Interview with Taras Hrabowsky
Could you give us a description or summary of the work?
ThingPit is a looped animation that has been guerilla projected across the US and shown in various other venues across the world including the IMPAKT festival. For its primary intent, the guerilla projections, I have a modified cargo van with no windows, except for a small whole on either side, where the piece is projected from discreetly and anonymously. I travel with this piece while living in the back of the van for months at a time, looking for spots to set up, project, and walk away from until my extra battery dies- which is then recharged while travelling to the next place.
Could you please tell us something about yourself and your artistic background?
I’ve studied painting, but have always had an attraction to public works, mostly through graffiti and other mural projects. This aspect of working outside of traditional spaces has always been the draw for me to create.
Where does the title “Thing Pit” come from?
There’s a constant coming together and then dispersion of seemingly the “everything” that’s essential to the feeling of this piece. A pit, as a centralized kernel of the fruit, against this idea of this “everything” is what I wanted to always be in flux throughout.
How did you make you choices concerning the placement of the projection in installation?
The piece was made to be non-site specific, but with the expectation of being projected on a building wall of some sort. So the only real choices are technical, according to what is best for the projector at the specific spot that I find myself at. General things are the wall needs to be closer to the white/lightly colored end of the spectrum but to be reasonably unlit, with as low ambient light as possible. Then it’s just a matter of finding those qualities near a hub of people at night so you can catch some eyes.
What would you like the viewer to experience when encountering “Thing Pit”
It’s always a different experience for each person who happens across it, especially since they are not asking to view anything, but are forced into a situation where they have to react. I love the people watching, they may choose to ignore it, or they stop and look around bewildered of where it’s coming from. Either way it is confronting the viewer with a new possibility in their environment, a malleable, fleeting and fluctuating relationship. My hope is to expose the viewer to this relation with their surroundings in order to blur our normal interpretations of being separate from it.
Looking back – would you have done anything different?
The only thing that I feel to do differently every time is to make it more interactive. There is always some level of interaction, even with completely passive pieces, and this piece does force people to interact with their normal expectations of their environment in a new and unexpected way, but this is not as immersive and effectual as a real-time interaction. I want the passer-by to experience equivalencies with themselves, the work, and the surroundings.
Are you working on any interesting new projects?
Continuing with guerilla projections of new works, next trip should be this summer!