BLUE BRIDGE/red shift was inspired by three lift bridges that run side by side over the Hackensack River in New Jersey. I loved the way small houses were perched within the complex bridge structures. BLUE BRIDGE/red shift looks like a drawbridge with two little houses alongside and above the track. The first, painted green and glowing red from within, is the control house. The second is suspended over the track with a clock on the wall, set to just after midnight. I strung a complex tangle of tubes between the two houses and lit the track with blue bulbs. In subway language, blue bulbs indicate the location of emergency phones and exits. The installation also includes the sound of a boat and a foghorn conversing across great distances.
As I completed the work in the weeks after my mother died, I decided to dedicate BLUE BRIDGE to her and to the memory of our complex but loving relationship. I added “red shift” to the title, as a nod to the concept in astronomy: a celestial body glowing red is understood to be moving away from us, while something that appears blue is moving toward us.
Photo Credit: Peter Mauss/ESTO