Art Works Blog

NEA Arts: Sounding Off with Ryan Holladay

In today's peek at the latest issue of NEA Arts, we meet Ryan Holladay. When Holladay is not creating location-aware sound works for spaces such as the National Mall and Central Park with his brother Hays---under the bluebrain moniker---he's showcasing off other multi-media artists who are exploring the frontier at the border of arts and technology in his role as new media curator at northern Virginia's Artisphere. We spoke with Holladay onsite at Artisphere about musically mapping the National Mall, artists he has his eye (and ears) on, and the enduring influence of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work on his own.

In this outtake from the interview, Holladay shares his "dream" project:

"We have this project that [my brother Hays and I] have drawn up called Antipodal. It’s actually not related to sound or music at all; it would be a video project. So you know that growing up [you thought] that if you dug a hole in your backyard that you would pop up in China? Anywhere in America, if you dig through, you would end up in the Indian Ocean. And in fact, only two percent of the world's landmass is what's called antipodal to landmass. Most of it is water. Ninety-eight percent of the earth is antipodal to water but two percent has land on the other side. And there is a list of about 12 cities that are antipodal to one another. For instance, Beijing [,China] and Buenos Aires [,Argentina] are antipodal cities, and they actually, in some ceremony, twinned themselves so they are twin cities. We’ve always been fascinated with that idea of digging a tunnel through the earth to the other side. It is obviously completely unrealistic, but what we've talked about doing is creating that illusion with a live video feed where you would have a hole in the ground that would be the live stream of what's [happening] on the other side. So the result would be that… you could literally watch the sunset on your side of the earth and watch as it glows and comes around to the other side. The ultimate goal would be to do this in all of these twelve cities around the world--- in New Zealand, Spain, France, etc.---and to create these permanent installations that would be really using these new technologies and new ability to be connected to connect us in a way that almost mimics the very oldest idea [of] being able to dig through the earth. So that's a dream project of ours."

Click here to read the full interview with Ryan Holladay in the latest issue of NEA Arts, where we explore the ever-evolving intersections between art and technology. Learn about the Smithsonian’s mobile strategy and how video games have become a tool for learning; read about the effect of transmedia storytelling on the world of theater; or take a glimpse at the production of the Oscar-winning animated short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

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