From 2008 through 2011 Robert imagined and created a series of four interactive art installations. Each was inspired by a theme and used creativity to inspire individuals to pause, reflect, participate, and share. Each asked a question and provided an opportunity to answer in writing and leave to become part of the experience for others.
The installations embodied what to Robert felt an evolution of creativity. The creation of a type of Maslovian Art. Where instead of being used to solely reflect his own inner experiences, the created serves in inspiring meaningful, life-affirming participation in others that in some way support them being who they came here to be.
The installations reflect well what Robert brings to his photography.
Where each is seen as a tuning fork to bring meaningful, intentional frequencies into people’s lives.
Read on to learn more about each installation.
FYI that you can also see some of the elements in person at the gallery in Sausalito.
The theme for this first installation was The American Dream.
The question asked was: "To what do you pledge your allegiance?"
The piece embodied 1) Contemplation, 2) the Divine Feminine, 3) Native American Wisdom, and 4) Democracy.
Colored flags for the Four Directions set the perimeter of the space for visitors to "enter". A circle of 12 feminine plaster casts, each with a word across her chest: Compassion, Courage, Creativity, Fairness, Heart, Intention, Laughter, Love, Optimism, Self-Awareness, Truth, Vision, Wilderness, Wisdom. An empty 13th spot to complete the circle, with a space to kneel or a chair to sit in with the legs removed and covered with pages of the US Constitution.
Inside the tipi were oriental rugs, pillows, and candles on a round table in the center with an old parchment box filled with 11" paper strips and pencils. On the inside of the top was the question: "To what do you pledge your allegiance?". Playing through (solar-powered) speakers was a multi-hour audio recording of interviews, nature sounds, and other inspiring acoustic snippets. Spiraling down from the center of the tipi down to the ground was a hemp twine filled with wooden clothespins. Visitors venturing into the tipi answered the question in writing and left clipped inside the tipi. At the end of the week the inside of the tipi was filled with answers, and looked like feathers of a sacred bird fluttering in the wind.
Robert also created a book of responses titled We The Future, which can be experienced in person at the gallery.
• 4 flags for the Four Directions
• 12 plaster casts of women (+ 1 empty spot)
• "Betsy Ross" flag of 13 stars in a circle
• Constitution-covered chair
• Stone path
• Oriental rugs & pillows
• LED string lights, bees wax candles
• Parchment box, paper, pencils, sharpeners
• Hemp twine, wooden clothespins
• 24/7 solar-powered audio
The theme at the festival for this second installation in 2009 was Evolution.
The invitation of the art piece was to share a future memory in writing... written in the past tense as if it already happened.
Visitors came upon a protected, octagonal structure (representing the present moment) with two large mosaic flags flying from the top (representing the past and the future). Surrounding the structure were 13 metal trees. 12 of of the trees were raw metal and, collectively, had 2,012 available spaces at the tips of their branches for leaves (representing the transformational year of 2012). 1 of the trees’ metal was black (representing the ‘black sheep’ icon in it’s highest form of sovereign-individuality). This tree didn’t have any space for leaves, however at the very top was a single, blank leaf embodying the perspective that every new moment presents a new blank canvas to think (remember, imagine, intend) upon. Amidst the trees were 3 plaster casts (representing connection to self, other, and spirit.)
Inside of the structure were oriental carpets and pillows to sit upon. The walls were covered with mosaic panels of images of the past that brought / bring people joy. Playing 24/7 through speakers were recordings of people sharing memories along with tracks of nature sounds to contemplate amidst. In the center of the space was a pentagon-shaped table with a container for blank leaves and surfaces to write upon with black pens.
Over the course of the week of the festival the trees continuously ‘bloomed’ with participation. It was beautiful. Amazing and sacred during the day. Amazing and sacred during the night. People outside and inside 24/7 for a week, at the end of which thousands of people had shared leaves and the grove was in full folliage.
Like super-charged prayer flags, the installation was like a multi-dimensional ‘tuning fork’. Where each new participation by someone increased its vibrational offering (which was already high). Higher and higher. Each leaf embodies the high-frequencies of each person that paused and participated and imagined and remembered and felt life-affirming and shared (embodied) it in a leaf to grow (evolve, become part of) the experience for others.
In addition to this contemplation of frequency, the installation was also a contemplation of imagination. It is a powerful thing to be able to imagine something that doesn’t exist. Imagination is the heart of creativity. How do you / we wield it? Do we imagine scenarios that make us feel ‘good’, or do we imagine scenarios that make us feel ‘bad’? Life-affirming or life-diminishing?
If you area reading this, you’re invited to take a moment here to pause and imagine a reality that brings you joy. And then ‘leap’ over it in time and think about it for a few moments in the past tense as if it already happened. Offer these frequencies into the (your, our) world.
If you’d like to see a couple of the trees in person, we one in the gallery.
• 13 trees (5' x 8', golden rectangles)
• 2,012 leaves
• 3 human plaster casts:
Connection with Self
Connection with Other
Connection with Spirit
• 2 flags (5' x 8') : The Past / Future
• Pentagon structure (5’ x 8’ walls) : The Present
• Mosaic panels: images that give people joy
• Oriental carpets and pillows
• 24/7 audio (solar-powered)
This theme of the art festival was Metropolis.
The question asked through the installation was: "What's a new belief that you have or want to have?"
A creative contemplation of beliefs.
What do we (choose to) believe and why?
What beliefs liberate us?
What beliefs feel good to our hearts and minds?
What beliefs support us being who we came here to be?
A birdcage without a door.
Plaster casts of Child, Adult, and Elder.
A birdhouse with carpets and pillows and feathers to write upon.
What's a new belief that you have or want to have?
• Birdhouse (5' x 8' walls, i.e. golden rectangles)
• Birdcage (golden rectangle proportions)
• 3 plaster casts: Child, Adult, Elder
• Oriental carpets, Moroccan lantern, comfy pillows
• Feather-shaped pieces of paper
• Flags for the Four-Directions
• Small trampoline to give flight!
• 24 / 7 audio track of beautiful bird calls in Nature
The theme was “Rites of Passage”, and the installation asked the question: How can you support yourself in being the most empowered version of you?
The vision was to create an environment where people could explore feeling supported and connected to something greater than themselves. To achieve this, three circles of hand-holding human casts were created: one with one empty space to complete, one with two empty spaces, and one circle with three. Visitors had the option of how they wanted to complete the circle, which they did alone, with friends, and with strangers.
Collective invited taking a moment and reflect on who we are, who we came here to be, and what can we do to support ourselves in the journey of answering each.
How do you support and empower yourself?
• 25 human casts, ages 8 to 78
• 4 flags for the Four-Directions
• Metal Tree for Life in the center
• Oriental carpets, pillows, bees wax candles
• Round table with box containing paper slips, pencils and sharpeners
• Solar panel / LED lighting