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Kinetic Moss: a Maze for Finding Your Way


Kinetic Moss: a Maze for Finding your Way

Young artist Nova Jiang’s work focuses on inviting the audience to interact with her art. Her most recent creation is a mechanized indoor version of a garden maze. Landscape Abbreviated uses moving moss planters as a reduction of the hedge maze motif. One is also reminded of the chessboard landscaping imagined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass.

The installation is a kinetic labyrinth in which visitors actually alter the space by walking through it. The planters rearrange guided by sensors and a software program that constantly produces new mathematical configurations. Visitors are thus prompted to take new directions and perspectives as they interact with the shifting environment.

Participating with the installation, visitors are made aware of both their surroundings and the steps they choose to take within them. Contrary to traditional mazes, the garden has been devised to allow creative, open-ended solutions, promoting an uninterrupted flow of interaction.

Jian collected the moss for the planters from the sides of buildings, cracks in the pavement, subway gates and other recesses in the New York City landscape. Mixed in are shards of glass, plastic and miscellaneous urban detritus to represent the complex environment that awaits visitors just outside the gallery.

The installation brings visitors’ attention to the unpredictable dynamics of space, whether in a peaceful indoor garden or outside, in the living, constantly shifting maze of the city.

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