First, we have to get something straight. This is not the VERY Large Array. This is the RATHER Large Array, the Very Large Array’s much smaller, distant—and inexpensive—cousin and the flagship piece for Art Center College of Design’s 2011 exhibition, MADE UP: Design’s Fictions (curated by Tim Durfee with Haelim Paek). The other thing is that while the Very Large Array still exists out in its Dune-like remote setting, spread across a giant “Y” configuration in the New Mexico desert, the Rather Large Array (RLA) has all but vaporized back into the production streams from whence its PVC tubing and hardware store components came from. When asked about the beginnings of The Array, Tim Durfee, Core Faculty in Art Center’s Media Design Practices program, cites T.S. Eliot’s use of “objective correlative”, and the multi-perspective, disorientating photography of Barbara Probst. This led the project team to hone in on what he calls “the splintered experience we have routinely now, as we live in one reality while tunneling through multiple other realities through our smart phones, various networks, etc.” In the end, they realized they were talking less about architecture or an interior and more about an instrument.
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