[Image: Window by Susanna Battin, courtesy of the artist].
If you’re out driving in Los Angeles this coming Friday, December 2, consider using the second lane from the left, heading south on I-15 immediately after the 91 Freeway interchange and before the East Ontario exit: artist Susanna Battin‘s new work, Window, will be on display on a digital billboard overlooking the highway, and will be best viewed from that lane. There, “Los Angeles freeway commuters [will] briefly witness the billboard transform into a window,” Battin explains, in “an attempt to repair the visually severed mountain range” beyond. Battin’s elevated digital image also accounts for “thirteen of San Bernardino’s varying smog conditions,” so the overlap will hopefully work by blending in with the local weather.
Here’s a map of where to be.
Meanwhile, I’m curious if you could achieve something vaguely similar, but without the digital billboard—something like the optical effects of Felice Varini, but applied at a particular curve in the freeway, using different overlapping space frames partially installed on different rooftops, or various painted outlines distributed across other billboards and facades. They would all lock together for a brief and fleeting instant, from one very specific angle, perhaps even too fast to notice, and thus “repair” the surrounding landscape. I suppose, in some mythical world where insurance liability is not an issue, Felice Varini, Susanna Battin, and Caltrans could team up to make the California highway system itself into a massive and perceptually instantaneous optical installation, visible in full effect only at certain exact velocities and angles.
In any case, if you see the installation, and don’t risk crashing your car, consider taking a picture and sending it in; I’d love to see if this works.