Detroit 300: Fast Forward, Play Back

Detroit, MI, 2001

Fast Forward, Play Back is an installation commissioned by the Detroit Institute of Arts to honor Detroit's 300th birthday. A team composed of an architect, choreographer, and video artist joined forces to develop this work. Meditating upon the temporal-spatial crossing, the work focused on the interrelationships of people, events and place, and the understanding that a city, like an institution, is a physical and cultural organism whose nature is simultaneously fixed and in flux. To explore these ideas, fieldwork in a Detroit elementary school, an archetypal urban institution was incorporated into a physical and conceptual framework constructed in the museum. The installation formed a public plaza, its surfaces juxtaposed written, verbal, and visual testimony by a wide range of current and former citizens of Detroit. Within this environment the museum visitor played different roles - that of performer, participant, and witness while considering Detroit's past, present, and future.

Partners: Peter Sparling, choreographer; Terri Sarris, video artist; and Chris Pomodoro, structural design and animation.