Explorers over the last three centuries have navigated dark sea waters aided by a sextant, which bounces light off of two mirrors. Beacon employs mirrors and water to create reflections inspired by the idea of the night-traveler, a person for whom getting lost in the landscape can be a revelation of the self. Small groups joined Barber to hike out from the dramatic mountain landscape of the Santa Cruz Mountains, arriving at a redwood grove along Harrington Creek at nightfall. The audience members were then guided to the installation in complete darkness and one at a time; laying on a reclining bench above a pool of water, lights were brought up to illuminate his or her face. There are 24 reflections, half above and half below the water. Each is in fact a double reflection, bouncing off both mirror and water, and thus showing the viewer a vision of the self as others see her.

 

The journey to encounter this piece––the downward slope of the hillside, the rolling fog, the owls hunting from the trees––is integral to the experience of self-reflection.

Special thanks to the Djerassi staff, especially Margot Knight, Tom Shean, Celia Olsen and Alice Marshall.

Wood, mirrors, water, plastic, LEDs
12'x10'x7'
Constructed on site at the Djerassi Resident Art Program
Woodside, CA
2015