, and glitter balls were strewn about, all beneath a firery light.
The glitter caves were built in the second window, out of opalescent paper-maché stalactites, stalagmites, and sparkling space rocks, with knick knack cave critters crawling around and tinseled planets sprouting from the cave floor. The televisions displaying Queen Namby Pamby, Captain Cosmo and his crew were embedded into the space with wigs, weapons, crystals and chains.
The installation presented the viewer with an alien landscape that was intentionally tacky. Through its incorporation of hand- painted thrift store figurines and glitter sprayed paper-maché, the installation drew upon a lowbrow craft aesthetic. This work overtly plays with themes that mimic the queer and campy sci-fi space explorations of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon.