Running True, 2009:
A site-specific multimedia installation at Disston Saw Works, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 5 audio speakers and 3 video projections, lights and sculpture in an unused 44' x 57' x 32’ drop forge building on the Disston factory site. Part of Hidden City Philadelphia.
Carolyn Healy: sculpture and lighting
John JH Phillips: audio and video.
Quotes from the press:
"… a virtuoso multimedia environment." - Edith Newhall, Philadelphia Inquirer
"...Phillips and Healy are must sees!" - Roberta Fallon, Philadelphia Weekly
This multimedia environment, created for the unused Drop Forge building of the Disston Saw Works, dramatizes the imagination and industry that have inhabited this site since 1872. We’ve combined audio, video and sculptural elements, derived from sounds, images and artifacts collected on the Disston grounds, to create this piece. Through the generosity of the Disston and Tacony communities, we’ve been afforded rare access to early engineering drawings from the company files and early maps of Tacony, which factor prominently in Running True. Our aesthetic interests are rooted in the abstract and metaphorical, yet, since we began researching Disston, we have also been drawn to the physical processes and metallurgical science involved in treating and shaping steel. Despite the many machines and technologies that the Disston factory employs, the manufacturing process, like the artistic process, still comes down to human craft. At the end of the process, each new blade needs to be hand tuned—a skill cultivated by only a few craftsmen today—before the company can be sure that it will “run true.” With the exception of the contemporary video and audio technology, and a few materials brought from Carolyn's studio, everything in this work was found at the saw works or in Tacony. This is our tribute to the tremendous creativity and legacy of craft represented by Disston and the Tacony community, which has played a major role in ensuring Philadelphia’s prominence as a center of cultural and economic innovation and prosperity.