“How might one attempt to know a place? How might one encounter a place imagined to be known?”
Under the umbrella of Pacing, Renée Green’s ongoing residency at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts in Harvard, a new presentation of Green’s 2006 Code: Survey is now on display at CCVA’s CRC Bookshop.
Code: Survey is a work that grew out of a public art commission from the California Department of Transportation for their 2005 newly built headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, an expansive structure designed by Thom Mayne and Morphosis. While the building houses Code: Survey as a massive sculptural grid–spanning 28 feet, and made of 168 compressed glass and film panels, each panel including an image related to transportation and engraved with an alphanumeric code–Code: Survey also exists as a searchable website in which images, codes and keywords allow entrance to the embedded histories and meanings coded into the wall structure in Los Angeles.
In its CCVA iteration, the audience encounters a wall covered with a digital facsimile of the Code: Survey image grid, a dedicated computer terminal from which to access the website, related ephemera displayed on the CRC Bookshop, and a series of postcards with a short text written by the artist.
With Code: Survey, Green was interested in testing what ways a public artwork can now exist and how it might be possible to experience a work beyond a fixed location; by constructing a dense information network, in which a variety of historical, structural and subjective materials can be excavated for examination in the forms of audio, video, still images and texts, Code: Survey allows one’s perception of a physical encounter with a place to alter, or to imagine locations and relations to movement even if a physical encounter doesn’t occur. What emerges from this engagement with data, space and time allows one to explore and question utopian claims of freedom associated with mobility.
As Green states, “Photos, images, diagrams and maps provide an index of previous moments or intentions, even if their contents aren’t easily identifiable or understood by the time they are encountered. They can be examined nonetheless. Speculations can form, as well as informed attempts to decipher. Codes were assigned. Stories multiplied. The process of assembly can continue in one’s imagination.”
Code: Survey will be on view at CCVA until April 28th, while another new Pacing iteration, FAM Case (2001-2016) is on display until April 16th. In addition, a screening of Green’s Partially Buried Series films followed by a conversation with film scholar Nora Alter, took place on February 23th.
For more information about Renée Green’s project at Harvard, please download the first Pacing publication from here.