A public garden & cultural center

Dark Matters

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Hum Humdrum, 2017, video and wooden bench, 36 x 36 x 20 inches, digital video, 10 min. Courtesy of the artists and Wave Hill.

This artist collective brings to fruition their interactive project Manifestation Machine, which was presented in the Sunroom in 2016. Their new video, Hum Humdrum, presents the completion of Manifestation Machine’s wish cycle, in which visitors gathered dried plant material in a pouch, entered a sculptural vessel for contemplating a wish or personal desire and left their pouch behind for the artists to gather and perform an activation ceremony. In the guises of their alter egos, the video depicts venerable beings attuned to ancient myths and creating a small, seafaring vessel to contain the pouches of the wishes saved from visitors. As the vessel sets sail, the contents are set ablaze on the water, releasing these wishes into the universe.

Manifestation Machine                                                                   Sunroom Project Space | May 21–July 4, 2016

Manifestation Machine, 2016, multi-media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists.

Dark Matters collective explores the intangible aspects of the natural world, including the spiritual, alchemical and mystical. Their immersive installations energize spaces with symbolism and performance practices, creating room for reflection. Dark Matters performs in live events and videos as alter egos—venerable beings attuned to ancient myths and the all-encompassing cosmos. To the artists, scientific theory and spiritual belief share a close kinship.

The artists transform the Sunroom into an interactive site for contemplating the unseen energies that permeate the universe and connect the dynamic to the inert. Visitors begin to actuate their personal desires by collecting natural materials at a “buffet” table of ingredients, an act which signifies gathering what is grown and nurtured in a garden. Geometric patterns on the floor represent the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west), as well as the four classical elements of earth, fire, air and water. Designs in the windows represent the flow of energy between the Sunroom and the outer cosmos, while also filtering the light and creating a meditative space. The room’s focal point is an obelisk, a chamber that visitors can enter with their pouch of ingredients for further contemplation. The shape of the structure refers to ancient monuments, and a mirror inside will enable visitors to see themselves from a different perspective. Before leaving, participants may deposit their pouches on shelves. On June 5, Dark Matters galvanizes biodynamic energy in a performance that incorporates sound, dance and ritual, followed by an artist talk. At the conclusion of the exhibition, Dark Matters performs a final ceremony with the ingredients left behind, forming a link between the artists and Wave Hill’s community.

Manifestation Machine, 2016, multi-media installation, dimensions variable. Photo: Wave Hill

Manifestation Machine, 2016, multi-media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.