December 01, 2017
“Mr. Conductor” was an interactive projection mapping installation, designed and developed for the InLight 2017 Festival, with its theme “Electric Carnival”. The piece re-imagines an existing public sculpture, “Thin Blue Line”, created by artist Michael Stutz. The original work is mounted on the wall of the Richmond police headquarters. For a night, light evocatively transformed the sculpture into an impresario, pachinko wizard, and figurehead for the festival.
The installation’s videos and soundtrack evoked the classic era of steam trains and reference a time when Richmond’s factories churned out locomotives. Its visuals suggest a fanciful alternate vision of “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, the classic train song describing a hobo’s paradise. Mr. Conductor is leading the way… “All aboard!”
The piece was selected by Nat Trotman, Curator of Performance and New Media at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, to be part of the InLight 2017 Festival. It is discussed at length in an article titled “Cop to Conductor: Negotiating and Remapping Meaning in Existing Public Art”, in the Leonardo Art Journal (MIT Press), August 2018.
This artwork is part of the Pachinko Series, which are a collection of large-scale interactive digital art installations, created by Todd Berreth and Pat Fitzgerald.