For the installation The Space Between (2020) the layout is structured around 6 foot social distancing, with the circle of light being 6 feet in diameter. Radiating 6 feet from the center, are the four pneumatic (pressurized air) contraptions that spray flour towards the center of light. The blast of flour is at 35 psi, which is about 35 mph.
Cough droplets can travel around 50 mph while a sneeze can be about 100 mph. Because the viewer is masked, they are mostly protected from the airborne flour. The accumulative buildup of flour inside the circle creates an “X”, as if warning viewers not to walk into the 6 foot space. Though the pneumatic contraptions are not necessarily figurative, they each are slightly different in both looks and spray pattern.
The darkened space may be interpreted as the lack of leadership and guidance. With only two viewers experiencing the piece at a time, an intimate environment is created for contemplation and reflection. The piece is never the same and each experience is different, much like how we all have navigated the last six months and dealt with it in our own ways.
Chris Nelson is based in Ashfield MA
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