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Wide Awake in Walla Walla

Who wouldn’t want to read a blog about Walla Walla?  I’ve never been there before.  It’s miles away from Indianapolis.  It’s in wine country.  The landscape is stunning.  And Maya Lin’s next work of art is there.


Hopefully the title of this blog got your attention. From now on, IMA bloggers plan on using ridiculous or outrageous titles. In the meantime, know that on this occasion this title is in fact accurate and not a cheap attempt to get your click. Read on.

A few of the IMA new media team recently visited picturesque Walla Walla, Washington to continue work on a pretty exciting documentary. This past summer, we began a video piece that will document Maya Lin’s sculpture Above and Below, coming to the IMA later next month. In WW we were given incredible access to this large work of art coming together. Before I get too carried away and take too many paragraphs to explain the project, please read this to-the-point and informative excerpt from the official press release:

Above and Below will continue an ongoing conceptual theme in Lin’s work, using technology to probe and interpret the form and function of the natural world. Using aerial, satellite, and sonar views of the varied landscapes that make up the earth’s surface, the artist creates works that reinvent those landscapes as sculptural forms. The design for Above and Below was developed by Lin through a series of visits to the underground White River, located in the Bluespring Caverns in Bedford, Indiana, as well as collaboration with scientists at Bluespring Caverns State Park and USGS Indiana Water Science Center. Working with the scientists, Lin used ultrasound technology to map the complex structure of tributaries and caves that run beneath the state. Photographic and bathymetric surveys of the region were used to capture images of both above-ground and underwater terrain in the caverns. The 2,000 square-foot project will be completed this summer at the Walla Walla Foundry, Wash., before its installation at the IMA.”

Our involvement in this project has taken us from the cold and dark Bluespring Caverns, to the busy and hot NYC, and recently the vineyards and rolling hills of Walla Walla. In the past, we have created a number of pieces involving artists and artwork, but this will be the first time we’ve been involved so early in the process. It’s an added bonus we got to see such different parts of America.

walla walla landscape

Our work won’t be complete for at least a couple of months – we still need to document the installation process, interview some more people and edit hours and hours of HDV footage. But when it is wrapped up – you can expect a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at Maya Lin’s new work, including interviews with the artist, curators and a variety of appearances from IMA, Maya Lin Studio and Walla Walla Foundry staff. Additionally, there will be cavern, studio, foundry, and installation footage that will present the entire story.

the upcoming work of art

Much of the content we produce is about telling a story and in this instance, we’ve been fortunate to witness so many stages that most people would never see. Viewers will be able to visit the IMA to see and experience the piece installed, but if interested, discover the how, why, when and where it all happened. I’ll provide updates along the way and if anyone wants to talk Walla Walla with me, please leave a comment.

Some related links for you:

Our flickr account with pictures from Walla Walla.

The Walla Walla Foundry.

IMA’s .pdf press release.

And finally, the IMA now has free wireless in select locations! What are you waiting for?

Filed under: New Media

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