Sleeping Under Stars, Living Under Satellites
This media installation created specifically for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield CT explores different ways of keeping time and moving through space by presenting the wanderings of legendary historical figures from Ridgefield, Sarah Bishop and the Leatherman. The paths of these figures are traced by the artists through the use of multi-channel video projection, sculptural elements, and geocaching, an online, GPS-driven treasure hunt.
Finley + Muse have created one Ridgefield-centric geocaching circuit and two new geocaches. The circuit is based on the Three Hundredth Anniversary Parade Route, which passes several historic buildings in town; and the other two caches are on routes traveled by the historical figures: Bishop, a hermit who lived for over 30 years after the Revolutionary War in a small cave on the east side of West Mountain between North Salem and Ridgefield; and a wandering vagrant who was nick-named the Leatherman because of his 60-pound handmade animal-skin suit. The Leatherman completed a 365-mile clockwise circuit through parts of New York and Connecticut with rigid regularity every 34 days between the years of 1856 and 1889.
Viewers will discover elements of the exhibition both in the Aldrich Museum’s gallery and on routes taken by Bishop, the Leatherman, and the artists—who will place artifacts in local caches to commemorate and repeat the journeys of the historical figures. The project comes into focus in the gallery—a cache included on all of the routes—where there will be a replica of Sarah Bishop’s cave as well as an observatory where various video components create visual and sonic rhythms that regulate the relations of the three circuits. The hermit’s life is based on changing seasons; the vagrant ticked off the days, year after year, on his industrious regimented route; and the days of contemporary Ridgefield inhabitants are marked by the minutes and seconds of their hand-held devices.