The Vital Contour of U + US
a dialog between Lisa Lozano & Benjamin Heller

Built upon the intersection of the public and private experience, which form the vital contour of human interaction, U + US creates an atmosphere of permission which encourages us to physically explore this reflective intimate space. A private space affords a greater freedom of expression, yet the awarness of the camera and witness drive the action towards communication and interaction.

As we move around the exterior of U + US, our eyes and bodies traverse the reflective planes and angles of the octogon. The skeletons of wood are engineered structurally with the permanent solidity of carpentry to hold light and circuitry within a skin of mirror. They stand as two bodies in the precise certainty of Geometry, possessing characteristics in their construction of both the body and of shelter. Just as man sees himself in nature and ideas - just as all manmade spaces reflect the space of the human mind, the mirrored octogons reflect on the nature of sight, perception and the infinite.

The structures attract movement to flow around the geometric angles in a curve that draws the figure of infinity. This entrance into sacred geometry affords a point between the two towering architectural forms, at which one cannot perceive any vision of their physical self.

The architecture surrounding the pieces is reflected and cropped into vertical images. From a distance the towers themselves sometimes seem to dissolve into the room. We appear invisible as we pass around the angles, finding ourselves emerging again in movement, cropped like photographs, until we wholly emerge, only to vanish again. The images reflected become dissolving ephemeral gestures in a dance within the vital dynamic flow.

The interior of U presents an environment in which All present is multiplied in an order of 8. It is concieved as a temple of light, geometry and reflection. A space of infinity to explore our sight and imagination, appearing in illusion beyond the restraints and boundaries of the actual space. Our experience inhabits a psychic and visual space between the disorientation of the void and reflective clarity. The light breathes slowly in revolution from darkness to brightness, bringing us back into a meditative interval. Focus travels in interaction between the reflection in this world of self and the divine nature of light. It is this fleeting moment of awareness that elevates us in its alchemical vibrance.

The entrance into US affords another suite of reflections in concert with each other. We become enveloped within the darkness of an octogonal theater in reverse. The space is illuminated only by a rise and fall of light emitted from seven screens. The LCD is an omnipresent device in current technology from which we receive the experience of the infinite reflection, transforming us into an active audience within a 360 degree space. Inside the octogon one must physically move from screen to screen to see the moving images from different points of view. The multiplication of infinity now falls into the background, with a greater focus on the experience of the other — separate but together.

The piece only reflects, as a vessel. When empty one only perceives the emergence and disappearance of light. Yet when inhabited, it reflects the experience of the action inside and around it, emerging and disappearing within the frames it affords. The cameras present their images as ephemeral and without any memory, constantly shifting in real time. The only recording is in our senses and our own memories as we experience it, maintaining the intimacy of a separate but shared moment.

The mirrored octogonal sculptures were built by hand in residency at the Eiffel Society Project. Conceptualized, designed and built in collaboration between Benjamin Heller and Lisa Lozano.

Mixed Media: Wood, Mirrored Glass and Plexi, 7 Video Cameras, 7 monitors, 72 Incandescent Ligtbulbs, Dimmer Pack.

-Benjamin Heller 2010