Below is the complete budget for the art exhibition These Days, which is on display at Mass MoCA through February 28, 2010. The exhibition highlights six different contemporary artists whose work reflects “a sense of both wonderment and elegy.” The exhibition covers 17,850 square feet, throughout ten galleries.
The individual projects range in media and scope: video, sculpture, installation, painting, animation. The exhibit includes four immersive installations: a “chapel to the twenty-first century” that features weeping saints, a safari-style soundscape with fake trees and camo netting, and a cynlindrical room in which the viewer watches a 360-degree video cyclorama and a video projection. Two artists provided work that was pre-existing. The costs for those projects are thus much less than for the four works specially commissioned and fabricated for this show.
This is an unusual budget even for a small museum. Mass MoCA dedicates its resources to working directly with artists, rather than just moving paintings, sculptures, and video from trucks to the gallery space. As the numbers below show, the Mass MoCA installations required the ingenuity and dedication of the entire musuem staff. Keeping overhead costs as low as possible is still one of the advantages of the small contemporary museum; less than 7 percent of the total budget went toward the “general expenses” of the museum.
—M. Rebekah Otto
BELOW SEA LEVEL by PAWEL WOJTASIK 35′ 1″ diameter, 12″ tall cylindrical cyclorama with 8 interlaced LCD projectors
1,308 square feet of 1⁄4″ flexible USG drywall to build the walls of the cyclorama
3 sheets of three-quarter-inch A/C plywood to build the support frame for the cyclorama
176 2″ x 4″ x 6″ studs—used to secure interior non-load-bearing structures
4 hours—rented in order to film
2 hours—rented in order to film
Borrowed from EMPAC
8 Dukane 8763 LCD projectors that have an 18′ image throw, so the projector can be close to the screen
This converter moves sound from the computer to the amplifier.
8 cables at $45 each. VGA cables extend high resolution video capacity from a computer to a projection device.
In order to present this video in a complete cyclorama, the artist had to project the film evenly onto a curved surface. This is harder than it sounds, because the images get scalloped along the edges. For “professional” cycloramas (such as those at Disney World), you can buy a complete system that comes with a rig and changes the images, projecting them smoothly. These systems cost about $600,000. Mass MoCA instead brought on a software developer, Gian Pablo Villamil, who created a program that clipped the images for projection. The program he designed took more than thirty-six hours, on two computers, to change each frame in the videos to fit the curved surface of the wall—but it did so for one hundredth of the price.
A rig made of custom laser-cut aluminum was constructed to mount the 8 LCD projectors.
Consulting services, fees, and contract labor (visual and sound) $6,000.00
Installation labor $1,350.00
Museum labor, framing, and drywall finish $6,240.00
Project 2 $31,196.00
RECKONER by GEORGE BOLSTER
A chapel to the twenty-first century, with crying saints and an elaborate ceiling panel
For use of the Radiohead song “Reckoner.” Applies for 18 years, disclaimer included.
This formed the roof of the room, behind the ceiling tile.
The decking, like that which is used for a porch, made the floor of the installation. The small slats of the floor allowed the tears of the crying saints to fall between them and drained the room.
Plywood sheathing is usually used for roofing, as it is specifically designed for high-wind and water situations. In this installation it served as the catchall under the decking where the water was drained.
Sheets of magnets were adhered to the bottom of the wall. They acted as an 18″-tall baseboard molding.
These slivers of metal were randomly tossed at the magnetic sheets. As the installation progressed, the water of the crying saints rusted the filings and caused them to oxidize, slowly turning them green.
250 2′ x 6′ x 12′ studs; 42 2′ x 4′ x 12′ studs
A C-channel beam attaches a heavy object to a permanent structure. It was used to mount the mirror.
These mechanical switching devices are opened by electricity. These mechanisms turned on the saints’ tears.
Medical tubes, repurposed as the behind-the-scenes tear ducts for the saints, enabled them to cry very slowly.
320 square feet, mounted
APOCALYPSE MANAGEMENT by CHRIS DOYLE
An animated film projected on a screen that can be viewed from both sides
The Da-Lite DualVision screen material allows an audience to view both sides of a screen. To save costs, the museum cut the screen to size and created a stretched frame out of aircraft cable and aluminum corners. The screen is 10′ tall and 19.5′ wide.
A used Panasonic PTD-5700 Projector was purchased for the exhibit, along with a Macmini computer, which was used to play the video.
New York City studio visits
THE END OF SAFARI by MICAH SILVER
A visual and sonic installation of a jungle safari
The artist purchased the recording from friends in Dubai.
As the speakers project a particular beam of sound, this apperatus precisely moves the beam around the room.
An atomizer was used to move scents around the room to give the exhibit an aromatic quality.
Creatures made from chicken-wire frame were covered in silicone and dressed in Yves Saint Laurent khakis.
EVERYTHING REAL IS IMAGINED by ROBERT TAPLIN
9 sculptures borrowed from a local artist
Building supplies for the level floor of the gallery
For Mass MoCA staff to transport work
TWO VIDEOS AND SIX PHOTOGRAPHS by SAM TAYLOR-WOOD
Shipping from the UK required custom-made crates to hold the photographs to insure they would all arrive intact.
A projector was used from a previous exhibition. A new flat-screen monitor as well as cables, and a lamp for the projector were purchased. Finally, the team built a frame in-house to house the monitor.
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