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\\Dead Zone End Zone

at the Los Angeles Public Library, April 2013

Natalie Labriola & J Patrick Walsh III


Works Sited presents a collaborative installation by Natalie Labriola and J Patrick Walsh III made on the occasion of the Young Literati's Fifth Annual Toast. \\Dead Zone End Zone reinterprets various technologies and industrial objects to create a site that explores chance and discovery.


Echoing the library rotunda’s archways and domed ceiling, Labriola’s sculptural half-moons are covered in pigmented paper-mache surfaces that recall Impressionist paintings such as Monet’s Water Lilies.  The work embeds the gestural marks of “painting” onto the bifurcated surface of a massive satellite dish that once functioned as a parabolic communication device providing Internet networks outside the US.  Re-situating the dishes from the rooftop of a corporation to the interior of the library rotunda, they now maintain a more intimate mode of communication - by standing directly in front of the dish's center points and speaking into the concave form the viewer creates an echo chamber effect, initiating an awareness of one’s body in space.  


If the satellite dishes can be thought of as a split open I Ching, an object which creates a context for chance experiences to arise, Walsh’s accompanying craps table and benches also allow for the entry of possibility and chance encounters. Inviting viewers to roll gold dice atop its popcorn-imprinted surface (for Walsh popcorn embodies both performance and sculpture), the tables seek a surge of force and energy which is tied to indeterminacy.  Two seesaw benches accompany the table and are upholstered in the same acoustical foam used to create soundproof chambers.  These benches require two sitters to complete its form.  If the stationary satellite dishes project the viewer's voice and reference invisible wavelengths, the foam acts as its material inverse, absorbing and containing sound but generating movement and physical activity.

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