Charles Long: Pet Sounds
Pet Sounds is an interactive, large-scale, mixed-media installation by Charles Long. Sited on the expansive Oval Lawn, Pet Sounds introduces a snaking network of vibrantly colored pipe railings creating new paths as they wind across the urban oasis. As these railings converge around a common seating area, each grows into a unique fantastic form. While the shape of each blob suggests a different set of associations, their uncanny semblances remain purposefully elusive. As viewers smooth their hands over the undulating biomorphic surfaces, they produce a variety of sounds and vibrations coming from within the sculptural forms. Long has said that his “re-occurring interest in the uncanny over many years is in full effect here in the Pet Sounds project where something as familiar and literally grounding as a handrail morphs into an unnamable blob that has a very physical presence with some power to dialogue with the viewer’s own somatic sense. As one pets the blobs, a wide range of sounds are triggered and are coming from within the bodies of the forms.” Across his decades as an artist, Long challenges and assimilates the long-held position of modernist sculpture while propelling his work into the unexpected.