DECEMBER 1, 2011 – JANUARY 5, 2012
Light & Wire Gallery presents The Opto-Isolator by Gregory Michael Hernandez, a site-specific installation on top of a craggy mountain in the Mojave Desert, off Highway 62 east of Twentynine Palms, California. The structure resides in an undisclosed location and can only be approached by a steep and precarious hike. It is meant to be experienced via the internet, through the virtual presence of Light & Wire Gallery.
The Opto-Isolator is a single hollow structure, assembled on site from 144 mitered pieces of Douglas Fir wood, cut from twenty-four standard eight foot 2x4s. If the structure is located, it can be entered and experienced as a viewfinder; it is an object that can be seen as a skeletal cocoon, or the shell of an eye socket. When standing inside, one gets the feeling of being simultaneously isolated and protected. The geometric structure frames the landscape into 26 shapes: 6 octagons, 8 hexagons, and 12 squares. As one moves through it, around it, inside and outside of it, the perspective and landscape shift and are continually bisected. The sculpture becomes a visual device for framing the outside world. Hernandez will leave the piece on the mountain indefinitely, until it is either vandalized, burned, or darkened and weather-beaten toward eventual disintegration.
Hernandez considers this installation the third in a series of a conceptual triptych. “Rebuilt Homestead” at LAXART in 2010 brought the transformed skeletal remains of an abandoned desert shack into the gallery. The second project, realized earlier this year, “Flatland: A Collision of Architectures,” reversed that process and transported the gallery into the wilderness with the construction of a replica of Emma Gray Headquarters within an abandoned homestead. For the third component of the series, The Opto-Isolator is completely autonomous from the gallery space. The shell-like structure resides in a vast desert landscape, only to be discovered at its location or experienced through its documentation on a website: www.lightandwiregallery.com
The artist would like to thank Robert Wechsler for his contribution installing and documenting the artwork.