"Installation-Nation" visual art review 

Forty-foot shipping containers became gallery spaces for "Installation-Nation," presented last weekend by Primary Colours. Five beige mobile storage systems, each divided in half to allow for 10 installations, were placed at a vacant corner lot at College Avenue and Michigan Street. Not since 2001, when the last biennial Indianapolis Installation Festival was presented by Shawn Miller/4 Star Gallery, has a city event focused on installation art. Can evocative environments be constructed within the confines of a shipping container? Absolutely. Some artists attempted to provide conceptual and sensory contrast, such as the smell of a pine forest in work by Brent Aldrich and Julie Cifuentes. Jeff Martin's "Conditioning p2" successfully coaxed viewers, one at a time, to lie on a motorized, Styrofoam bed that transported them behind a black curtain into a confusing, claustrophobic MRI-like construction. Michele Bosak's installation questioned past/present consumerism and design through transforming the shipping container into a retro living room lined with watercolors that documented her acquisition of specific vintage furniture items. Will today's mass-produced, imported goods be collected and recorded with such care? Brian Priest's "Informational Habitat" spoke of mutually influencing patterns of humans and nature within a sculptural, scientific model that transcribed motions of flies into a computerized audio score. Debbie Rosenfeld and Jonny Rotter tried to direct viewers via text messaging to Rosenfeld's Web site and her digital photos in "Conversations with Color," but was this installation art or advertising? http://primarycolours.org.

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